Intellectual capital is the combination of a person’s knowledge and skills and the time and energy that the person can invest in an activity. This is the key element of each successful project. If your company lacks this intangible value, you usually have to buy it. You either pay good employees or hire it in the form of an external consulting firm. At least that’s the way it has worked so far. Now, you can have top experts available at the key stage of building your firm and embark on business together. This idea revolutionises customary notions of what investment is, how business start-up works and how people are rewarded for their work.
ICIA connects intellectual capital investors – i.e., investors of their time and knowledge – with people interested in having such an investor join their company, be it a new or an existing one. It provides its members – intellectual capital investors with material, legal and technical background and facilitates their contact with parties interested in their services.
Our primary goal is to establish the concept of intellectual investment as an equal alternative to financial investment. In many respects, intellectual investment has more benefits for both the investor and the person asking for capital. This opens a range of sub-topics such as eliminating barriers for this type of investing, providing a credible platform to develop this type of investment and bring together interested parties on both sides, and also improving the professionalism of our members and supervising the observance of ethical principles, which is crucial for this form of relationship.
For all competent and experienced people who want to invest their energy and knowledge in a meaningful way, feel good about their work and have an opportunity to benefit from the results of that work in the future. On the other side, it is suitable for all those who realise that good people who will push the company above the average are crucial. For all company owners who seek competent partners and can give them an interest in their company in exchange for the company’s progression.
Only a company that meets certain requirements can undergo quantum leap growth. Generally, quantum leap growth is possible either by expanding into a new business or to new regional markets. Our members have valuable experience in this respect and can estimate whether or not this type of growth is possible with a specific business plan. Then, they are of course capable of executing the expansion. After all, ICIA does not focus on any type of growth other than quantum leap growth. Growing market share slowly is not our goal; this is the business of the company owner and their long-term work.
The size of the interest, if any, depends on many factors and is always the result of an arrangement between the owner of the idea and ICIA. It is impossible to provide a specific range. Generally, the size of the interest depends on the value that ICIA can bring to the shared business and to the rate of the risk that the investor takes in joining the project. This can be tens of percent with beginning companies; with larger projects it can be less.
While money is important for the development of any company at a certain stage, choosing the right people for bringing an idea to life plays a much more important role. If you have an idea but do not know how to make it happen, you need to hire professionals who will bring the idea to life and make it a business success. So instead of money, which you do not have initially, you offer them an interest in the new firm. Both parties will take the business risk at all times.
With an intellectual investor’s entry to the company, you save a lot of money on their salary at the time when the result of the collaboration is uncertain. If they help you to achieve profit, however, they will simply ask a part of it as a reward. New businesses and companies often cannot achieve profit without external help. This does not mean that a business is giving something away – on the contrary, it gains added value and money that it would not gain otherwise.
Regular members get an opportunity to implement selected projects or participate in them as specialists or as financial investors, which gives them an opportunity to gain an ownership interest in the project. They also have access to relevant information and can participate in regular meetings of ICIA members, share their experience and benefit from the opportunity to work with many top experts.
A personal meeting with an ICIA founding member and MBTI testing take place on the basis of completing a questionnaire and submitting a CV. Since our goal is to ensure that our members complement each other, this tool aids us in determining the candidate’s profile and suitability for a specific team and a specific role in that team. ICIA’s executive committee approves member applications based on a recommendation.