LiONS LAIR is coming: Sacha Babic offers tips on how to commercialize your new invention

24 May 2022

*Due to scheduling challenges, lawyer and registered Canadian patent agent Alex Ross will be serving in Sacha Babic's role as a 2022 Pillar of Business LiON.

For over a decade, Gowling WLG has partnered with LiONS LAIR – a Hamilton-based pitch competition that merges entrepreneurship with innovation in an exciting forum. 

The 2022 edition of LiON'S LAIR, presented by the Innovation Factory in partnership with the City of Hamilton's Economic Development department, will pit entrepreneurial teams against each other during a competition slated for September.

Teams will pitch judges (also known as Pillar of Business LiONS) and compete head-head in a single elimination tournament. The finalists will then have their knowledge evaluated in a series of interviews with the Pillar of Business LiONS, designed to test their legal, business-growth, and marketing strategies.

Representatives from Gowling WLG, KPMG, and Jan Kelley will take on the roles of the Legal LiON, the Financial LiON, and the Growth LiON, respectively, contributing their time to help coach and evaluate the finalists. Myself* and two other local business leaders, Aaron Gillespie (tax partner, KPMG) and Chantel Broten (president & CEO, Jan Kelley), will once again be serving as judges.

Think about commercialization vs licensing

Are you well-equipped to develop and market a technology or innovation on your own? Would it be more fruitful to go the licensing route with an established commercial party? This is a key factor to consider when commercializing any new invention.

Expand governance and control

Consider implementing a strong governance structure that is attractive to investors. This will allow you to attract talented management down the line. Remember, there is real value in relinquishing some control to a board of directors – especially when it is composed of members with complementary expertise and interests.

Understand the regulatory environment

Gaining a strong understanding of the regulatory framework in which you operate can become a real competitive advantage. Retaining sound legal counsel can help you better understand that framework, which may, in turn, provide a leg-up on industry competitors.

Sacha Babic is a partner in Gowling WLG's Hamilton office. He acts for and advises private sector clients of all sizes (from startups to multinationals) with respect to all aspects of corporate and commercial law, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate organization & restructuring, and private equity.