Installation of Stormseal® (image: Stormseal.com)
Stormseal® inventor and Managing Director, Matthew Lennox, has accelerated his business idea through government funding and securing intellectual property (IP) protection. He has created a product that provides huge relief for storm victims, their rescuers and insurers.
Stormseal® can secure damaged roofs quickly and provide up to one year of protection. Unlike traditional tarpaulins, Stormseal® uses a unique polymer technology that heat-shrinks over damaged roofs. Stormseal® doesn’t need constant refitting and can effectively keep out wind and rain. This allows more efficient use of SES volunteer resources, helps keep people safe and dry in their homes and reduces repair costs.
Considering IP protection in your commercialisation journey
Matthew came up with the idea for Stormseal® after his experience assisting with severe storm damage repairs in 2007 when he saw insurance claims multiply due to failing tarpaulins. To develop his idea, IP protection was his first consideration.
‘I considered IP protection from the get-go,’ Matthew shares. ‘I conducted some preliminary patent searches and didn’t find anything like it so I established the company.’
Matthew expresses that IP protection is a must-have. His advice to other businesses is that even if you can’t afford the costs to trust yourself and find the money.
‘Successful businesses are valued by the strength of their IP.’
After securing an Australian patent, Matthew knew that Stormseal® would work anywhere in the world. With this in mind, he knew he needed government assistance to take it global.
Accelerate your commercialisation with government grants
In 2016 Stormseal® was a recipient of a $450 000 Accelerating Commercialisation grant. While Matthew admits the process of applying was intense, it provided many commercialisation opportunities.
‘It was months of work but resulted in a very valuable business strategy with clear commercialisation milestones. We refer to it as the Bible.’
The funding assisted Stormseal® to achieve part of their milestones including:
- Securing their IP.
- The establishment of a national training system for the application of Stormseal®.
- The development of quality assurance systems.
- The establishment of a national logistics operation.
- The development of an online training portal.
Receiving government support also opened up the doors to the domestic and international markets. ‘I call it credibility by association,’ Matthew shared.
He adds, ‘It assisted with the little things that make a business operate. The ability to employ staff, procure materials and equipment and establish effective communications.’
Through the support of significant federal funding, Stormseal® was able to roll out nationally and reduce the disruption and damage caused by storms and disasters.