Fund Your Invention: A Product Developer Tells You How

3D CAD modeling industrial design research with Solidworks on a computer in Lime Design's South Florida office

A One-Time Cash Injection, Like a Tax Refund, Can Help You Fund Your Invention

Funding your invention doesn’t have to slow your dreams of being an inventor. The average tax refund can pay for enough development to start finding investors.

Rodrigo Lima is an inventor at heart. A big idea guy and a maker, he knew when he opened his product development studio, Lime Design in Fort Lauderdale, FL, that he was now something else–an entrepreneur.

“I covered a lot of ground when I opened Lime Design,” says Lima, who prototyped or launched hundreds of products and ideas in his first two years. “Now, we are able to scale for any client who comes our way, but I know first-hand what it’s like wanting to invent and being unsure if it can really happen.”

For Inventors, Ideas are Never a Problem

For most inventors, ideas are never a problem. The vision burns bright. The passion is real. But the path from vision to finished product can be foggy, especially when you aren’t sure where your capital is coming from. This article will help you know more about how to fund your invention.


“Start where you are,” advises Lima. “A lot of indie inventors come to Lime with a great idea and just enough cash for conceptualization. We help them figure it out step-by-step.”Conceptualization is the first stage of making a product real. Part brainstorming session and part feasibility study, the end result is a blueprint for getting your product on shelves or sold through a drop-shipper.At a professional product development studio like Lima’s Lime Design, concept involves a team of experts. Lima kicks off with creative direction and guides his designers and engineers as they imagine and plan. They consider everything from materials to creating 3D models and patents to marketing.At approximately two to three thousand dollars, this stage doesn’t scare off the enterprise-level clients at all, but for indie inventors, it can be a daunting investment.


“A strong concept stage is a hallmark of seasoned entrepreneurs and well-known brands. Our big clients don’t try to take shortcuts here,” says Lima. “On the other hand, of course I see where the indies are coming from.” It really only takes a one-time cash injection, and a tax refund is an awesome way to fund your invention. We always see an influx of passionate inventors in the spring once those refunds start rolling in.” Other methods Lima suggests include the same steps you’d take to save for anything. Cut out your pricey coffee, keep your change or sock away a certain amount per week. He likes crowdfunding, too, but thinks it should be saved for the later stages of product development when costs can run higher. “We use Kickstarter and similar channels when our inventors are in a pre-launch stage. For the conceptualization stage, use your own capital, talk to friends and family, or even an angel investor. Save crowdfunding for when you really need it.”


Prototyping is when most inventors start to feel like their idea is turning into reality. Just having something tangible to hold is exciting, but before investment of prototyping–which requires the expertise of mechanical engineers and material costs–technology offers a more viable method: VIRTUAL 3D CAD. Virtual 3D CAD files let product developers like Lima and his designers and engineers test and play with your idea. Using expert software and deep design skills, they can fine-tune everything from custom stylizing of your invention’s appearance to the weight and center of gravity of the product.The financial benefits are clear here. Not only do you get the chance to test your idea without expensive physical prototypes, you can use the technology to continue your funding. A 3D file can also be used to create photo realistic renderings and images of the model which can be presented to convince investors who will help bring your invention to the next stage of development. “Many inventors come to us and use their tax refund to turbo-charge a second career as an inventor,” confirms Lima, “or to create a passive stream of income for themselves on the side.”Let’s Work on Your VIRTUAL 3D CAD”

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