Wonderful thoughts....just to clear any questions, I am not currently going through any of the scenarios depicted and I'm just asking questions for reference purposes. I have a new question now:
How do you get various financial support from the private, commercial, or governmental sector, to support your product, service, or invention?
First and foremost, the invention should solve a problem, make a process more efficient, or, appeal to a need. You build a prototype, then approach the people who'll likely be customers. Once you have someone that's interested in buying it, then you can approach various institutions to obtain funding for production and deployment.
Talking to others about your invention, is essential in determining it's viability. Patent law permits a window for such a process to occur, mainly because the office is full of worthless patents that weren't researched properly to begin with. So don't be too worried about someone else stealing it and trying to beat you to the patent office, unless it's something of obvious high intellectual property value potential, like a new packaging system for storing milk that can be summed up in one simple diagram. You can file a provisional patent, and that will provide 18 months with which to create a final specification for a full patent application. Such instrument ensures your idea is franked, and gives you time to discuss the concept, pitch it to potential client's, and find investors.
Millions of people each year, invent things or change something, that they think will win them a Nobel, so the grounds are very well trodden, meaning, you can learn from the success or failure of others throughout history. Such case studies make compelling reading, and can illuminate a path to the most obvious sources of funding, most of the time, a majority of it will need to be your own money. The people who are most likely to be in a position to offer additional funding, will likely host many such requests each day. How you win favor over all the others, is by demonstrating to the investor how fast they will make a return on their money, and that requires a comprehensive business, marketing, production and financial plan.
Many business plans are all about what a great idea it is, but investors will be looking for a quick return (put yourself in their shoes - wouldn't you?) so focus on that. Lots of ideas get shown the door because someone knows a business already doing it. Positioning yourself against competitors demonstrates that you understand your market, so you need to be thorough in your discovery of others inventions that might be similar to your own, you wouldn't want to suffer the embarrasement of someone less specialized than yourself, pointing out your invention has already been done by someone else.
Investors will also grade you on your ability to concisely explain the invention, their investment decision will be partly based on the concept, the other part, your ability to generate a profit from selling the invention. Investors also have a very short attention span, so having the discipline and skill to summarize your invention to a 2-4 page proposal gives the investor an ability to understand the concept quickly, and it speaks volumes about the type of person you are, and why they might have the confidence to trust you with their money.
Government funding might have a more relaxed set of criteria over private, but they'll still insist on some kind of feasibility study. If one hasn't already been done, then the first part of the funding, will be to pay to have one done. Where other people's money is involved, there's no escaping reality, and a feasibility study will demonstrate to others that the idea isn't fanciful and can turn a profit. I know this from experience, because from the day I stepped out of school, I have, and have had, patents, and private funding, and Government funding, and I have made money from invention. The thing to remember, is that there is always someone smarter than you, no matter how clever you are, so understanding potential customers, markets, competitors, manufacturing, and business in a wider sense, is all critical to the success of any invention. It only takes one person to know more about the habits of the client's you might be proposing to sell to, to unwind a proposal. So in that regard, you need to be a jack of all trades, it's all part of being an executive, and not just another inventor looking for handouts.
Be prepared to invest a considerable amount of your own money into the invention. Investors expect it, it demonstrates that your willing to risk your own money, as well as theirs