- The call to the IPO. This is the most obvious first step for many. Not a bad idea. It connects you to someone paid £17k pa who has the whole of the wisdom of the IPO to call on.
- The British Library Business and IP section is a great place to go and get information and do your market research.
- Inventors clubs. These allow inventors to get together and share information. Leeds is just one example.
- On line resources such as a BetterMouseTrap and IdeasUploaded that will link you to designers and others and provide plenty of shared learning experiences.
- University |Tech Transfer or KT offices. UCL and Greenwich have been particularly keen lately to help all local comers.
So why are the start ups on the Silicon roundabout telling Cameron they are unhappy. Free advice is not enough for them. Its either an untrustworthy grant aided offer from the inexperienced (OK that's harsh but one thing an SME knows is that he is not competent to judge quality and price is often the best indicator of value) or pure marketing designed to sell something paid for (the classic offering we professionals make).