FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

EnCata’s diverse international management team and specialist advisors are unified in their goal of giving EnCata’s clients the world’s best and most cost effective innovative engineering solutions.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

IP ownership when working with EnCata

When working with our clients we sign a contract where all the intellectual property to be generated during the R&D and engineering development belongs to the customer.

Do you sign NDAs?

Yes. As a highly professional design and engineering firm, we make sure that all discussions with our clients and all information regarding your invention, idea and other proprietary information are kept confidential.

How do I make sure EnCata does not "steal" my idea?

Aside from being a reputable company which does not steal ideas, EnCata's entire business model is based on delivering premium R&D, design and industrial prototyping services to our clients. As soon as we stole one client’s idea, our entire business would be ruined. Also, as we are not contract manufacturers (OEM or ODM), we wouldn’t be able to benefit from a stolen idea even if we wanted to.  This is definitely not a worry for our clients.

Patent or Develop first?

We follow a LEAN approach in product and business development and thus we strongly recommend patent filings only after you are  at least part-way through development. This is because patenting is expensive and early patents can already become obsolete or irrelevant later in the development phase. Typically, EnCata's work generates many patentable opportunities for our clients  and the best strategy is to file patents at TRL-7, i.e. when early beta prototype is ready and when a startup is ready to start batch production and marketing.

There is, however, another strategy, which is to use provisional patents which can be loose and are not to be disclosed to the public for 18 months. These are much less expensive and time consuming, generally costing below $500. EnCata will always sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and keep your intellectual property confidential during the development phase and then we can recommend several third-party patent attorneys when the time is right.

DEVELOPMENT: HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE

Can EnCata consult me or help me with my existing design?

Whether you need to validate, evaluate or review your design, concept, 3D model, BOM or drawings, our experienced manufacturing, mechanical and electronics engineers are ready to help.

EnCata’s engineering consultancy service will allow you to critically reassess your project and help reach your goals while keeping the process cost-effective. To read more about the TRL and learn why it is useful, please procees to our blog.

What are typical project EnCata engaged with?

EnCata develops integrated Hardware and Software solutions for a variety of industries. We are engaged in multiple domains like IoT, robotics, medTech and IoMT, aerospace, agriculture, consumer products and many others. It is possible to work with such a wide variety of industries because we have multidomain expertise and utilize a cross-disciplinary product development approach.

I would like to do prototyping myself. Is it possible with EnCata?

Generally speaking, we do not allow clients to work on EnCata's manufacturing premises.

What does work, however, is that EnCata can manufacture prototype parts and the startup team can assemble thea prototype in our MakeIT Center hackerspace.  Alternatively, the startup can design and build the prototype themselves in our hackerspace.  We operate this free-access space in Minsk and we are currently working on expanding a hackerspace network worldwide.

INVESTMENT-RELATED QUESTIONS

Does EnCata take equity when working with startups?

No. EnCata is a service company (neither a product company, nor a mass-production OEM manufacturer) and works as a contractor for R&D, product development, engineering design and prototype manufacturing projects.

Our business model is to deliver high quality research and development services, prototype manufacturing and low volume production.

How do I find investment for my idea / product?

Typically, early stage startups (at a pre-seed stage) use four sources of funding:

1) Self funding or via a ‘friends and family’ network;
2) Grant funding;
3) Pre-seed angel investment / early stage VC funding;
4) accelerator investment.

EnCata can develop conceptual design sketches, mock-up prototypes and POC/POP (proof-of-concept/principle) prototypes that can be part of your investor's pitch and help you raise further funding for your startup

Can EnCata help me with fundraising?

We do indeed help with fundraising through our large business network. However, we typically recommend startups to our partner VCs after we have done some work for the startup and learned more about the team and their core technology. This feedback and recommendation is of great value to all of the friendly VCs as it saves them much time and effort for due diligence.

Have a project to do? Reach out to EnCata team

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