What other ways are there to capitalize on your ideas rather than a startup?
I was wondering if there were any other ways to capitalize on your ideas without having to start a company. Suppose I am able to design a basic prototype already - how should I proceed? How have inventors been able to sustain themselves with their creation without starting a company?
Yes! First you get yourself an mutual NDA and a great prototype as well as the patent process started. Find a distributor or manufacturer that's relevant to your category of business or sells similar products and you pitch them. You can give equity in your idea to retain good partners that are already plugged into distribution. All the best!
I do a lot of technology transfer work. If you can afford it, build a working prototype and file a patent application then seek licensing partners or a single partner. I work with everything from software to concrete.
The sales process depends on the product and the market players.
by looking for the implementers of the ideas.. These day there are many business forums you are inviting ideas towards innovation and expansion.