Why is it important to apply for a patent?

The patent enables you to request a license for usage from anyone who wants to use your invention.
In addition, a good patent provides a vehicle for suing other companies for use of your invention worldwide.
Before acquisition or investment during due diligence, the value of the patent portfolio is checked.
A product that is patented or even patent pending has a competitive advantage.

Why is it important to apply for a patent in the early stages of a venture?

Patent application ensures the invention date on the date of application.
Many investors require a defendable patent as a condition for investment. Therefore, it is worthwhile to have a provisional patent before speaking to investors.  This shows the investor the seriousness of the entrepreneur.
The process of writing the patent is an important milestone in a new venture.  The process contributes to other processes such as writing investor presentation, business plan and work plans.
Patent application enables you to define your invention as patent pending.