Interested in Bringing Your Invention to Market?

By May 04 , 20120 Comments

Betsy Kaufman is not your traditional inventor. Rather, she’s a wife, mother and a television producer. She’s just someone who had a self-professed “kooky idea.”

She thought what if you could hard-boil eggs in a heat-resistant, egg-shaped container that prevented hairline fractures and meant you no longer had to pick and peel eggshells?

Many of us have had that “What if?” moment, but then we need to figure out what comes next. Kaufman decided to submit her “Egg Toss” idea into Edison Nation’s search for top As Seen on TV (ASOTV) product ideas. She didn’t have a CAD drawing or a minute of video; rather, she had a well-explained, well-written description of her egg-making concept.

Edison Nation and its ASOTV partner selected her idea and developed the product into what is now known as Eggies. The popular kitchen gadget is found in retailers nationwide, and to date, more than 1 million Eggies have been sold. Kaufman—listed as an inventor on the patents—splits the royalties with Edison Nation.

If you’ve ever had an “aha” moment like Betsy’s but lacked the knowledge and resources to make your idea a reality, you’re not alone.

In a recent survey, more than 90 percent of respondents believe it is a difficult process to bring an invention to the store shelf. Seventy-five percent cited money and not knowing how as the main reasons they had previously not been able to bring an idea to market, and 81 percent of those surveyed said in the past they’ve had a great idea that they didn’t pursue only to later see it successfully come to market.

This is where inventors’ communities such as Edison Nation come in. “Edison Nation levels the playing field between idea people and real inventors,” said Kaufman.

An inventors’ community can help ordinary people bring their ideas to fruition, and Edison Nation actively seeks these ideas for products that could end up on store shelves. As is the case with Kaufman, if you can describe an idea or simply draw it on a napkin, it may be brought to market through Edison Nation’s capabilities. It costs nothing to join the online community and just $25 to submit an idea to most searches.

The company partners directly with manufacturers and retailers, such as Bed Bath & Beyond and Rawlings Sporting Goods, that have an innovation need.

For example, if Bed Bath & Beyond is looking for new dorm room products, Edison Nation posts criteria for this product search, and its members can submit their ideas to be considered. If an idea is selected for licensing by Bed Bath & Beyond, Edison Nation gives the inventor an advance on future royalties, which will be split 50/50 between the inventor and Edison Nation. The cost of bringing a product to market can range from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In addition, through the operation of a $25 million innovation fund, Edison Nation is able to develop and license ideas and innovations. Edison Nation handles everything from patenting, prototyping and all steps involved in validating ideas and getting them to the store shelf, all at no additional cost to the inventor.

To date, the company has discovered and developed 35-plus products, including Kaufman’s Eggies and other top sellers such as the Gyro Bowl, Mister Steamy, and Emery Cat Board. Together, these products have sold more than $175 million without any of the inventors taking the risk of cashing in 401(k)s or quitting their jobs to make these dreams come true.

Most recently, Edison Nation partnered with the Boy Scouts of America for an “Innovation Challenge” to inspire young minds to submit creative new product ideas. It also partnered with Daymond John, the sought-after new business consultant known for his role on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and as CEO of FUBU, to present an opportunity for people with innovative product ideas to pursue licensing and commercial success. Finally, Fisher-Price partnered with Edison Nation to find innovative ideas for mechanical dolls, plush and plastic characters with compelling, entertaining and interactive features that will make them the next must-have item.

To learn more about Edison Nation, sign up for a free account or simply to take a look at what product searches are running now, visit http://www.EdisonNation.com.