Mar
0

Mike Forehand and the Perfect Seal

BY MIKE FOREHAND

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I'm Mike Forehand and this is why I came to invent The Perfect Seal.

In 1988 a customer contacted my company to purchase three electric embossers. There was only one brand available at the time, and I had no experience with the unit at all. I did some research with users and dealers and found this brand of electric seal was undependable. I should have known when the manufacturer said it had just decreased the warranty to sixty days from purchase. The customer was going to purchase these units no matter what my advice. In the next sixty days, I made five repair trips and had no support from the manufacturer. The customer and I became very frustrated at such a poor quality product. My wife said: “why don’t you just build your own?” I think she was just sick of hearing me complain, but she was right! Now being very familiar with the mechanics of this brand of electric seal, I felt I knew what not to do, so I began a three year endeavor. I consulted seal users, design engineers, product manufacturers, studied design criteria, calculated force and drew more sketches than I had ever done before in my life. I was spending money with machinists for test samples, just to throw them in the dumpster due to a design flaw.

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The criteria was easy: (1) a seal impression from a touch-of-a-button, (2) extended life of electric models over hand held models and (3) no chance for repetitive stress injury. Sounds simple doesn’t it. In 1991, after fourteen designs and about a hundred variables, one simple design worked. When I made the very first test impression, my first word was “perfect”. That was the basis for the name PerfectSeal™. The simple design with only two moving parts has proven durability and dependability time and time again. In April of 2005, I implemented the fifth generation of updates, but still have not changed from the original design. My PerfectSeal™ heavy duty high volume units produce a minimum of 200,000 high quality impressions from just a touch of the button. These units are supported with a sixty day “final approval” time on one unit to assure each customers total satisfaction and have an unmatched TWO YEAR or 200,000 impression performance warranty.

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It is much easier to justify the cost of an excellent performing quality product, than to justify a poor quality product to less cost. Fortunately, PerfectSeal™ is most definitely a better product for less cost. Nothing can be more aggravating than being “left out in the cold” if the product does not perform well or being left all alone without manufacturer support. The “final approval” time on one unit allows a first time user to be convinced or return it. If you don’t like your PerfectSeal™…. Don’t keep it! This policy was created because I am so confident of the user safety, value and performance of PerfectSeal™, and that you will be nothing short of “impressed” with every impression. I want you to be convinced too!

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The value of any electric embosser should be the increased durability, extended life over manual embossers and the insurance of removing any chance of repetitive-stress injury during use. Repetitive stress injury is a major concern. One claim could cost several thousand dollars and a major loss of employee time. Companies spend thousands on ergonomic products for computers, desks, tables, chairs etc., and are looking to minimize risk and increase performance when using their seals and other marking products.

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Electric seals are changing from heavy-duty high volume users only, to include the standard duty users like notaries, tag agents, architects, schools and small court systems at a more affordable price. PerfectSeal™ MOTORIZED is a standard duty electric embosser that operates a common die holder from an existing or new hand held embosser. This innovative design will convert any existing manual hand held seal to an electric operation at the lowest price ever offered. An unlimited amount of hand held seals can be converted to a “no stress” electric operation.

More information regarding Perfect Seal is available at http://www.southernmark.com.

Mar
0

Tiffany Krumins and Ava the Elephant

BY TIFFANY KRUMINS

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Tiffany Krumins is the CEO, Co-founder and inventor of the AVA the Elephant brand. AVA the Elephant is a talking children’s medicine dispenser that takes the fear and axiety out of administering medicine to children 3 months and older.

Tiffany’s passion for helping sick children has been evident through her years of experience working with kids, including children with special needs and childhood cancer patients. It was that same passion which brought Ava the Elephant to life!

She realized no product on the market resolved the common problem of giving children medicine, minus the tears. So she took matters into her own hands and created the first Ava from sponges, fabric, and a store bought medicine dropper.

After her life changing experience on ABC’s “Shark Tank” she went home and spent months perfecting AVA to make sure she was as safe as she was helpful. She found that it was not necessarily children’s dislike for medicine that made it so difficult. After all, they can flavor it to taste like bubblegum these days! The process was the scary part. Realizing this, her first goal was to hide the medicine dropper completely! Her second was to make the child smile or laugh, hence the sweet voice! And last, but not least, she wanted their new little friend to praise them for a job well done! In a twist of fate, Tiffany was diagnosed with cancer three months after the show (at the age of 28) which made her passion to help sick children even stronger!

Tiffany was considered one of the Top 50 Mompreneurs of 2011 by Babble.com! She was a panelist at Troy Johnson’s SPark and Hustle event as well as a panelist at Mom’s in Business Unite.

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With mentions on Youngentrepreneur.com, Mominventors.com and many others, she has been coined the “Modern Day Mary Poppins”. AVA the Elephant received the Certified Miracle Award in 2011!

AVA the Elephant is available in more than 10,000 retail stores in the U.S.A., including CVS Pharmacy, Kroger, Safeway, BabiesRUs.com, Drugstore.com, Amazon.com, and Walgreens.com and many more.

AVA the Elephant is also sold in multiple languages and internationally in Canada, Mexico, Australia, Europe, and parts of Asia.

When I walked out of the Shark Tank with a $50,000 investment, I had no idea where to start. Although Barbara is a genius when it comes to real estate, business and marketing, product development is the one area where she lacked experience. After all Ava was the 1st product she invested in while filming Shark Tank. I set out on a journey to learn the “Ins and Outs” of developing and launching a successful product.

Almost two years later, I have a international hit & well known brand. I receive between 300-2000 emails a month asking the question: “How did you do it?” The bottom line is, I did it with a lot of hard work & determination. The path for developing my product was not handed to me. Much like any investor, Barbara expected me to do the leg work and supported me along the way. I am thankful for that because it forced me to really LEARN this industry. The sad fact is, I found there were more companies looking to take advantage of inventors/entrepreneurs than there were those willing to help. I am determined to give you the simple, yet time consuming steps to develop a product. Along the way, you will find that manufacturers, freight forwarders, and even licensing companies will all take full advantage of you if given the opportunity. Even with my well known investor and careful consideration, some took advantage of me. My goal is to steer you down the right path so you have a fighting chance at making your dream a reality.

When I first started developing AVA I wasn’t able to find answers to all of my questions in one place. Yes, I eventually figured it out, but my lack of education resulted in some major roadblocks along the way, including financial setbacks. I have attended some great entrepreneur events. One that really took away what I call “fluff” and gave you real life steps was Tory Johnson’s Spark & Hustle. (http://sparkandhustle.com/) I attended the event to sit on a panel and help others, but I also left with a wealth of knowledge and a few new friends that I would cherish for years to come! With that said, I have seen a lot of events that lure inventors/entrepreneurs with the “keys to success,” but many are all fluff and not enough cold hard facts.

This program came out of my desire to help others, as well as my own frustration in seeing people taken advantage of. A few months ago, I decided I would take the time to write down all of the steps I took and put them in one place in an easy-to-reach, affordable website program! I don’t care for companies that want to profit solely on entrepreneur passion. They often speak of “License your product now!” Or “Patent this, patent that!” The reality is, neither of these may be your priority in the beginning. Once my first patent was awarded, I received HUNDREDS of “scams” in the mail regarding my patent. You may be thinking “Don’t patent my product? Are you crazy?” OR “But all I want to do is license my idea and sit back and collect royalties” I am not saying you will not or should not do either, but it shouldn’t necessarily be your first priority. AVA the Elephant is a successful product and we still aren’t at the licensing phase.

My goal in mentioning other seminars to you is so that you may keep in mind what you get for your money. You are going to spend a lot of money on launching a product! If you spend $2000.00 on a one-weekend seminar, that will not do the leg-work for you, it may not be money well spent. I would depend on the seminar I suppose. Consider your thinking pattern and be willing to question and test it when securing an investor! Although I have an investor, I closely consider every penny spent on AVA. You will need to do the same thing from day one in order to succeed.

Inspiration and drive are important, but it is not going to get your product on shelves. It is going to take hard work and determination!

If you are trying to break into retail, know that there are “rules” that are not broken. Simply put, my invention was seen by over 6 million people in one night and became a favorite of moms and children right away. However, I was not able to get into stores quickly, and you probably will not either. Searching for a retail buyer’s email, name or phone number is far down on the list of things you will need, although many people think it should be 1 on the list. If you want to succeed, you have to prepare your product and presentation before selling your product to retailers/customers.

I will take away all of the FLUFF and give you the simple steps! I will give you a list of the exact steps I took to get to where I am now. I don’t recommend skipping over steps. The order in which you do them is VERY important as well. The reality of securing an investor without gathering all of the needed information is next to impossible. I won’t confuse you with the “what if’s”, like licensing your idea, as the reality is that may not happen. It is more important that I am realistic with you and offer you a plan. Stage 1 will focus on: Idea Conception, Patents, Prototyping & Finding a Manufacturer. Stage 2 will focus on: Investors, Retail Buyers, Logistics & becoming a vendor. You will have to put in the time, and in the end you could have a worldwide hit like AVA! For inspiration read my blogs about roadblocks I encountered along the way, some of which I am able to laugh at now, some not so much. (Cancer sure will throw a wrench in your plans!) My hope is that my triumphs and mistakes will make this a successful journey for you in the end! If you are ready to get started, yet don’t know the next step,  visit www.tiffanykrumins.com, and click on the Paypal button to sign up!

All the best,

Tiffany Krummins

P.S. I am thrilled to be donating a percentage of every website membership to one of the life-changing charities listed on my website. Check out the Charities page for more information on the groups I support!

Mar
0

Norm Hudson and the OzHitch

BY NORM HUDSON

Hi I’m Norm Hudson, the creator of The OzHitch, which came about after a challenging experience of mine in outback Australia…

My problems started when I was traveling through the Finke River Gorge in the blistering Outback Australia heat around midday when I met with a stretch of really soft, coarse river bed sand that got me badly bogged!!

It was stinking hot and there was nothing to hook the winch to…I knew it was bad considering the rigs overall weight, and river bed sand doesn’t let you out easily. So after tires down almost flat, lockers in, some cursing, I realized I wasn’t going to get out unless I unhitched. It was getting worse and by this time I was P****D Off and HOT. So I decided to disconnect the trailer from my 4WD to reposition it on firmer soil and away from the boggy wheel tracks.

The hitch was almost impossible to reconnect.

Man, I tried everything… reversing & repositioning the car a dozen times, trying to push the trailer around, just about breaking my fingers, wrestling with the pin and the 2 hitch halves…. The worst part about this situation was that no matter what I did, I’m damned if I could get the two halves of the off-road hitch to line up, so I could connect it up. Talk about frustrated, I was out of my mind.

This damn tow hitch just wouldn’t line up. So, like any true blooded bloke, when I got it reasonably close I used a tire lever and my big hammer and bashed that bugger into place! Tired and worn out with the stress of the hitch not lining up, I got back on the track again.

A half an hour later I got bogged again in another section of sand and knew I that I was going to have to deal with the same problems again. So getting bogged can be a pain, but its nothing compared to getting hitched back up again. Just recovering from my last ordeal, I was feeling the frustration before even getting out of the car. I was hot, tired and crazy out of my mind with this ridiculous so called off-road hitch. What The HELL..!! It would have made a better anchor for my tinny.

How do you connect a pin with less than Half a millimeter tolerance?

The third time I was coming into a sharp uphill turn out of the riverbed and well… The drama went on for 45 minutes. No joke I nearly pulled my hair out trying to get the hitch realigned. Just imagine trying to reverse a 4WD in sliding and shifting river bed sand on an angles, while reversing, and then trying to line up hitch halves – with less than half a millimeter of tolerance to put the pin through it. I was getting good with the tire lever and hammer and the hitch was looking bashed. I was buggered, you know that feeling when your hands are kind of ringing or buzzing they are so worn out from hard struggle?

Surely there had to be a better way.

This is what got me thinking there has got to be a better way. I have worked in and been a business owner in the camper trailer industry since 1980, and with the experience and knowledge I have, I set about reinventing the off-road hitch. I thought about the situation I was in that caused me so much grief and all the little things like lining up the holes, having to reverse the car to near perfection, the danger of a possible collapsing jockey, being that the front of the trailer was getting shoved about heavily in very soft sand and having my feet under it…!!! and simply the hard work and stress you just don’t want on a holiday.

So after some brain crunching, I came up with the ultimate 15 second hitch. The hitch guides itself together, loading from above, with far less accuracy needed than the tow hitches currently on the market. The other great thing is that hitch self locates because of the alignment tool which simply lines the two halves of the hitch together in the cradle. Presto! OZHITCH is the simplest 15 second off-road hitch that’s easy to use.

More information about the Ozhitch and where to purchase it can be found at http://www.ozhitch.com.au

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Mar
0

Lindsay Sokolowski and the Boottique Update

By Lindsay Sokolowsk

For more information, please visit www.Boottique.com

Feb
0

Lindsay Sokolowski and Boottique-The Boot Hanger Company

By Lindsay Sokolowski

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This following story was previously posted on InventionStories.com on March 13, 2013.

The Boot Hanger was invented out of necessity by Lindsay Sokolowski in 2007. An attorney with a passion for shoes, Lindsay sought to find a way to store and organize her growing boot collection, but the available options fell short of her expectations. Determined to create a better solution, The Boot Hanger as we know it today was created and patented.

Lindsay soon found herself inundated with requests from friends and family wanting to purchase The Boot Hanger for their own use. Empowered by the idea of helping similarly frustrated consumers, Lindsay incorporated Boottique, Inc. and launched the retail website www.boottique.com.

Having identified an unaddressed consumer need, Boottique has since grown year-over-year and expanded product offerings to include glamorous organization products, boot accessories, and shoe care products for both women and men. Boottique has been featured on national television, countless consumer product and lifestyle websites, and high profile publications, including The Washington Post and InStyle Magazine.

Coming Next Sunday…Lindsay Sokolowski and the Boottique Update

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Feb
0

The CodeSutra team and Cod3fi

BY ROBERT BEAR

We use to ask for comments on InventionStories.com. The reason we stopped was due to countless spams email and hackers. Everyday we learn of a new hacker attack resulting in sensitive information being compromised. I find it frustrating and frightening but hopefully I can find some piece of mind with Cod3fi.

Cod3fi is a next-gen wireless router mesh with an enterprise grade security protection. No cloud subscription is required as we provide you with a private cloud on your router! Each router comes with 64GB of memory that runs on 1.2 GHz Quad core processor. Cod3fi’s mobile app allows you to monitor bandwidth consumption, run diagnostic tests, create a separate guest network, prioritize devices, play/pause Internet on any device and many more.

Are you worried about your baby monitors getting hacked?

Do you frequently download security apps and pay huge monthly cloud subscription fees just to protect your home gadgets?

Look no further, Cod3fi (pronounced codify) might just have a solution for you!

Cod3fi is a wireless smart router mesh that protects all your smart home gadgets with an enterprise grade security. This includes your baby monitors, your loved one’s smart phones or even your laptops and devices like smart TV, or surveillance cameras.

Out of the box Cod3fi provides dynamic firewall capability for your home. This capability assures strict URL filtering and allows only approved and secure domains to pass through. Keeping privacy in mind, all security rules and polices never leave the Cod3fi router and best of all – no cloud subscription fee. In fact we provide you with a private cloud on your own router!

Each router comes with 64GB of memory that runs on a 1.2 GHz Quad core processor. And with Cod3fi’s app one can monitor bandwidth consumption, run diagnostic tests, create a separate guest network, prioritize devices, play/pause Internet on any device and many more. Cod3fi is currently supported on Android, iOS, Windows OS 10 and macOS.

I wanted to know more so I contacted the CodeSutra team and asked them to answer the following:

What gave you the idea?

Home networks is an easy targets for attackers. It is becoming more and more evident with the recent attacks on IoT devices such as Mirai, an IoT DDoS Botnet. This is not an isolated attack, Symantec released a threat report indicating ransomware is on rise and the number of zero-day vulnerabilities discovered has doubled each year. CodeSutra team saw need for secure and smart router that protects you and your family against such vulnerabilities. So they put together a few security experts from payment, health care, and retail industries, three industries that have security and privacy as there top most agenda. And payoff of those discussions was a state of art next-gen smart router that safeguards your privacy and prevents you from security breaches against all devices, including baby monitors, IoT devices, smart TV, smart phone, laptop that are connected to Cod3fi router mesh.

How was the prototype process?

I must admit the prototype process was most difficult process. We hired a team of experts to fabricate two designs for this product. And the design that made the cut was put in the demo prototyping phase. Our demo prototype was a 3D printed case that went through a few iteration before we got to the final prototype. The prototyping process truly tests your entrepreneurial spirits, you see competitors product that are all shiny and good looking. And than you compare your’s with them. And as a startup there will be time when you want to invest more on the design compared to adding a good feature. And it becomes even more challenging when you mission is to build an affordable router mesh with best of tools to securing your entire home. So the balancing act between the design prototype and researching new feature was difficult but fun.

How was the patent process?

We believe in openness and we are actively building transparency around our wireless router mesh. Stay tuned as we build open-to-all community with the money we would raise from Indiegogo project. From a technical spec perspective, we are currently powered by Raspberry Pi and we have modified the core OS but they can still tab into existing Raspberry Pi community.

How do you plan to market it?

We believe in the power of e-commerce and wholesale marketing. As much as be want it to be our ultimate marketing strategy. We are currently starting with direct-to-consumer and crowdfunding sales. This strategy enables our core team spread the awareness about our product and it allows us to get unrestricted personal interaction with our customers.

How did you did decide on a manufacturer?

We invested in someone who is true to their work and provides us best quality product. We found the match for manufacturer from a recommendation from another startup company.

What advice would you give to those interested in inventing?

Go for it! Unless you don’t try you will never know how far can you stretch your dream. So believe in yourself and in crowdfunding websites and sites like this one who are willing to invest in you. And community is ready to back your idea as long as you believe in it.

Click here to visit campaign page.

For more information please visit www.cod3fi.com

Feb
0

Tony Chan & Coolpeds version CarryOnE 2

BY ROBERT BEAR

Think of the next time you’re flying somewhere and need to take luggage. With fees being added to check-in baggege it makes since to bring a carry-on bag. Instead of visualizing yourself dragging your suitcase behind you, see yourself riding it. Imagine the faces of other passengers pulling their bags as you breeze by them on your journey to the plane and beyond.

Tony Chan has created the Coolpeds version CarryOnE 2 and I think it’s brilliant. Travel is what comes to mind but this invention can be used anywhere and for any reason.

Tony Chan, founder, serial tech entrepuerneurl, graduated from UCLA and worked at Microsoft, Seattle, as a software engineer. He left Microsoft many years to start his product design and manufacturing company and successfully supplied various cool products to Sears, Walgreens, Lowe’s, and many other global companies. In addition, the Coolpeds team has won many international awards for campaigns in improving the environment and society. I contacted Tony and asked him to answer the following questions:

What is the COOLPEDS USA CarryOnE?

Based on the highly successful Coolpeds briefcase electric scooter 1.0, CarryOnE is the coolest carryon that doubles as the world’s lightest electric transporter!

Our patented design packs a powerful 200 watt compact brushless hub motor that moves you at speed up to 12 mph.

It is the perfect last mile connector. It is virtually a “mini Tesla” at your service all the time!

Better yet, it meets most airlines’ requirements as a standard carryon! Just fold it up and pull it along like a normal suitcase. With the USB charging port, you can juice up your phone and iPad on the go, all while cutting back pollution and congestion in the city!

How was the prototype process?

It was a long and definitely fun process; we constantly refined and updated the prototypes to achieve a balance of lightweight, sturdiness, and functions.

How was the patent process?

It was a relatively smooth process actually with the help of a professional patent firm.

How do you plan to market it?

We exhibited at various international trade shows such as the CES and fortunately got covered by CBS, Cnet, etc. We will work hard on social marketing and Indiegogo marketing continually. We hope also to have opinion leaders and celebrities use our products.

How did you did decide on a manufacturer?

Fortunately, we have been in the manufacturing industry for over 15 years, so we have our own plant and work with great partners for our current projects and future ones.

Is seems like truly useful product for travelers. What are the obstacles that you need to overcome to make it universal?

Thanks! We need to overcome the weight concern and meet airline battery requirements; therefore, we designed the scooter and battery to meet most airlines’ requirements worldwide. Our battery is 94 watt hours which is under the 100 watt hour limit for carryon regulations.

Why did you make this version of the Coolpeds?

This version CarryOnE 2.0 is much lighter and features a detachable suitcase, which epitomize versatility of a super lightweight electric transporter and travel gear.

What advice would you give to those interested in inventing?

Keep the retail price affordable, work with reliable suppliers and factories, file patents early, think crazy, get lots of exposure quickly.

Click here to visit campaign page.

For more information please visit www.coolpeds.us

Feb
0

Jack Cui and 3Deep : The Sonic Toothbrush

BY ROBERT BEAR

I’m always looking for a present for my wife. Each year for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, birthday and anniversary I’ve got to find something she will like. I look at these pictures and am positive she will love the Sonic Toothbrush.

Introducing the world’s best 3D Sonic Toothbrush with added beauty care functionality! You not only get the amazing oscillating technology toothbrush, you also receive a facial scrub and a massage head in one product that’s lightyears ahead of its time!

3Deep was voted the most effective toothbrush in the world by its users who compared it with other high-end products! With its innovative oscillating, rotating, sonic technology and its 2 speed settings, 3Deep not only gets the job done better, it leaves you and your entire family with that bright, clean, beautiful Hollywood smile we all desire!

Jack Cui is the inventor of the 3Deep toothbrush and has posted the following on their campaign page: Let me echo what a wise man once said, “If you do not put all of your effort to create innovation, it is not a real innovation.” Even if you have as much as 20 years experience in product design and manufacturing like I do. Six years ago, my child got a toothache. The dentist advised us to use a better toothbrush, so I searched the electric toothbrush market. After trying a few high-end products, I still felt none of them were good enough for my child. It took 5 years of dental research, user studies, and product designing until I finally invented a more effective oscillating-rotating technology for our sonic toothbrush. Our users loved it! Soon after, my wife asked, “This is an amazing product you’ve created for our child with so much love! Now, how about you create something that innovative for me?” Suddenly, it hit me; I could add two more options for women’s facial care that will make my wife and many women out there extremely happy! I immediately started up our own business with a dedicated team of professionals under the name,3Deep Inc. in Saratoga, CA and our website (3deepcare.com) was booming! I also strongly believe in the words of Steve Jobs when he said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” The 3D-SONIC TOOTHBRUSH uses sonic, circular vibrations to thoroughly clean and buff your teeth. It’s far more effective at removing plaque by forcing toothpaste between your teeth than any other toothbrush on the market. In a world where the majority of cavities are caused by poor brushing, you need this kind of precision in a toothbrush! And as a bonus, the two additional heads for the 3D-Sonic are great for facial cleansing and massage. This multifaceted tool is the perfect gift for the whole family. And there is no need for batteries! You can recharge it over and over. Now, of course, 3D-Sonic can’t happen without your support. We need you to back our campaign today so we can produce the first run of this amazing product and spread the gift of beautiful smiles all over the world! So take control of your oral and facial health and pre-order your 3D-Sonic Toothbrush today!

I have a small bathroom and believe in products that allow us to throw out extra stuff. I wanted to know more about the story behind the Sonic Toothbrush so I contacted Jack Cui and asked him the following questions:

How was the prototype process?

The prototype process was so successful. We were quite skilled in our engineering capabilities. The prototype had already done in 3 months. One of our cofounders has big manufacturing company, so 3Deep Lnc. are capable for launching the excellent products to global markets.

3Deep inc.’s high-quality manufacturing has prepared for materials of 10 thousand products.

How was the patent process?

3Deep’s core patent techniques:

1).Magnetic suspension toothbrush patent(ZL 2010 2 0625426.3)

2). 3D-Sonic patent(PCT/CN2014/085842;PCT)

3). Substitutable toothbrush heads patent(201420466999.4)

4). Toothbrush handle waterproof design patent(201420466994.4)

5). Multifunctional sense charger design patent(201420466838.5)

6). Magnetic charger patent

How do you plan to market it?

3Deep are making high-end products of the industry by research and development, which can provide consumers the best quality and user experiences in facial care. Based on the direction of social media, 3Deep are developing branding strategy and marketing channels of distribution. 3Deep highlights the quality and value for money on high-end products. The cooperative model to entering retail market will meet needs of two parties to achieve win-win. At the same time we will build global E-Business include: B2C networks:Ebay、Amazon、Aliexpress、JD.COM、TMALL.COM etc.

B2B networks:Global Sources、CXT.1688.COM、INNOCLAN.COM、Authorized retailers etc.

How did you did decide on a manufacturer?

3Deep Inc. is headquarter which locates in CA of USA. The Group has two branch offices- 3DEEP LIMITD in Hongkong and 3Deep IT LIMITD in Mainland of China. As I said, one of our cofounders owned a big manufacture which is producing high-end E-toothbrush. So 3Deep Inc. are capable of pursuit of excellence and high quality for customs.

What advice would you give to those interested in inventing?

The more you invest in human behavior research in the future, the more idea you will get in inventing.

Click here to visit the campaign page

Jan
0

HAMBOARDS®… Ride The Pave Update

BY DON SANDUSKY AND THE HAMBOARD TEAM

Click here To buy the Hamboard at www.hamboards.com
Click here to buy the Hamboard at www.amazon.com

The flow and feeling of surfing is only a Hamboard® away…

Hamboards® is a street-ready skateboard that captures the essence of surfing – the skateboards that really feel like surfing. Their motto is “Ride the Pave.”

Each Hamboard model is known for its high quality, handcrafted style and a surfboard-like feel and look. In the surfing community they are known as the closest thing to surfing on land.

Hamboards was founded in 2003 and is operated by the Hamborg family in Huntington Beach, Calif. Pete, 52, the patriarch of this surfing family, is helped by his five lifeguard sons: Gus, Anders, Chapman, Jachin, and Moses. Their mother, Kathy, keeps everyone in line and surfs as well. Holding true to a family style business, cousin Don Sandusky manages the business from the East Coast office, while family friend Basil Krikelis keeps them all legal. Whenever possible, the East Coast team sneaks out to the West Coast for a surfer’s version of a “board meeting.”

Hamboards were initially designed around the Hamborg’s kitchen table and inside their garage. And truth be told, for a long time it was just an overgrown hobby until early 2012 when the transition to being a true business started to occur (surfers take note: this transition stuff is not a totally “stokable” process).

Currently this little family-run company that grew out of a garage down near the beach is selling Hamboards worldwide. The Hamborgs have stayed true to their roots and Hamboards are a fresh and authentic surf/skate brand.

Never designing a “product” but always making a board that they wanted to ride themselves, the Hamboard clan refused to compromise on quality and craftsmanship in every detail. Not realizing “you shouldn’t” design a skateboard the way they have…they went ahead and did it anyway…and came up with something ground breaking.

The result? No matter where you are – the flow and feeling of surfing is only a Hamboard away. There is a little bit of surfer in almost all of us, and everyone has a “California Dream” of one sort or another. When you ride a Hamboard suddenly your body takes your mind to that place in your imagination where you are cruising down the face of a glassy peeling sun-kissed wave in front of a white sand beach thick with palm trees. We know of nothing else that has this magic. Hamboards has the “lightning in a bottle” when it comes to capturing the surfing experience.

To get the biggest selection of Hamboards for purchase you can go to www.hamboards.com. You can also visit upscale surf lifestyle retailers like Huntington Surf and Sport, Ron Jons, Maui and Sons, Aqua East, East of Maui, PB Boys Club, Trident Surf, Maui Nix, and Surf Station – they all carry Hamboards.

For Hamboards rental opportunities check out Jacks on the Beach in Huntington Beach, and Sailing Crazy in New Caney, Texas.

Hamboard riders are already planning something new. With the new Hamboard designed land-paddle, called the Streetsweeper®, the connection with Stand Up Paddleboarding is locked in tight. Suddenly the flow and feel of Stand Up Paddleboarding, plus the excellent workout and fitness challenge, is now as accessible and convenient as grabbing your Hamboard and Streetweeper and hopping on.

The original HAMBOARDS®… Ride The Pave was posted on InventionsStories.com back in November, 2013. We contacted Don Sandusky, Principle at Hamboards and asked him to answer the following questions:

If you had the idea for Hamboards today, what would you have done different?

“For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”, Alexander Pope, 1711. So many layers to that great quote… Hamboards started as a garage hobby about 10 years ago, but the Hamboards company just turned 5. Since we decided to be a company, my single biggest regret is wasting so much time admiring our own beautiful navels and expecting our popularity to motivate the institutional USA retail sales channels to breath our business to life! Yes, we hit the Shark Tank jackpot and we continue to enjoy an outsized, active and engaged social media platform, but being authentic and popular is only a part of business success. If I could roll back the clock to 2012, we could have saved a lot of blood sweat and tears with an immediate and relentless focus deriving a viable/scalable supply chain, engaging a reliable fulfillment center and building a viable direct to consumer “e-commerce machine”. I wouldn’t have wasted nearly so much time, talents and treasure trying to force small-scale manufacturing and pursuing the institutionalized USA Sports Retail sales channel… But then again, we didn’t know what we didn’t know back then.

In what stores and websites can they be found in and how did you make it happen?

In the USA, our primary direct sales channel is our online marketplace, www.hamboards.com and our own Amazon marketplace. Direct sales require intensive focus on product quality, customer service, inventory management and in order to manage it all… a fully synchronized information Technology is critical here. Pioneering through direct sales ain’t easy, but at least we have an opportunity for direct dialog with our own enthusiasts. Our retail shop in Huntington Beach has been great for sinking local roots, but everything in Southern California is administratively cumbersome and very expensive, so the HamShop is far from a financial success. As for the wholesale route, the USA Sports Retail marketplace has been a train-wreck for ~3 years running and the USA Distribution and Specialty Shop approach have been similarly dubious… From our perspective, there’s only consolidation and more pain ahead.

Outside the USA, our primary sales have been through pioneering… what we call Official Brand Importers, who represent our brand online and sell direct to consumers via web and through their own retail shops. We are starting to find success with a handful of traditional territory distributors as well. Our best markets have been Iberia, UK, Scandinavia, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Australia. Outside the USA, we sell EXW, which is great business if you can get it. We’ll be at ISPO Munich February 4-8, 2017. Come see us at B6.424 in the surf skate longboard embassy.! (https://www.facebook.com/LongboardEmbassy/)

What is the most challenging obstacle you face today and what is your approach to overcoming it?

No revelation in the fact that the top handful board sports equipment distributors command the majority of revenue and profits, so long as their institutions are aligned and disciplined. In that steady-state, start-up’s, like Hamboards, are worthy of investment because strategic partnerships are reasonably common and additive… But when the industry Commanders fail, the pioneers suffer even worse.

The traditional USA Retail sales channel has been in absolute shambles while it restructures and reacts to e-commerce. The little guys get hurt the worst… and here’s how… The small brands are often consigned at these large retailers. Bankrupt retailers are liquidating consigned sporting goods in their shops (e.g., 50%-40% discount) and the Courts are agreeing to Terms of Settlement such that the Retailer pays the manufacturers 60% of the proceeds… So: 50% of retail price * 60% = 30%, which probably is below the innovative manufacturers costs of goods sold. The small branded innovators can’t even claw-back their own consigned inventory to sell themselves. (http://www.kccllc.net/sportsauthority/document/1610527160401000000000029, pages 5 to 8). These innovators are at the end of the line and hardly stand a chance. That math inverts most of the small and innovative equipment manufacturers that relied upon these Retailers. The board sports industry, by its very design, is thriving with innovation, competition and freshness. Leadership has failed the industry when innovation is ignored and pioneers are discouraged.

It’s still problematic. Now,.. the primary board sports manufacturers and distributors have full warehouses, so they’re cramming inventory down through all manner of discounted sales channels. The current cadre of industry leaders seem to be desperately groping between each other for bigger slices of a shrinking pie. I think of it like they stuck big straw inside a blueberry pie and sucked half the insides out and now they’re fighting over the slices. None of this is because of a lack of innovation or consumer demand… but because that’s how the industry has been managed. Distributors are competing against Retailers while Manufacturers are attempting to go direct in effort to end-run the entire mess. Amazing… These circumstances are debilitating the start-ups and sports equipment innovators. Specialty retailers who operate with limited cash flow anyway, are flooded with copy-cat product lines and liquidation promotions… All of this may seem necessary to CFO’s and bankers but, but these tactics are damaging to the entire industry. Over the last two years there have been myriad restructuring (bankruptcies) of sports equipment retailers, and some of the admirable few of the better managed retailers, like Big 5 (https://sgbonline.com/big-5-sees-q4-earnings-reaching-high-end-of-guidance/) have captured value.

Hamboards approach to avoiding the herd mentality has been what I call the “prairie dog approach”… We keep working on authentic innovation and direct sales. We pop-up opportunistically when it’s clear and keep our heads down otherwise. We actually have a working company so Hamboards continues to focus on innovative product and communication with our enthusiasts. We are fortunate to connect with an admittedly small group of enthusiastic customers, but they are worldwide and we benefit by a highly relevant and engaged direct dialog. It’s way more work, and much smaller-scale than we would like, but at least we’re not charging off a financial cliff.

Final Thoughts…

If your readers know of or have a niche surf/skate/board sports product, and a brand that fits with the HAMBOARDS lifestyle… and you would like to explore a fit with us to reach direct to consumer marketplaces, please contact us at media@hamboards.com. We think that an authentic, niche business doesn’t necessarily need to be limited to location, but you must face facts: the USA Retail channel is in shambles and AMAZON has already established the consumer expectation standard for direct to consumer e-sales. So, if you’re going to step-up to running a worldwide, direct to consumer niche marketplace, you better 1) have a scalable and reliable supply solution, 2) have a reliable fulfilment and customer service solution, 3) master synchronized information technology and 4) embrace the fact that the world is truly flat! At Hamboards, purely by necessity, we’ve mastered this approach (in a very small but scalable way) and we’re looking forward to adding more innovative niche brands to our rapidly expanding marketplaces.

For more information: www.hamboards.com

Jan
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Shaun Masavage and Fret Zeppelin

BY ROBERT BEAR

Pushing the gas pedal on learning guitar. Many want to learn to play, but don’t ever get there due to time constraints, cost of lessons, and struggling to learn proper technique on their own. Fret Zeppelin replaces frustration with fun, giving players a digital training tool right on the neck of their guitar. This is the vision of Shaun Masavage and Fret Zeppelin and I think it’s a great one.

Fret Zeppelin is a state-of-the-art LED addition to your guitar. It fits just above the frets and shows you exactly where to put your fingers to play anything you can imagine! Now you can play songs intuitively, not just one note or chord at a time. Fret Zeppelin helps you play through the entire song on the FIRST try! After you play a note, the app detects the sound and lights up where you put your fingers next.

I play a little guitar myself and could of used the Fret Zepplin when I started. I have poor technique and never became the guitarist I wanted to become. I understand why people want to learn to play and why so many give up. Until your fingers are calloused, they hurt each time you practice and it takes playing to get better. I remember the first time I recorded my playing and thought it sounded good. When I played the recording and learned how horrible it sounded I wanted to quit. It took a long time before I could actually play.

The Fret Zeppelin make sense to me. It helps you get through the hardest part in the beginning so you can learn play immediately and sound better quickly. Whether you have a guitar sitting in the corner of your bedroom collecting dust or picking the guitar for the first time do yourself a favor and pick up the Fret Zepplin. I found the Fret Zeppelin Kickstarter campaign and contacted Shaun Masavage and asked him to answer the following questions:

How was the prototype process?

Intense. You simply cannot release a product until you are 100% positive things will work properly in mass production. In theory, making a prototype is easy, but making something that can be mass produced is a much different story. So many more details need to be perfected. We went through many different stages. If you visit our website (www.fretzeppelin.com) and scroll down to “Research & Development”, you can see images of all the prototype stages! We already have a contract manufacturer set up that we’ve visited in person- another critical step to the process.

How was the patent process?

We patent our brands for defensive purposes. Everything we design is completely from scratch and novel, so we simply don’t want anyone trolling us and claiming nonsense. It took us a while to find a reasonably-priced and honest patent attorney. We were able to reduce a lot of cost by creating most of the drawings, details, and claims ourselves. The attorney essentially just “legalized” the language and processed the submission. We’re a company of engineers, so the process was easier than what it would be for a company that doesn’t have such a technical-heavy background.

How do you plan to market it?

We usually are very heavy on wholesale purchases, but with Fret Zeppelin we’re investing more into advertising for direct-to-consumer sales. Even if it involves a personal interaction with the customer, it’s worth the time because Fret Zeppelin is a higher-priced product.

How did you did decide on a manufacturer?

Recommendations. We’ve had a manufacturing relationship since 2014, but we found them through the recommendations of acquaintances at other companies. You should never choose a manufacturer without getting references. You want someone who will truly work with you to maintain quality.

What advice would you give to those interested in inventing?

Kickstarter! Honestly, crowdfunding was the only reason we were able to start making brands and products. It allows you to validate your market with a production-ready prototype instead of risking a great deal of money on manufacturing before-hand. The crowdfunding community also tells you what they, your customers, want most so you can tailor your products to best meed their needs.

Click here to visit campaign.

For more information please visit www.fretzeppelin.com