Nov
0

Indiegogo and Microventures Part 2

BY ROBERT BEAR

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I am posting these Frequently asked questions from the email:

What is equity crowdfunding?

With equity crowdfunding, investors get a financial stake in the company they’re supporting. Indiegogo and MicroVentures, two leaders in the crowdfunding and investing space, created an equity crowdfunding platform that allows financial investment in innovative startups.

Why should I consider equity crowdfunding?

Equity crowdfunding allows you to offer investors a real stake in the company. The new platform gives you exposure to a passionate community of early adopters who are looking to invest in the next big thing. Raise money from an engaged community of investors while maintaining company control.

Who can use this service?

Any US-based company interested in equity crowdfunding can apply.

How much can I raise?

You can raise up to $1,000,000 with a Title III offering, and there is no limit on a 506(c) offering. Indiegogo and MicroVentures allow you to do a Title III offering, a 506(c) offering, or both.

What are the different ways I can raise money?

You can decide to offer company shares in exchange for investment with an equity offering, offer a revenue share to investors, or even raise funds via a debt offering.

How do I get started?

Simply apply using the link below. You’ll be prompted to provide some information about your product or service and we’ll reach out if we have additional questions.

I clicked on the link and received this…

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I don’t have a product or service to offer at this time, but I am interested in becoming an investor. It appears there are only four choices at this time…

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I clicked on

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Coming soon: Indiegogo and Microventures Part 3

Nov
0

Indiegogo and Microventures Part 1

BY ROBERT BEAR

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Background

We began collecting stories to share on InventionStories.com back in 2008, the same year Indiegogo began crowdfunding. I love crowdfunding not only for the ability to raise money but for the market research it provides. We have shared many invention stories of inventors and their crowdfunding campaigns from Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the years.

MicroVentures

According to Wikipedia, MicroVentures is an equity crowdfunding website offering investments in early stage companies. MicroVentures connects accredited investors with startups, businesses and services looking to raise funds or participate in select secondary market opportunities. It is the only major equity crowdfunding site that is a broker-dealer registered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the first to take a portfolio company to a successful exit. As of October 2013, MicroVentures had raised $20 million, spread among 45 companies including Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp (before they reached the public markets).

Indiegogo

Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding website founded in 2008 by Danae Ringelmann, Slava Rubin, and Eric Schell. Its headquarters are in San Francisco, California. The site is one of the first sites to offer crowdfunding. Indiegogo allows people to solicit funds for an idea, charity, or start-up business. Indiegogo charges a 5% fee on contributions. This charge is in addition to credit card and PayPal charges that range from 3.5% to 9%. Fifteen million people from all around the world visit the site on a monthly basis.

The site runs on a rewards-based system, meaning donors, investors, or customers who are willing help to fund a project or product can donate and receive a gift, rather than an equity stake in the company. Following changes in Security and Exchange Commission earlier in 2016, Indiegogo has partnered with MicroVentures to offer equity-based campaigns beginning in November 2016, allowing unaccredited investors to participate with equity stakes.

This Week

We received this email earlier this week…

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…and believe this to be something special. There seem to be only four options at this time to invest in.

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Coming Soon: Indiegogo and Microventures Part 2

Nov
0

Choppy Somgee and Matt Waterton…the Waveblade Sports Roller

BY ROBERT BEAR

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I have tried a lot of different ways to keep my body fit as I age. I use a hot tub, massage chair, inversion table and occasionally stretch but they don’t seem to help much. I find using a tennis ball on my trigger points makes a difference but is awkward. I watched the video below and believe this product will give my body its best chances of feeling good. This product may have been designed for athletes but I believe everyone can benefit. If an athlete or someone who gets out of bed sore to start the day the Waveblade Sports Roller will spell RELIEF.

The Waveblade Sports Roller is a durable, versatile, and highly effective sports massage product that dramatically improves the way athletes address their preparation and recovery sessions, enhancing athletic potential. Compared to existing foam roller solutions, the Waveblade represents a transformational innovation, delivering big benefits to both amateur and professional athletes alike. I contacted Choppy Somgee and Matt Waterton, the inventors of the Waveblade Sports Roller and asked them to answer the following questions:

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What gave you the idea?

▪ Self-massage tools have been around since 1998 and commonly called “foam rollers” or “self massage tools” in the fitness and health industry.

▪ As recreational athletes and movement coaches we both Matt and I experienced first hand that the self massage tools in the industry did not last long, were expensive, lost there effectiveness in a very short period of time most importantly did not use the current sports science.
▪ This is evident in the fact that we are still using the same self massage tools (foam rollers) we have been using since 1998 despite the advances in scientific research!
▪ In addition to this the self-massage tools were neither individualised enough nor specific enough to live up to their claims of causing positive, long-term change.
▪ A good example of this is the fact that the leading self massages tools has neither evolved in its education nor technology since the company was founded in 2002! There is something wrong here.

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What made you act?

▪ Both Matt and I knew that the products on the market were not causing long term positive change and that a better more effective and individualised solution was needed
▪ When we met in Sydney in 2013, we put our heads together and decided to do something about it!

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How was the prototype process?

▪ We started 3 years ago, and the prototyping process has been a great learning experience for both Matt and I from many different angles.
▪ Prototyping is an entirely new language, we have had to research and familiarise ourselves with different cultures and languages, current manufacturing technology (3 D printing) and material engineering.
▪ One thing we can both agree on is that building a quality product, like the Waveblade, is an expensive and highly time consuming process.

▪ Our Three keys to success are:

1. Believing in your vision unconditionally, trust yourself.
2. Always making decisions based on your values, never sell out.
3. Having the courage to let go of ideas and relationships as soon as they stop serving the greater good!

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How was the patent process?

This was another fantastic learning experience.
Like prototyping this is another language and entirely new realm of learning for the young blood entrepreneurs.
The patent journey has been interesting as we had to do a lot of reading and cross referencing of global laws and processes.
The most confronting thing about the patent process has been trusting the lawyers (cliché?) and building transparency in the relationship.

What we learnt:

1. Align yourself with a small to middle size law firm that specializes in international product patent registration, bigger firms don’t care, are expensive and will suck you dry financially.
2. One of the big mistakes we made was patenting too early. Patenting early has its advantages, however if you are like us and are still going through prototyping we would highly encourage you to patent your idea and concept once you have your final, market ready Alpha prototype that ready for manufacturing. This will save you the pain and expense of constantly modifying your IP, trust us on this one.

How do you plan to market it?

We have a fantastic product and we are very proud off (and so is James Dyson), at its core the Waveblade Sports Roller is really about education.

Our goal is to educate and empower sports coaches, therapists, athletes and trainers and challenge the status quo in self-massage tool for body recovery and human performance.

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How did you did decide on a manufacturer?

Great question!

In early 2014 were working with a design and engineering firm in Taiwan and had assumed we were ready to go for manufacturing and were very excited that’s until we met a potential investor who gave us a shocking reality check.

In late 2014 we pitched the Waveblade to a panel of investors in Byron Bay, Australia via a start up accelerator hub “Startinno”. From the pitch a potential investor approached us. Happy days, and so we thought. Long story short, the investor ripped our engineering and manufacturing apart and we had to start from square one with the Waveblade.

At this point we were devastated, we did not have the financial resources nor the engineering expertise to move forward, we were lost.

In true Waveblade form we persisted, embracing the challenge, after all the obstacle is the way and it paid off. Matt followed an engineering lead, which turned out to be the turning point for us, this was the game changer for us and it is the Wavebalde Sports Roller you see today

That’s how we decided on manufacturing.

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What advice would you give to those interested in inventing?

1. Ideas are great! The most important advice is to do your homework, you can find a solution to any problem but you need to do your homework. First and foremost you need to ask yourself:
a. Is there are market?
b. How big is it?
c. Does my idea have scalability?
d. Can I build an ecosystem around my idea?
2. Being an inventor is easy, being and entrepreneur takes work. Both Matt and I have athletic backgrounds and we use this experience and mindset as our key ingredients to success. The athletes mindset is made up discipline, persistency, comes unconditional self-belief, hyper adaptability and humility.
3. All investors, in my opinion, should be open to wearing many hats and a student of the entire process from engineering to manufacturing to marketing to negotiating with potential investor.
4. Ask for help every step of the way but be self-sufficient.
5. Keep a list of concepts and inspirations along the journey, this is one of my favourites:

“ You can plan and pretty picnic but can’t predict the weather” Andre 3000 (Outkast).

Click here to visit Kickstarter Campaign

For more information please visit http://www.wavebladesportsroller.com

Oct
0

Petra Wadstrom and Solvatten

BY PETRA WADSTROM

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Hello, I’m Petra Wadstrom, inventor of Solvatten, and this is my invention story.

Access to clean drinking water is a major crisis facing developing countries. There are 1.2 billion people worldwide living without safe drinking water and 1.6 million diarrhea deaths every year caused by water-borne diseases. The majority of these are among children under five years of age.

Solvatten, a water container that harnesses the sun’s energy to make dirty water safe to drink, is a simple technology that can have a huge impact in poor communities in the developing world. The solar-powered water purifier is also easy to use – pour ten litres of water into its two tanks, leave it in the sun for a few hours and afterwards collect the safe water. The system can also be used as a portable solar heater, supplying warm water for improved personal hygiene and household use.

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Though Solvatten, or ‘Sun Water’ in Swedish, may seem like a simple solution, it took 11 years to research and test out the product. Petra Wadstrom of Sweden, the inventor, developed Solvatten through her previous experience in working on the problem of unsafe drinking water in poor countries and her motivation to help solve it. “To understand and imagine the situation of constantly living with unsafe water and illness made me focus to find an easy to use solution for women and children”, says Wadstrom.

Solvatten AB is only 3 years old, but has already established itself as a company with a sustainable and practical solution to the clean water challenge. The system has a direct and immediate benefit to individual health and quality of life in developing countries by replacing traditional ways of heating water – such as kerosene, charcoal and firewood with an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative.

Wadstrom believes that bringing fresh eyes to the problems that people are trying to solve in the developing world is needed. “I also have a vision to inspire teachers and students to look at problems and solutions from a different angle, to be inspired by Solvatten to open up discussions about climate change, biology, maths and social relations.”

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Today, the product is primarily distributed through NGOs using micro-finance and subsidies, but Wadstrom hopes that over time the business model will transform so Solvatten can be purchased directly by users themselves.

Working with organizations from Kenya to Nepal, Solvatten’s main goals are to support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and to reduce deforestation through a turn away from firewood usage. Wadstrom values solutions like Kopernik, which she believes look with “fresh eyes at the problem of supplying much needed technologies to developing countries.”

More information about Solvatten can be found at www.solvatten.se 

Oct
0

Guido van Hofwegen and the Nazava Water Filter

By Guido van Hofwegen

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Hello, I’m Guido van Hofwegen, inventor of the Nazava water filter, and this is my invention story.

guido[1]For a company that has only been in existence for a little over a year, Nazava is already showing an outstanding record. It has sold a total of 20,000 ceramic water filters and has introduced 12 different product lines to give consumers a variety of options. It also operates 6 different store locations throughout Indonesia, where consumers can directly purchase water filters, and offers a delivery service to families who don’t live near stores.

Behind Nazava is Guido van Hofwegen from the Netherlands, who wanted a simple solution for clean water that is affordable for everyone. He relocated to Banda Aceh, Indonesia from The Netherlands in 2007 with his wife to work with NGOs that are still operating there two years after the devastating Indian Ocean earthquake. Immediately, he observed the difficulties of obtaining clean, drinking water: “It’s expensive to always buy water by the gallon for a dispenser at home or to boil water using a kerosene (or gas) stove. There are isi ulang (refill) stations to get clean water from, but the quality is not so good. Plus, it’s a hassle to transport water from the station with a bicycle, especially if you don’t live near a station.”

Determined to change things around, Guido looked into ceramic water filters used by a water project in Bangladesh that he knew about from a friend. He also visited a factory in Brazil that produces water filters for home use and brought a sample back to Banda Aceh to use in his own home. Neighbours soon began noticing and asking how they can also get one for their house. Guido began taking orders for people from the factory in Brazil, and realized he had unknowingly created a market for water filters once the orders reached a couple thousand units.

In December 2009, Guido established Nazava in Banda Aceh, where the Brazilian and Indian ceramic water filter candles are assembled by hand onto a variety of models that is a water filter, purifier and dispenser all in one. With the Nazava ceramic water filters, tap, well, and river water can all be filtered to clean water that is 100% safe for human consumption. The water produced by the Nazava water filter is in fact healthier than the one found at the isi ulang stations, and is tested and approved by several international institutions as well as the Government Health Department of Banda Aceh.

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Aside from the convenience of having it at home, the affordability of the Nazava water filters is what appeals most to residents in Indonesia. The best selling model, the Bening 1 or Clear Water Filter, only costs about 15 USD and filters 2 to 3 liters of water per hour. The ceramic filter candles need to be cleaned weekly and are easily replaceable for only 50,000 IDR (6 USD).

And the savings are plenty. A family of five drinks on average 15 liters per day or 5475 liters per year. At the isi ulang stations water costs around 4,000 IDR per 19 liters, which adds up to roughly 1.2 million IDR per year. A typical Nazava water filter costs around 140,000 IDR and filters 7000 liters before needing to change the filter candle. With Nazava water filters, the estimate cost of water is 21 IDR per liter, which for a year’s supply of water sums up to 115,000 IDR. The same family can save about a million IDR (117 USD) every year by purchasing a Nazava water filter once.

When compared to obtaining drinking water through boiling, a family of five can save more than 43 USD per year in fuel costs, assuming that they consume 5,475 liters per year and buy kerosene at the cheapest cost of 4,500 IDR per liter. When switching from buying bottled water refills for gallon dispensers (the most expensive but common water supply), the family can save about 585 USD per year.

Customers of Nazava water filters are certainly pleased with their newfound conditions. Guido commented, “They like the convenience of having their own clean water. They now don’t have to drink water so sparingly, and also use the clean water for washing vegetables. Overall, it is a lot healthier with cleaner water from the water filter.”

More information about the Nazava Water Filter and where it can be purchased can be found at www.nazava.com and kopernik.info.

Oct
0

Dominique McCalain Barteet and Onesole

By Dominique McCalain Barteet

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Hi! I’m Dominique McCalain Barteet, creator of Onesole Shoes, and this is my invention story.

I’m a pharmacist that worked standing 12 hours a day. I needed a comfortable shoe that was also fashionable. So I inveted Onesoles with Soft-Step insoles and interchangeable tops. I traveled extensively and Onesole enabled my luggage to be lighter. I combined fashion, comfort, versatility, and convenience to create Onesole shoes.

Quick Change Artist’s Onesole shoe idea is a 20 year vision that came to fruition in the year 2002. I wanted to create a shoe that would be versatile, fun, economical, and easy for travel. You can virtually have a closet full of different shoes with a couple of our soles and some tops. Each sole has interchangeable tops that fit every sole with just a couple of snaps. This allows you to match any outfit economically and with great comfort. We also have accessories such as t-shirts, hanging collector straps, and bags to collect your different shoe tops. The idea is patented and is constantly expanding every day to fulfill an innovative shoe niche in today’s market.

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Dominique McClain Barteet,RPh is a registered pharmacist, who operates a multi million dollar pharmacy in Florida. Her family is from South Carolina and Mississippi, but she lived all over the world from Tokyo to Alaska to Seattle to Illinois to Texas to North Carolina to Charleston, South Carolina and finally settling in Palm Beach. She graduated from The College of Charleston Honors Program and the Medical University of South Carolina with honors. She was the philanthropic chairman for her sorority Chi Omega in college raising thousands of dollars for many charities. She has always been an overachiever from winning Miss American Teenager in North Carolina to joining the U.S.P.A. and playing polo even with a fear of horses. She thought of the shoe concept 20 years ago and started to toy around with it about 5 years ago as a hobby in the back of her pharmacy. It was difficult running the pharmacy and starting a new concept, as well as, a new business and a single mom.. However, with her strong work ethic and determination, along with some very good multi-tasking employees in both businesses they paved the way to success.

Today the Onesole shoes are selling like hotcakes around the world and there is no other product like it in its existence.

Dominique did all of this with no business or fashion education!!

Dominique has always liked a challenge and it looks like the gamble has paid off for her.

She was also featured on ABC’s Shark Tank.

More information about Onesole and Quick Change Artist can be found at www.onesole.com.

Oct
0

David Shaw and LUMINNO Glowaswitch Luminescent Light Switch Plates

BY ROBERT BEAR

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LUMINNO GlowaSwitch Luminescent Light Switch Plates are PATENTED photoluminescent, insulating light switch plates that make locating light switches in the dark effortless while also sealing wall switch holes from air leaks to conserve energy.

It’s a No-Brainer! Why hasn’t somebody already brought this to the market? I bet everyone remembers a time when they’ve fumbled for the light switch…NEVER AGAIN!

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Let’s examine the benefits:

Easily locate light switches in the dark.

GLOWS OVERNIGHT. Long persistence glow-in-the-dark material charges quickly in light for lasting glow when dark.

Translucent glow material allows light to travel through and charge the entire thickness of the switch plate for maximum glow performance.

Emits a pleasant, omnidirectional glow visible from any angle across a room.

INSULATES. Includes a fire retardant foam gasket backing that seals the wall switch hole from air leaks to save energy in heating or cooling.

TWO-WAY CHARGING. The white foam gasket bounces light back outward and back into the switch plate to optimize glow performance by further charging it from behind.

Easy to install with no electricity and no wiring needed.

Because light switches are often located near doors and entryways, GlowaSwitch switch plates also help with orientation and wayfinding in the dark.

Not only are they perfect for your home but a useful gift to give others. I contacted David Shaw who invented the Lummono Glowaswitch Luminescent Light Switch Plates and asked him the following questions:

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How was the prototype process?

The prototype process actually started many years ago when I first realized the irony in needing light to find a light switch in the dark. This conundrum was akin to needing to see clearly in order to more easily find a pair of misplaced glasses.

My first “prototype” was simply an existing light switch plate that I painted with craft store bought glow-in-the-dark paint. After it dried and I tried it, I was extremely disappointed with its performance and that is when I launched into the world of researching and learning all about photoluminescent materials. Traditional Zinc-Sulfide glow materials did not offer the performance and afterglow duration necessary for an overnight application and paint, no matter how many coats, was also much too thin, even in layers to provide maximum charging potential.

After deciding on a purpose-built form based on the new intended function of an omnidirectionally visible, light accepting, and glowing emitting light switch plate, I had a rough, high density foam models made by hand for evaluation.

Later in the process, I created accurate 3D CAD models of the products and was able to have them 3D Printed as SLAs, PolyJet, FDM models for dimensional checks and made adjustments from there. 3D printing machines were quite expensive years ago so it made sense to simply send files to a service bureau and have them made for me.

What was especially challenging was testing numerous photoluminescent materials. The exhausting process proved time consuming and expensive as custom formulations required suppliers to charge minimum order quantity costs to even make a small test batch. So even if I wanted to experiment with and test just a small sample, I had to purchase a full bag costing several hundred dollars. The material proved difficult to manufacture with cosmetic and performance consistency so that was another years long effort in itself to tweak all the variables to arrive at something of superior quality and performance. The know-how to get this to work the way we wanted took a very long time and required investment in actual prototype injection mold tooling as there was no way to simulate it with rapid prototyping techniques. As far as we know, our efforts have resulted in a glow performance that’s unrivaled in the current photoluminescent switch-finding solutions space and it has handily outperformed all the other glow products on the market we purchased for comparison, so far.

Since this was a self-funded, self-developed product, we knew we had to design it for optimal simplicity and value but simple is often hard in product development. After years of problem solving the deceptively “simple” concept on and off, the end result is a product with just two parts (aside from off-the-shelf screws), that can be produced using tried-and-true manufacturing processes. Those two parts offer a lot of functionality from the plate itself being able to illuminate overnight without electric power to the foam gasket acting as an energy-saving seal that retro-reflects to further enhance the glow effect, to serving as a fire-retardant barrier, and, as a bonus, even being a protective cushion in the stacked, 3-Pack packaging.

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How was the patent process?

Since this is my own personal invention project, I decided to go the route of using registered patent agents as they seemed to offer a good quality to cost ratio compared to the 5 figures larger law firms often charge to draft and prosecute patents. This proved to be an excellent value as we were able to secure both a design and, more importantly, a utility patent for our invention but as often is the case, there were subsequent office actions along the way where you, as the inventor, have to review the patent examiner’s opinion and initial rejection and rebut with your logical and considered arguments. Fortunately, we were able to show strong reasons why our invention was truly novel and unobvious. We were eventually granted a utility patent as a result. It’s safe to expect the patenting process to take up to a couple of years, a lot of it waiting for the application to churn through the system and make its way to the examiner’s desk but you’ll be “Patent Pending” during that time so it could serve as some strategic bit of perceived protection and deterrent once filed.

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How do you plan to market it?

We decided to start with crowdfunding as a way to gauge interest and get early feedback on the product. It costs close to nothing to launch on a site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo itself so we decided to start this way first and see how things go. Depending on demand and volume, we could see this product in big box home improvement store, retail brick and mortar shops, online of course on popular sites like Amazon and eBay, as well as marketed to the hospitality industry; motels, hotels, nursing homes, even AirBnB-type short term rentals, or other establishments where guests may need to safely and quickly find light switches in dark and unfamiliar surroundings. There’s also an imprinting business we can do where logos and messages are presented on our product in a unique and frequently seen way. We’ll probably do our own direct sales on our own website (www.luminno.com) shortly after the crowdfunding campaign to accept orders and generate hopefully some revenue while we explore and set up all the other options.

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How did you did decide on a manufacturer?

Having been a professional industrial designer for many years (www.metaformdesign.com), I’ve built up some knowledge in the manufacturing processes used to make our product and so was able to simply compare vendors in those specialty areas. Although we had some connections from past projects, it was still prudent to try and get a few more quotations from different suppliers to compare capabilities, pricing, and quality. Aside from the custom formulated material, which was the hardest part of our equation, we scoured sourcing sites to find alternative vendors to those we already knew just to see what came back and to get a lay of the land on what things might cost. We ended up deciding on a combination of domestic USA and Asian suppliers mostly based on availability of the raw materials, cost, and willingness to help us experiment on the chemistry side of things. Some things just made sense to do here in the USA as the parts were light weight and fairly simple to make and after calculating logistics cost and time to import from offshore suppliers, wouldn’t have been worth the on-paper savings in dollar cost. There are time, communications, travel, and frustration costs other than a dollar amount quote so those factors need to be weighed too.

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What advice would you give to those interested in inventing?

Be prepared to invest considerable time and money in your invention and pursue it only if you truly believe in it and can’t live with yourself if you never tried. It will be tone of the most challenging, rewarding, frustrating, scary, depressing, exciting, and meaningful pursuits of your life. There will always be naysayers but try not to take criticism too personally or negatively. Listen to what people are saying and try to be objective and also extremely observant of how people react and handle your prototype the first time they see and touch it. The initial raw reaction is the most valid because they have not had time to interject reasoning and deeply rationalize an answer, and it’s purely what their gut says. You want to know what their gut says because that is what a customer will feel. Is it love at first sight or is there something else not quite right?

Like many inventors, I admit I was guilty of being very guarded with my invention but in retrospect, showing it to a few trusted people earlier in the iterative process could’ve saved time and money lost from working with blinders on and in a vacuum. You don’t want to go too far down stream before you solidify a design. In general, the further down the process you go in inventing and product development, the costlier missteps and oversights will be to fix. This is especially true in hardware products that require tooling. Unlike software, you can’t upload a patch if you discover an issue later. You might have to recall thousands of physical units in the wild so tread very carefully if making a physical product that’s shipped to customers everywhere.

If you don’t possess the skillsets to do it right and efficiently, hiring professionals will get you there with the least amount of frustration and with far better, quality results. Although there are no guarantees of success in the market for anyone, even the biggest corporations with all the market research studies at their disposal, professional design and engineering will give your actual product the best chance at success (given the overall product concept has merit). Good professional industrial designers and engineers are worth their weight in gold so find a way to fund those aspects to get it done right. Your chances of reaching the summit are that much higher with a seasoned Sherpa. The product is the direct manifestation of your values and brand so treat it with respect and care and don’t just throw it over the fence and expect it to be awesome because “awesome” takes a lot of obsessive work to achieve.

Mostly remember, there is no real failure if you are moving forward and learning! Almost all inventions miss the mark in some way and are improved upon. I’ve already heard some and learned some things just in the few days it’s been on Kickstarter. The world at large will give you the answers after you take that first step to introduce it. Customers will be the spotters to tell you how to recalibrate your sights to hit the bullseye on the next incarnation if you’re listening. It’s a given that you must break some eggs to make the omelet, nothing’s perfect. Another adage is generally true too, most “overnight” successes are the result of many failed attempts; think of what it took for humans to fly in relatively consistent safety. Prepare for a long hard slog and if you don’t think you have the stomach for it, you probably shouldn’t do it. It should keep you up at night if you are serious.

Click to here visit Kickstarter campaign page.

For more information, please visit www.luminno.com

Oct
0

Tim Descoteaux and the Big Tool Rack Update

By Tim Descoteaux

FINALLY AN ATTACHMENT THAT WILL SECURELY CARRY ALL OF YOUR TOOLS!

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Hello! My name is Tim Descoteaux from Harwinton, Connecticut and this is the story behind BigToolRack™ the Ultimate Attachment. Let me begin by saying I was not looking to invent something or start a new company – it just happened based on my needs. I have always had a passion for tractors, farm, and landscaping equipment. I have owned many tractors and different types of equipment throughout the years. I started BigToolRack™ to get more out of my equipment. I had just purchased a compact tractor, which I love, but this equipment is expensive and very limited due to the fact that there is not much cargo space. I thought of the need to have a place to securely store everything and take it with you on the job all at once.

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After spending a lot of time thinking about this, I built a mock up rack. I spent most of the summer working with my son and daughter on our property using this rack to carry all our yard tools. I showed them how it worked and what it could do for us. I could use the loader for moving top soil and at the same time still have all of my tools attached as well as carry grass seed and straw with me. I found that I never wanted to take the rack off. I could even tow my utility trailer or log splitter with the rack attached. I could split wood and load it right into the rack from my splitter. I remember driving around my property with this rack and from time to time I would stop and ask my wife how she liked my BigToolRack™ and she would just smile and laugh at me. Little did I know I was on to something… I did find that this rack did not secure the tools as well as I would have liked, and it did not have all of the features I wanted so I knew I needed to make it better. I then brought this concept to a few of my close friends. Two of them are now investors in my idea. We hired a top notch design team and worked with them for several months to refine what I call BigToolRack™ the Ultimate Attachment.

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BigToolRack™ was designed with many unique feature: large cargo area, universal tool holders for rakes, shovels, axes, etc…. long lumber / fence post carrier, weed trimmer carrier, garden hose / extension cord carrier, chainsaw carrier, counter weight option, trailer hitch feature, as well as a click on wheel system that converts your rack into a roll away storage system to neatly store your tools in your garage or barn when not in use. The real beauty is you can outfit your rack the way you want it to fit your needs. My system can be attached to your tractor with a 2 inch receiver or the 3pt hitch and still give you the ability to tow a trailer once the unit is attached. This rack has many uses! I spent a lot of time developing BigToolRack™ to make your life easier and more productive.

No more running back and forth to the garage or barn for the tools you need to do the job. I think you will agree, the system sells itself. It just makes sense…

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Like my invention of BigToolRack™ the idea comes from a need that I had to get more out of my equipment that had a major shortcoming, creating this product made my life easier as well as more organized, if you can create something to make peoples lives easier the odds are there are many people out there that have the same needs as you did and will buy in on your idea. You don’t just sit there saying I want to invent something and it happens, it starts from your needs based on your interests for your everyday life.

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Coming to Market this Fall….

With all that we have learned over the past 2 years on how our customers use our product, we have had many request for customer looking for a rack for smaller tractors and atv’s…. Well we were listening we developed a rack body that would work well with any machine from 18 hp all the way up to 60 hp as well as making it work on ATV’s…. I am proud to introduce the three new racks! The Bigtoolrack XP, XP-HD & ATV SPORT RACK. All of the New Racks have a rotomolded plastic body and powder-coated metal upright, with the same great attaching parts as our original Bigtoolrack. This multifunctional rack can attach to many different off road vehicles tractors and mowers. Attaches using any standard 1 1/4 inch receiver or 2 inch receiver as well as an optional 3 point hitch connector. We are now taking orders soon for fall delivery. See how the Bigtoolrack can help you around your property and get more out of your tractor, zero turn mower and ATV! Great for recreational campers hunters or any outdoor sports that you need the ability to carry cargo on your ATV or tractor. It just makes sense.

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For more information, please visit www.bigtoolrack.com

BigToolRack © 2014
Patent Pending
PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA

Sep
0

Lori Lite and Stress Free Kids

BY LORI LITE

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Hi! I’m Stress Free Kids®  founder Lori Lite and this is how I created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger.

imageAs a parent, I spent two hours every single night trying to settle my young son down to sleep. My daughter developed stress related night terrors and myself became sick from anxiety. In an effort to help my family I created a story for my children that would entertain them while introducing them to research-based relaxation techniques. That moment began a journey that now includes 8 books, 10 CDs, a  curriculum and lesson plans. My titles are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and yoga instructors. My Indigo Dreams® audio book/CD series has been awarded the CNE Award of Excellence.

I have been interviewed and have written articles for several media outlets, including: Family Circle, NY Times, MSNBC, ABC Radio; CBS News; USA Today; Web MD; Stress Free Living; Mind, Body, and Soul; and Job Club with Tory Johnson. I have also been featured in several publications which include Prevention Magazine, Parent Guide New York, Family Circle, Kiwi Magazine, and Aspiring Woman. I’m a certified children’s meditation facilitator and Sears’ Manage My Life parenting expert. I gained national attention when I appeared on Shark Tank, an ABC/Mark Burnett production.

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I’ve just released Indigo Dreams: Kid’s Relaxation Music and will be releasing Indigo Dreams: Teen Relaxation Music this fall. Check my Stress Free Kids website, Face Book and Twitter for updates.

This video provides a glimpse of what Stress Free Kids has to offer:

My commitment to children has inspired me to donate books to The IAM Foundation and Make a Wish Foundation. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, my family and I sent hundreds of books to the children of NY to help them cope with the aftermath of 9/11. Stress Free Kids is currently helping organizations supporting our Military Families, Moms for Justice and dozens of other organization.

More information about Lori Lite and Stress Free Kids® can be found at www.stressfreekids.com.

Sep
0

Pamela Gonzalez and My Tot Clock

BY PAMELA GONZALEZ

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My name is Pamela Gonzalez, and I am the inventor of My Tot Clock. People often ask me how I came up with the idea for my product. My answer is easy…sleep deprivation was the mother of my invention!

It all started four years ago when my oldest son Gabriel was only 2-years old. His new little brother Anthony arrived and took over the baby room, along with everything in it…including the sacred crib. Gabriel was a great sleeper in his crib, but when he got into his big boy bed, all bets were off. He became a master negotiator before bedtime, he required mommy to be in the room before he would fall asleep, he would wake up in the middle of the night (sometimes multiple times), and finally he would end up in our bed.

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This became our routine, which was 100% created by a mommy who didn’t have the heart or the strength to let her big boy keep crying it out. One night…or should I say the wee hours of the morning…I was putting Gabriel back to bed for the 2nd or 3rd time, when it dawned on me that the problem wasn’t that Gabriel loved waking up in the middle of the night and disturbing everyone’s sleep, but that he had no idea what time it was!

So, I came up with what I thought was a great idea! I would tell Gabriel that he couldn’t get out of bed until the sun woke up. Genius move, right? Well, not exactly. Gabriel woke up every hour to tell me that the sun was awake! I knew I needed something better than the sun to solve this problem! I needed to buy one of those clocks. You know, one of those clocks that changes colors, so children would know when to sleep and when it’s okay to get out of bed. After putting Gabriel back down…again, I hit the Internet (hey, I was up already!), and I started searching for the magic clock! I searched, and searched to no avail. The clock was nowhere to be found, so I vowed that night to invent it!

Well, I got busy as we moms do, and I didn’t start working on my magic color-changing clock for over a year, although it never quite stopped gnawing at me.  In the summer of 2006, I finally decided to sit down and put my thoughts on paper.  Within a day or two, I had a full concept document that I was really excited about!

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After putting the concept together, the next step was to figure out what this magic color-changing clock would look like.  I invited my good friend Ben Yin (graphic designer extraordinaire!) to lunch to see what he could help me come up with.  He had two little girls almost the same age as my boys, so he quickly grasped the concept and we started brainstorming ideas.  We agreed on a throw-back style design with a changeable faceplate and a child-friendly handle.  Now, I was really getting excited!

You can’t have a concept without a name, so I decided it was time to name my baby.  Here were the top name ideas before I came up with the winner.

  • Magic Color Clock
  • Magic Time Machine
  • Nighty-Night Clock
  • Sleepy Time Clock
  • Kid Klock
  • Tike Time
  • Tick Tock Toddler Clock
  • Tick Tock Tot Clock

I started calling the concept Tick Tock Tot Clock, which sounded like a fun name, but I always worried that it was a bit of a tongue twister.  Then, one night as I was settling into bed, it hit me…My Tot Clock!  I got so excited, that I jumped out of bed and wrote it down.  It had all the elements I was looking for…short, catchy, rhythmic, and descriptive.  I also loved the word “My” since I wanted small children to love their clock as much as they loved their favorite “my” toys.

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Just in case you were wondering, the logo and tag line came much, much later!

OK…so now I have a concept document, complete with a visual of my product idea and a name!  Now what?  Obviously, I needed to PATENT it!  I picked up all the “patent it yourself” books, read most of them, and decided to hire an attorney!  I conducted interviews with half a dozen patent attorneys in the Dallas area and finally decided to hire a very well-respected sole-practitioner named Michael Diaz.
Mike and I worked hard to complete the Provisional Patent Application (PPA), which essentially allows you to date-stamp your idea until you have the time and money to submit the much more extensive Patent Application (PA). Although I had a year to submit the real-deal, I was so anxious to get things cooking that I went ahead and submitted it a few weeks later.  Mike, being one of the good guys, only charged me for the PA.  Thanks Mike!

In the process of submitting the Patent Application, we also went ahead and submitted the Trademark application for My Tot Clock, which I’m happy to say, has officially issued!  The Patent Application is still in the works (two long years later).

The good news is that you don’t actually need a patent to develop a product; you just need one to protect it.  The bad news is that it doesn’t take much for the copy-cats to design around your patent (or your product) if motivated to do so…as I unfortunately learned the hard way.  Keep reading…

At this point, I am starting to spend some serious time and money on my concept, so I decided it was time to start a company and reap the tax benefits!  I thought through lots of company names and settled on White Dove Innovations as a tribute to my mother who passed away in 2004 from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).  I know she would have been very excited about this product and very proud of her daughter for pursuing it.

wdilogo_-_small_01 After settling on a name, I submitted my DBA (Doing Business As) application, and I was in business!  A couple of months later, I decided to file my company as a Limited Liability Corporation.  White Dove Innovation, LLC was officially born, complete with an Employer Identification Number (EIN), a bank account, a P.O. Box, a telephone number and business cards!

Why, do you ask, did I feel I needed a P.O. Box and a telephone number?  How else was I going to get junk mail and phone solicitors?  Hey, it didn’t matter.  I was basking in the glory of being Pamela S. Gonzalez, President of White Dove Innovations, LLC!  My mama would have been very proud!

OK…so now I have a concept document, complete with a visual of my product idea AND a patent application!  Now what?  Obviously, I needed to SELL my idea to a company that could actually build and market it, right?

From everything I read, I knew the big boys were mostly out of reach, so I started researching the 2nd and 3rd tier players.  I prioritized the players based on product line, distribution, and willingness to evaluate independent ideas.  Then I decided to approach the first company on my list!

I submitted all the paperwork to the process owner (aka “gatekeeper”) and waited…and waited…and waited.  I finally called to inquire about the status of my submission.  She said that they were extremely backlogged and wouldn’t have an opportunity to review it for 9 months!  Of course, being a new starry-eyed inventor, 9 months seemed like a lifetime to me, so at 2:00 that morning (when I was putting Gabriel back to sleep…again), I sent an email to the president of the company.  To my amazement, he wrote to me a couple of hours later (4:00 in the morning!) and said that his VP of Product Development would be in touch!

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Two days later, the VP of Product Development called me!  We had many great chats and tons of emails over the next couple of months.  He said they were very interested in the product idea but were in the process of a major company restructuring, so they wouldn’t be able to focus on it for another 6 months.  Well, I was a Mommy on a Mission, who had no intention of waiting 6 months, so I decided to build it myself!

Warning to my Online Friends:  The VP of Product Development ended up going to another company and taking my idea with him, even though we had a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in place and my patent was pending.  In the fall of 2008, his new company launched a product that was extremely similar toMy Tot Clock.  I guess they thought they could design around my product and get away with it.  Thankfully, they’re missing a few key features (like the great bedtime stories and lullabies!).  They may have made the steak, but they completely overlooked the sizzle!

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As part of the 2-month dance with the aforementioned company, I was asked to prove that my concept would actually work.  In my heart I knew it would, but they wanted real proof!  Mommy’s Intuition isn’t enough in the business world, so I had to build a prototype!

The very first prototype I built was made from digital timers, nightlights, and a CD clock radio.  I plugged the first timer into the blue nightlight and set the bedtime.  I then plugged the second timer into the green nightlight and set the waketime.  I set the alarm on the CD clock radio to the same waketime and voila!  We were in business!  (p.s.  I also threw in a red nightlight to test the timeout concept…worked great!)

Now that we had a real working prototype, it was time to prove the concept! My wonderful husband and I made 10 prototypes and recruited all our friends with small children to participate in our little test.  We promised to serve margaritas, so it wasn’t too hard to get them interested!

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The next step was to run the test and document the results.  We setup the prototype in our boys’ room, got them ready for bed, and started the fun task of explaining to them how their new magic lights were going to work. Anthony, who had just turned 2, could describe the colors and seemed to take it all in stride.  Gabriel, who was almost 4, quickly understood the concept, but was still a little suspiscious of this new contraption in his room.  Take a look for yourself!

When the light turned blue, we put the boys down and left the room.  This was completely outside of their routine and did not make our 2-year-old very happy.  He wanted Mommy to rock him to sleep as usual, but I stayed tough and calmly reinforced the blue light / green light concept.  Big boy Gabriel was sad but brave.  Anthony screamed for 40 minutes (!) and finally fell asleep.

Although getting the boys to sleep the first night wasn’t 100% successful, keeping them in bed was!  Both boys slept in their own beds the ENTIRE night without calling out even once, and that was a FIRST for our family!  They were so proud, and we were beyond thrilled!anthony_sleep_results_-_small_03

On the second night, Anthony cried for 15 minutes before falling asleep. Gabriel was very calm and cooperative.  By the third night, they both went right to bed when the blue light turned on without so much as a peep!  This became our new, wonderful sleep routine!

The Proof-of-Concept was a huge success!  Children who had never slept in their own beds were sleeping on their own within the first few nights.  They were no longer waking up in the middle of the night or too early in the morning.  They weren’t negotiating.  They were waking up better rested and so were their parents!  We were definitely on to something!

Now, we needed to figure out how big the market was.  We started out by searching for existing research (known as secondary research), and we found plenty!  Our favorite statistics included:

  • Juvenile Products Annual Sales:  $7.1 Billion1
  • Annual Market Growth:  8%1
  • # of U.S. Children Ages 2 – 5:  16 Million2
  • # of U.S. Babies Born Each Year:  4 Million2
  • # of Licensed U.S. Child Care Centers and Pre-K Programs:  180,5443

We then decided to conduct our own survey (primary research) to understand just how many toddlers (ages 2 – 5) experienced various sleep issues.  We setup an online survey using SurveyMonkey (www.surveymonkey.com) called “The 60-Second Toddler Sleep Survey.”  Within 2 weeks, we collected nearly 300 responses from people throughout the country!  Here is what we learned:

  • Toddler Sleep Study Statistics (Ages 2 – 5)
    • 70% of Toddlers Negotiate Before Going to Sleep
    • 35% of Toddlers Sleep With Their Parents Part of the Night
    • 20% of Toddlers Sleep With Their Parents All Night
    • 50% of Toddlers Wake Up in the Middle of the Night
    • 40% of Toddlers Wake Too Early on Weekdays
    • 60% of Toddlers Wake Too Early on Weekends

We were thrilled with what we learned through our research and decided it was promising enough to continue the journey!

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Now that we have proven the concept and gathered promising market research, it was time to hire an Engineer who could create something a little more marketable than my contraption of nightlights and timers!  After an Internet search and several interviews later, I decided to hire Innoquest, a Design/Engineering/Manufacturing firm out of Woodstock, Illinois (www.innoquestinc.com).

I knew when I talked to the president of Innoquest, Bill Hughes, that I had my guy.  He asked all the right questions, immediately identified some possible challenges, and just had a way about him that I really liked.  He became my right-hand for the next several months and continues to be a trusted advisor today.

innoquest_picWithin a couple of months, not only did Innoquest come up with the technical design for My Tot Clock, but they also developed 20 prototypes for use in our field studies and tradeshows.  I can’t begin to explain the excitement I felt when I pulled the first working prototype out of the box.  All I could think was, “Wow…these littles puppies are going to be sitting on store shelves one day!”  I was practically floating!

Then, I actually put one of the prototypes in my boys’ room!  They had been using their nightlights and timers contraption for 5 months now and were deserving of the real deal!  They loved their new Tot Clock…everything about it, the lights, the story, the music, the handle, everything!  Their reaction was more than I could have hoped for.  I was overjoyed!

A great big Thank You to Bill and the Innoquest team!

prototype_3dOnce we had working prototypes, we decided to test the “real” market!  So, in April 2007 we headed to none other than the Juvenile Products Manufucturing Association (JPMA) tradeshow in Orlando, Florida.  We wanted to find out if the industry would welcome our product with open arms.  To our delight, we picked up over 100 business cards from chain buyers, store owners, catalogs, e-tailers, and sales reps, all of whom were interested in knowing more about My Tot Clock!

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My husband and I had a fantastic time at the tradeshow and the results were exactly what the doctor ordered to keep us energized as we continued the journey.  Now it was it was time to get really serious and find a manufacturer!

I had actually been interviewing manufacturers for a couple of months by the time we hit the trade show and was down to a short-list of two.  To my excitement, there were two exhibitors at the tradeshow that were actual customers of the manufacturers on my short-list!

jpma_tradeshowWhen the show started windingdown, I decided to take a little break to visit the exhibitors.  I waited for a good time to introduce myself and let them know that I was in the process of interviewing their manufacturers.  I asked if they had a few minutes to discuss their experience with these companies. They were more than happy to tell me everything I wanted to know and then some.  To my excitement, both exhibitors provided A+ recommendations on the two manufacturers!  What a blessing to have met these exhibitors.  Now I had peace-of-mind knowing that both manufacturers were upstanding companies and good partners to their customers.  Time to focus on the deal!

After nearly two months of back-and-forth with the manufacturers, I finally received detailed quotes for the Non-Recurring costs (engineering,programming and tooling) and the Production costs of the product.  They were within 10% of each other…and 50% higher than I hoped!  I decided to bring in a 3rd manufacturer to validate the cost estimates, and wouldn’t you know…they were also right in line with the first two quotes.  I had to reset my expectations.

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I finally decided on Innovation Design Products (IDP) as the manufacturer for My Tot Clock.  Their quote was very competitive, but what made them really stand out was their work ethic throughout the entire sales cycle.  They worked hard…I mean really, really hard to prove to me that they were capable of building my product.  They worked through most of the big issues during the sales cycle and already had solutions!  I also appreciated that their quotes were detailed and easy to understand.  I felt like I knew what I was getting with this company.  I felt good about them!

idp_team_01So, we signed a deal and got started!  I was assigned my very own Project Manager, Ringo Ling from Hong Kong.  Ringo and his team of engineers, programmers, quality assurance specialists, etc., have done a tremendous job as we have built My Tot Clock together!

At nearly 15 months, the development of My Tot Clock was a test in patience and perserverence.  In my own naïve thinking, I was convinced we could produce My Tot Clock in 6 months…easy!  Well, product development is never easy, and there is always a bump or two in the road.  For us, there were a few more than that!

Lights

Our first challenge was with the lights.  We had to come up with a cost-effective way to illuminate the various lights uniformly across the full surface of the clock.  The IDP engineers found a great material that would capture and distribute the lights evenly, and we were able to print the clock right on it!

Syncing

Our next challenge was to find a way to keep the digital clock and the analog clock in-sync.  Although it would have been much simpler to exclude the analog clock completely (use color only) or implement an analog-like digital clock in the front (which aren’t child-friendly), I stuck to my guns until we found a solution!  My engineers worked together (Bill Hughes and IDP) to come up with a way for the digital clock to send a volt pulse to the analog clock motor at the top of each hour.  Voila…we had synchronization!

Programming

The programming of My Tot Clock was by far the most time-consuming task of all.  We spent months programming/testing/re-programming/re-testing until we got it just right!  All the functions operate beautifully together…just like clock-work!

Tot Clock Treasures

assembly2_01Although the programming took the longest amount of time, it was the Tot Clock Treasures that nearly did me in.  In my own naïve thinking (again!), I was convinced we could implement an MP3 solution and play bedtime stories, lullabies, and wake songs of any size and length we desired.  Although I wanted to start off with child-friendly cartridges, I also planned to set the product up for future digital downloads!  It was going to be great!  But, that kind of greatness comes at a great big price and would have easily priced My Tot Clock out of the market, and I simply couldn’t let that happen.
My engineers worked through this issue diligently until they found a 32mb chipset that would allow us to deliver an 8 minute bedtime story + lullabies + a wake song + white noise…for the right price!  Now our challenge was to get all the content small enough to fit on the chip!

twin_sisters_logoNow that we had the right chip, we had to find the right content to put on it. I went through my children’s CD collection and found that most of their music was produced by Twin Sisters Productions (www.twinsisters.com), so I called them!  Why not start at the very top, right?

I was able to speak to one of the sisters right away, Ms. Karen Hildebrand. Karen was a super nice lady, very professional and very excited about my product.  We agreed on a licensing deal for her music and bedtime stories and we were in business!welcome_to_childrens_dreamland_02

I also found a wonderful bedtime story called Welcome to Children’s Dreamland by writer/illustrator Ashley Paris.  The minute I heard it, I smiled a great big smile and thought what a perfect story for My Tot Clock.  It’s filled with positive, loving messages read in a slow, almost hypnotic way.  I loved it…and so did my little testers!

dallas_audio_post_02Unfortunately, the dozens of fabulous bedtime stories, beautiful lullabies, and fun wake songs were too big to fit on our 32mb chip.  I needed to find an industry expert to down-sample the content, and I found them…right in my back yard!

The Dallas Audio Post Group (www.dallasaudiopost.com) is a leader in sound engineering, not only in toys, but also film, television, and radio.  Roy Machado, the founder, explained all the limitations of the chipset. He then came up with an approach to deliver the best possible results and worked directly with the manufacturer to make it happen!treasures_01

Thanks to Twin Sisters Production, Ashley Paris, The Dallas Audio Post Group, and IDP, we are producing 7 fabulous Tot Clock Treasures as part of the launch!   Children are going to love picking their favorite bedtime story and plugging it in all by themselves.  Say goodbye to night-time negotiations!

As you can see, I have had many business partners throughout this journey, but through it all there has been one constant (other than my husband of course!), and that is my Art Director, Joe Potter (www.joepotter.com).

I found Joe through Elance, which is a must-use service for any entrepreneur that connects buyers with service providers via the Internet.  Of all the freelance graphic designers I spoke to, Joe was the only one who had experience with all areas I was seeking (website, marketing materials, product labels, packaging design, logos, you name it!).

joe_work_02From Day 1, Joe did not disappoint!  Not only has his work been top-notch, but he is truly one of the nicest people I have never met.  Even when we’re on draft 20 of a deliverable, he always keeps his positive, upbeat attitude.  Thank you for all you do, Joe!

In order for Joe to finalize all his deliverables, he needed pictures…lots and lots of pictures!  Prior to the Trade Show, I hired a local commercial photographer to take a few shots of the early prototype.  The cost was a whopping $500 for two shots!  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the luxury of time, so I paid the money and made a note to self…find a cheaper photographer!

When I received the first factory sample, I hired a company I found on the Internet called Upgraded Images (www.upgradedimages.com).  Ken Greenlee did a fantastic job, every bit as good as the original photographer…for less than $20 a shot!  Gotta love Google and Upgraded Images!

photo_shoot_2I also had to hire a photographer to take shots of children sleeping, waking, etc. for the website and packaging.  I found a local photographer named Dan Walters (www.applecreekphoto.com).  The minute I met him, I knew he would be great with children, so I hired him!  Just as suspected, Dan had the patience of a saint and somehow managed to get some great shots of three very active tots!If you’re wondering who developed our fabulous website, it was Cratima Interactive (www.cratima.com) out of Bucharest, Romania!  Like Joe Potter, I found Cratima on Elance, and I am so very thankful I did.  They have been wonderful to work with…fast, professional, highly skilled, and very focused on customer satisfaction.  My project manager, Alina Lupu has kept everything moving forward, even when I started to run out of steam!

factory_pic_2On December 8, 2008, the first 6 units off the assembly line were inspected and the factory was released for Production!!

It has now been two years since I started working on My Tot Clock, and we’re finally ready to launch!  Oh happy, blessed day!!

We hope you will be amongst the first to give your family the gift of better sleep through a fun, innovative, child-inspired product!  Thank you for sharing in Our Story!A great big, loving thank you to my wonderful husband, or as he calls himself, the Vice President of Stuff (VPS) for White Dove Innovations.  He has been my rock, my support, and my sanity throughout this journey and has selflessly picked up the pieces at home while I pursued my dream.
Thank you to my dear family and friends for the constant encouragement and support.  Not once did they tell me I was crazy!Thank you to my precious children,Gabriel and Anthony, for being such horrible little sleepers…and the inspiration for My Tot Clock!

web_site_pic_01Thank you to all the wonderful focus group mothers and the cute little testers!

Thank you to my mentors and dear friends Todd Price and Jon Feld for all their wonderful guidance.

Thank you to all my online mentors at www.inventored.org who have been a tremendous source of learning and inspiration!

And of course, thank you to God for laying out the path, giving me a little push, and lighting every step of the way!Thank you to all my partners who helped me bring this product to market!

More information about My Tot Clock and where to purchase it can be found at www.mytotclock.com.