InventionHome Seeks Inventors to Pitch DRTV Companies
|Written by Gene Quinn
Patent Attorney & Founder of IPWatchdog
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Posted: Sep 16, 2013 @ 8:15 am
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InventionHome will be hosting the DRTV Product Summit, a one-day event on October 24, 2013, at Robert Morris University that will give everyday inventors the opportunity to pitch their products to six (6) leading “As Seen On TV” companies in one location. Twenty-four (24) inventors will be selected from all of the submissions received and invited to attend the event. Submissions are due by September 30, 2013. The selected inventors will receive 10-minute private pitch sessions with each of the six companies in attendance (60 total minutes). Essentially, this is the inventor/licensee equivalent of speed-dating. There is no fee for either the companies to attend or the inventors selected to participate. InventionHome is paying to cover the cost of putting the event on at Robert Morris University, which is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
So why is InventionHome doing this and how will they make money? InventionHome will only make money if one or more of the inventors in attendance strike a deal as a result of interest generated by the pitch and the product subsequently generates revenue on the market. If a deal is closed InventionHome will broker the deal, which means they manage the entire product review and evaluation process, handle contract review and contract signing and ensure royalties are collected when due. The InventionHome broker’s fee for those reaching deals as the result of the Summit is 20% of any net revenue received for a license agreement or 5% of gross revenue if a wholesale agreement is reached.
According to Russ Williams, the President of InventionHome, when this idea was first conceived they wanted to come up with “something that was a win-win for everyone involved.” Initially he told me they were a little anxious about whether something this ambitious would be possible. “When you embark on a project like this you hope and then wonder,” Williams said. “Will we get enough high quality inventions? Will we get enough interested companies? Will both parties perceive there to be value, because if either party doesn’t perceive value it could end up a failure.” But now with two successful events under his belt he sees the sky as the limit. (See the YouTube clip below for information and testimonials from inventors and companies that attend.)
This will be the third DRTV Product Summit hosted by InventionHome. Over the first two Summits some forty-three (43) inventors pitched their inventions in the format described above. Thirty-eight (38) of the forth-three (43) have left the Summit with at least one of the company representatives expressing some interest in pursuing additional discussions. Ultimately, fifteen (15) of the thirty-eight (38) inventors have received either a term sheet, licensing deal or rep agreement. Williams says that one of these inventors, who invented a product called Turbo Roaster, “could have a homerun.” While the original deal with a company from the Summit didn’t come to fruition that deal enabled InventionHome to broker another deal and after months of preparation, the product is scheduled for a nationwide TV Spot starting this fall. Product is already being shipped to retailers across the U.S. for the Turbo Roaster and those involved with the project are cautiously optimistic that this may well be the huge success that you dream about. If that happens, the DRTV Product Summit will easily be cemented as a must for serious inventors looking to be discovered.
Of course, putting together a program like this takes a lot of time. It needs to make sense from both the inventor perspective in order to attract inventors with the highest quality products that are a good fit for being sold in the “As Seen on TV” format, and it has to make sense from the company perspective. That means a lot of review work is done behind the scenes to select the twenty-four (24) inventors that have the best chance to succeed. It also means that the deadline for submissions has to be weeks in advance of the event so that proper time can be spent vetting the inventions and inviting the inventors. Inventors do have to pay for their travel and expenses, but opportunities like these can be few and far between for independent inventors who struggle many times to get noticed and gain the right audience with decision makers who can green light a project.
The ideal inventor who can take advantage of this opportunity is one that already has at least some kind of prototype. If you do not have a prototype Williams suggests that you should still submit the invention to be considered because if they found something that they believed was really good they would still move forward despite the lack of a prototype in at least certain circumstances. Of course, the more developed and complete your invention the more valuable it will be and the easier it will be to communicate the virtues of the invention in a 10-minute private session.
From what I have seen this seems like an excellent opportunity for all inventors with “As Seen On TV” inventions. Of course, as with any representation or other deal presented definitely read the agreement completely and make sure you are comfortable with the deal. Any successful deal, whether between you and a broker or you and a company is a relationship and you need to be comfortable with the deal.
Submit inventions at – DRTV Product Summit.
Best of luck and happy inventing!
About the Author
Gene Quinn is a US Patent Attorney, law professor and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. He is also a principal lecturer in the top patent bar review course in the nation, which helps aspiring patent attorneys and patent agents prepare themselves to pass the patent bar exam. Gene started the widely popular intellectual property website IPWatchdog.com in 1999, and since that time the site has had many millions of unique visitors. Gene has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the LA Times, USA Today, CNN Money, NPR and various other newspapers and magazines worldwide. He represents individuals, small businesses and start-up corporations. As an electrical engineer with a computer engineering focus his specialty is electronic and computer devices, Internet applications, software and business methods.