Calling all inventors! InventionHome is once again hosting what is becoming a yearly DRTV Product Summit. The one-day event will be held on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Inventors will be given the opportunity to pitch their products to representatives of the six (6) DRTV companies on one day in one location.
This will be the fourth such DRTV Product Summit hosted by InventionHome. Over the first three Summits some 66 inventors pitched their inventions in the format described above. 61 of the 66 have left the Summit with at least one of the company representatives expressing some interest in pursuing additional discussions. Ultimately, 18 of the 66 inventors have received either a term sheet, licensing deal or rep agreement.
Unfortunately, this event is not open to all inventors. Over the past few years the event has grown and there has been significant interest in the inventor community. In order to be considered inventors must submit their inventions to be reviewed by a panel of referees. Submissions are due no later than Tuesday, September 30, 2014. The submission and selection process insures that only the highest quality inventions are presented to the representatives of the DRTV companies that will be present. This maximizes the value for those DRTV companies, which means they keep coming back year after year. It also reserves pitch time for inventors with the most commercially ready products that have the greatest immediate chance for a deal.
“We are always looking for new products, everyone in this business is always looking for new and exciting products,” says Gary Sullivan of Lenfest Media Group. “The opportunity to see 24 new ones in a day is just like gold to us.” Of course, it is so beneficial to the companies that participate because of the rigorous screening process.
While the DRTV Product Summit is geared toward inventors with largely plug and play products, it is still nevertheless aimed at giving everyday inventors an opportunity. The major benefit to inventors selected is that they can present to serious companies that are looking for new products in one day in one location. For those inventors who have been around the block this type of opportunity will be easily understood. For inventors with a working prototype or sample product 90% or more of the work that lies ahead is to get in front of those with decision-making authority. Submissions are free, and opportunities like these just don’t happen every day.
“I think the format is exceptional,” says Bonnie Bruderer, an inventor who has attended a previous DRTV Summit and pitched her invention to companies. “Rather than going out and seeking all the top companies and maybe getting a foot in the door, I think it’s fabulous that there is an opportunity where you can come to one place and have people view their products and, if they are interested, make deals.”
Twenty-four (24) inventors will be selected from all of the submissions received and invited to attend the event and give a 10-minute pitch to each of the six different “As Seen On TV”, similar to these, companies present. Submissions will be reviewed to determine whether the product submitted solves a real problem, is a product that would appeal to a mass-market audience, and has a finished sample or prototype ready for display and demonstration. For those who do not yet have a prototype it is suggests that you still submit your product to be considered because if you have a strong product concept they would still move forward with an invitation despite the lack of a prototype, at least under some 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 sessions.
The 10-minute pitch to six different companies is the inventor version of speed-dating no doubt, but it can be extremely beneficial to those selected. “If you are an inventor and you get picked for this show you have a chance,” says Scott Hynd of the Performance Marketing Group. “You have a qualified product that has a chance to make money and you can go from inventor to successful inventor in just a matter of a day.”
So why is InventionHome putting on this event and how will they make money? I put that question to Russ Williams, the President of InventionHome. With submissions free and the cost associated with hosting the event there has to be money in it somewhere. Williams explained that 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 in the market. If a deal can be 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 Williams, the idea for the DRTV Summit was grounded in the desire to come up with “something that was a win-win for everyone involved.” In the early years Williams 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 three successful events under his belt he sees the sky as the limit.
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. No guarantee of consideration can be extended to those who submit after September 30, 2014.
From what I have seen this seems like an excellent opportunity for all inventors. At my request Williams provided me with a copy of the Agreement inventors must sign. It is a short agreement that is straight forward. I don’t see any red flags to be concerned with. Of course, as with any representation or other deal presented it is imperative that inventors completely read the agreement and make sure they understand the terms and are comfortable with the terms of 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. See the YouTube clip below for more information.
Best of luck and happy inventing!