December 5, 2011
Idea to Invention
Many great ideas end up in the graveyard – never having lived. Have you thought up the next great invention, but you're not sure how to get it off the ground?
Tiffany Krumins knows. She invented a children’s medicine dispenser called AVA the Elephant to “put a friendly face on the [medicine] dropper” kids often dread.
To reach her target market, Krumins contacted mommy bloggers whose kids could try her invention. She later took her idea to ABC reality show “Shark Tank” where she received “great exposure” – and business mogul Barbara Corcoran’s investment.
Lori Greiner had an idea for a full-length mirror that doubled as a jewelry cabinet. After securing a six-figure loan and pounding the Chicago pavement, she’s developed 350 total inventions and a brand worth $500 million.
Her secret? “Be prepared to put all of your time and effort into making [your idea] turn into a reality and success,” she tells PINK.
When Ruth Bielobocky wanted to create Tyz Scarves, which have an internal wire to keep them in place, she surveyed hundreds to women to gauge interest. To find the funds, she started with a solid business plan.
“I knew what I needed to sell in order to cover my expenses and make a profit the following year” Bielobocky says. “Then I increased my credit line at the bank to ensure the money was there to cover that inventory.”
Greiner cautions against “investing a lot of money into making the product without having an outlet that’s ready to buy.” Plus, check out the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office to get rights to your invention – and to ensure someone else hasn’t already created it. And “avoid speaking with licensing companies if you’re looking to build a brand,” says Krumins.
Sites like Womentorz and Mom Invented can help with marketing, exposure and related costs when it comes to inventing. Plus, Invent Right shares options if you’re considering licensing your idea to a large company.
Bonus PINK Link: Introducing our newest online feature for career success, C-Suite Confidential!
By Christine Kim
“I never see what has been done; I only see
what remains to be done.” Marie Curie
Supporting images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net, digitalart, David Castillo Dominici, and digitalart.