As the Executive Director for the Minnesota Inventor’s Congress, Deb Hess is a veteran in the field of invention education and assistance. She has extensive experience as an advisor for inventors across the nation, using the MIC as a resource center for both seasoned entrepreneurs and those who have just embarked upon the process, or conceived of their very first idea.
What can Deb offer you?
“The foundation of the MIC is the same as it was fifty one years ago. We help inventors find reliable resources, tools that they can use to make sound business decisions. We are a year round resource center, and technology has enabled us to expand to aid the entire nation.”
Deb is available by phone call (1-800-468-3681) and through the website “inventhelper.org”. A toolkit may be downloaded from the site, and includes a description of the invention process, lists of varied additional resources, valuable websites and directories.
The calls Deb receives are varied – some questions, she admits, she’s heard thousands of times over the last decades. And some still surprise her.
“I generally keep the advice I offer broad – I have to stay fairly general. We focus on directing inventors in the right arena. For example, if an inventor is looking for a manufacturer of rubber products, I have a directory I can provide for them. If they’ve been taken advantage of by an invention promotion company, I recommend that they contact the national inventor fraud protection website, who will offer them tips on how to communicate with said companies.”
I consider talking with like-minded inventors as one of the most valuable tools you can employ – Deb also connects inventors that may be in the middle of the process with other similar individuals.
“First and foremost, I want them to truly understand the process. To know that there are steps that exist, and for an inventor to be able to check those steps off and know that they are making progress. If I can help them through some little glitches, or another inventor can, that’s excellent,” Deb explains.
Both seasoned and entrepreneurs and first-timers are welcome to the MIC. The organization is recognized as an extremely safe place for inventors to speak out.
“Sometimes I merely act as a sounding board. I help inventors answer their own questions and process their thinking. I very rarely ask what their product actually is. The process and the steps are preeminent – NOT what I think about their idea.”
Tune into Wednesday’s blog to read about the MIC’s 51st Annual Exposition!
Listen the complete audio interview by clicking HERE
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