Numerous inventors have asked me to provide them with pitching tips and strategies for Everyday Edison’s casting call. Hopefully this blog will lessen the fear and anxiety that inevitably accompanies pitching your invention to a panel of judges. But in truth, you’re constantly pitching your idea – to the businessman in a meeting, over the phone, at trade shows and even to your friends. So create your pitch, learn it, and love it – practice makes perfect, right?
This first step is extremely important. Understand what the Everyday Edison’s judges are looking for. On their website, they provide a list of reasons they are unlikely to select a particular invention under “Extra Information”. If you read between the lines, it’s clear what they ARE looking for. For example, if a product is too similar to an already existing product on the market, it will not be selected. Therefore, you must have an invention that provides a unique and different benefit. Additionally, Everyday Edison’s is very concerned with the “market potential” of a product; if it is too narrow, the invention will not be selected. Your product must have broad public appeal and large market potential. Study this information to insure that your invention does not fall into any categories that may result in its dismissal. You will incorporate the positive aspects of this new knowledge into your pitch.
Your pitch is limited to two minutes. Two minutes is a short period of time! In order for your pitch to address all of the major points Everyday Edisons requires, it must be concise and well thought-out. These are the four areas to detail (in order) I have identified.
1. Identify the problem you were made aware of.
2. Show how your invention solves the problem. This is not only the time to describe your invention, but incorporate visual aids such as drawings or pictures, as well as a sell sheet. Make sure that the title of your product and your one-sentence benefit statement are displayed clearly. The image will be powerful and memorable.
3. Compare your invention to existing products on the market. Why is yours superior?
4. Address the market potential of your product. How large is the market your invention will sell in?
This is an example of what I would say during a two-minute pitch, including an introduction.
“Hello, my name is Stephen Key. My number is 4211. The name of my invention is “Spinformation, Rotating Labels”. I read an article about how there was never enough space on labels for very important information, such as warnings, larger type for vision-impaired individuals, and/or multiple languages. So I invented a rotating label, which adds 75% more space to a label, simply by twisting the label (hold up sell sheet). There are other products on the market that attempt to solve this problem, but they are very difficult to use, and very expensive. Research shows that there are 100,000 products in the OTC (“over the counter”) industry that could use a label innovation like Spinformation. It is very user-friendly, and easy to manufacture.”