I dedicated a recent blog to inventor’s associations and groups. Some are obviously stronger than others. But President of the Inventor’s Club of Kansas City, Steve Pope, provides a primary example of what you have to gain by attending one and pursuing opportunities provided by ALL of these communities.
The ICKC is one of the stronger groups. Pope boasts an impressive attendance of fifty to eighty individuals at the club’s monthly meetings, and a total membership of around two hundred. In addition to the typical resources provided by inventor’s groups, such as nationally and locally recognized speakers, the group has a relationship with Faultless Starch company.
Pope acts a consultant for Faultless, a company renowned for its pursuit of innovation. Faultless is the company behind the German invention the “Garden Weasel.”
“The Garden Weasel was discovered at a German trade show in the 1970s. After speaking to the inventor for thirty minutes and shaking hands, a deal was struck. Within fifty days, Faultless had secured exclusive distribution rights for the Garden Weasel in the US and had begun to produce and distribute it.”
It happened just like that. Faultless operates on the same principles today – the idea that an idea can be so good, so clearly necessary and beneficial that its qualities are instantly recognizable, as someone simply “walks by.” With the invention of technology, however, it’s hardly necessary for Faultless to physically pursue great inventions, though they still do so ardently.
“Faultless used to require that all ideas submitted were already patented and market-ready. They wanted a pretty quick turn around,” Pope offers.
But times have changed. And as innovation is increasingly sought after, Faultless has changed their requirements.
“They now accept ideas that have patents pending, or provisional patents,” Pope asserts.
Pope describes what its like to find an idea that is just GREAT. He looks at thousands of submissions – how does one stand out?
“A women sent in an invention recently that blew our minds. It was instantaneous. It was unique, it was novel. The idea needed very little review, which is incredibly rare and non-typical.”
Pope says that most inventions submitted through the Faultless website are reviewed initially for less than a minute.
“Most inventors practice the art of ‘overkill’. They send in a novel describing their product, their entire life story and the entire patent. That’s unnecessary and annoying. What did this particular woman submit? A one page sell sheet. The product was clearly displayed in a photo in which it was in use, it had a name, and a few words were used to describe it. It was incredibly effective and refreshing.”
Faultless and ICKC are teaming up to hold the ICKC’s third annual Faultless Starch Garden Weasel Invention Contest. ICKC will begin receiving submissions on May 15th, and anyone “Patented” or “Patent Pending” in the nation is encouraged and eligible to apply. For more information, check out www.InventorsClubofKC.org “Contest 2008”
Pope offers this hopeful perspective: “We screened quite a few product submissions last year, but selected only eighteen in which the Inventors came to K.C. and presented in a public forum to a three judge Faultless Executive panel; of the 18, one inventor has received a licensing contract with royalty and a second inventor/entrepreneur just sold them his product business for a large lump with royalties. Both products are in Garden Weasel spring 2009 product line!”