Category Archive:Coaching

ByCarolyn Keane

24 Predictions for Social Media and Social Media Marketing in 2017

The end of the year is fast approaching, which means Christmas jingles, New Year’s resolutions and… prediction posts. And while the ever-shifting social landscape eventually renders many such prognostications invalid, it’s still worth analyzing what might be on the horizon as a means of trying to understand where we’re at, and where we’re headed, as we plan for the next 12 months.

Last year, my predictions mostly pointed in the right direction, so again, I’ve decided to get in early and put down a few of my thoughts on where each platform is going, before the upcoming onslaught of ‘looking ahead’ posts.

So here are my 24 predictions for each of the major social platforms in 2017, starting with the big one – Mark Zuckerberg’s ever-expanding giant.


2016 has been another huge year for Facebook. They’ve added 197 million more monthly active users and recently crossed a billion mobile only MAU for the first time. The future of the network – as reiterated by Zuckerberg in their most recent earnings call – is video, with more emphasis to be put on live-streaming and 360 content in particular over the next 12 months. And that will cause a significant shift in the platform – here’s what you can expect.

ByCarolyn Keane

3 TV Shows to Pitch to

Adventure Capitalists

We were invited to participate last season and now the show is a huge success. It is a great premise, 3 venture capitalist personally product test new outdoor adventure products. Talk about Shark Tank, last season they tested a new shark repellent device in the ocean with school of real mean looking sharks, giving new meaning to the term “wetsuit” for one of the capitalists. These guys are crazy and a lot of fun. Check out the show here

They are looking for all types of outdoor products including but not limited to; camping, hiking, adventure, recreation, outdoor transportation, off roading, renewable energy, survival, etc. I suggest you watch the show and present accordingly. Here is the link to apply   

Harry Wants Women

What a dream come true for the right women, Harry Connick Jr. is looking for women inventors with a great story to tell for his new daytime talk show. This is great exposure! Here is a link to the talent search and here is a link to the show’s website

Dave Yonce Show

Below is the information they sent me about the show. Unlike most product hunts, shows are looking more for personality. Their guide lines are an education in themselves that everyone should read.

Asylum Entertainment and a major cable television network known for its loud, creative content is on the hunt for American entrepreneurs with well-developed concepts or prototypes for new inventions. To be considered, the invention must solve a problem, make a job more efficient, or make life more fun. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, electronics, weapons, outdoor recreation, adventure, home products, automotive, and power tools.

If selected to appear on the program, Oklahoma-raised inventor and entrepreneur, Dave Yonce, will invest money and time into you and your product, developing it into a working prototype, and in some cases, partnering with you to build your business.

For more information, email:

Thank you in advance!

Kristina Hauser
Casting Director 

ByCarolyn Keane

How to Submit Ideas to Companies “Think” Before You Send – by Roger Brown

Contacting companies for the first time can be scary and uncertain for Inventors. You want to do it right and get the company interested in your product and see it on store shelves. My invention submissions have resulted in licensing deals in toys, tools, eyeglass products, kitchen utensils, and even a device used in the nuclear industry. I did it spending less than $100 on each and some as little as $8. I utilized an NDA and Sell Sheet only, no patent or PPA. My major investment has been my time.

I have been a serial Inventor, a licensing agent and reviewed thousands of Inventor’s products. In short, I see and hear all sides of the inventing process. What I’ve discovered is sometimes inventors can be their own worst enemies. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to submitting pitches or new products to companies that can help you make a better first impression:

1. Don’t send hand-written submissions. Even if you don’t own a computer most libraries have one you can use for free. If a library isn’t an option, go to a FedEx Office (formerly Kinko’s). If you send your submission via snail mail, include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Don’t assume your target company will pay postage.

2. Do put your contact information on each piece of paper you send. That includes samples and prototypes.

3. Don’t waste a product reviewer’s time detailing how you came up with your idea. Focus on the benefits of your product/technology and why it will make the company money. Companies don’t care if your second cousin twice removed worked on your project for two years once he got out of prison.

4. Don’t use the phrase, “My idea is worth millions.” Let the company decide that.

5. Don’t use the phrase, “There is nothing else out there like my idea.” Most of the time you will be wrong.

6. Don’t say you have researched your product idea thoroughly when all you did was walk into a Walmart and didn’t see it on the shelves.

7. Don’t use the phrase, “Everyone will buy one.” This gets back to being realistic about the size of your market. Know who the target customers are. (See Rule #6)

8. Don’t send a prototype to a company unless they asked you to and are expecting it. Companies do not want to keep track of or be responsible for items they did not request in the first place.

9. Do be realistic about your expectations. Understand licensing royalties usually are about 2% to 5%. Greed can kill an otherwise profitable deal.

10. Do read and re-read everything a company sends you to make sure you understand everything in the documents. Don’t assume everything is fine and sign it. I send people my two-page non-disclosure agreement to read and sign prior to sending me anything for review. I have to include in my email an explanation to make sure they fill in their address on the top of the first page, because so many people don’t do it. This is in the first two paragraphs of the first page. So, if they are missing that what else are they missing in a longer document?

11. Don’t write a novel to explain your invention. Be concise and factual. No one wants to read a novel to get your idea. Be able to explain your invention over the phone or in person in 30 seconds or less. Practice your pitch until you can say it in your sleep. Look at the short blurb on the back of a book. It gives you an overall idea of the 300 page book. Your pitch needs to be that short.

12. Make sure you know your product. You should be the expert on your product. Never assume companies will just “Get It.”

13. Don’t send your submission to a company on Monday and call Tuesday to ask when they will be sending you a contract.

14. Do your research before submitting anything to a company. Make sure your submission actually fits their target market. Don’t submit a lawnmower idea to a soap company.(this happens more than you think)

15. Don’t send your invention submission in care of the general bulk mail of a company. Get a specific person’s name in charge of that department – new product development, marketing, inventor submissions, inventor relations, etc. Don’t send “To Whom it may concern.” The most likely place it will find is the trash basket.

16. If you call a company asking for the person in charge of invention submissions, make sure you are ready if you’re put through. This is not the time to forget pen and paper or fumble your pitch. If you get voice mail, leave a short intelligent message with your call-back number.

17. Make sure you know the time zone difference of the location you are calling.

18. Don’t send a company any package that has special storage requirements, contains a live animal or flammable liquids. Real example: An Inventor sent his new food-sealing device with samples of food sealed inside. It was not opened until a week later, by security due to the smell of the leaking packages.

19. Don’t send a company anything you can’t afford to lose. Accidents happen and things can get misplaced. If it’s a one-of-a-kind item, you may want to send a DVD or link to a video showing the product in action. If you post it on Youtube and you have not filed for any patent protection make sure it is set on Private and not Public.

20. When sending email attachments to companies, do make sure it is in a program they have installed on their computers. Not everyone has Filemaker Pro or Microsoft Office 2016. Ask if the company has a size limit on attachments. Moreover, some software automatically kicks out any email with an attachment that is not on a safe email list.

The more you do upfront to make sure you are prepared the better your chances of success.

ByCarolyn Keane

Why Do I Need a Business Plan?

Why do I need to do a business plan if I just want to sell or license my idea? It is a great question and we get it all the time.

The suggestion of doing a business plan is important for many reasons. If you are fortunate enough to be able to speak to someone or a company that might license your idea or product you need to be prepared. The interested party may ask you any or all of the following questions (example is for a product):

  • What will it be made of?
  • How much are the molds?
  • How many cavities in the mold?
  • Cost per piece, per 1000, for 10,000 & 100,000 pieces?
  • Cost of shipping
  • Cost of packaging
  • How is it packaged?
  • Suggested retail price?
  • Target market – What is the demographic of your customer?
  • What is the market for your item – sales in that field?
  • What are your projected Sales?
  • How do you intend to get those sales?
  • What is the cost to acquire customers?
  • Where do you see them being sold? Is drug store, specialty shops, big box stores?
  • How many will you have to sell to break even on the cost of the molds?

When you do a business plan, you go through all of these things because at the end of the day, if it cost too much to make them, it might not be worth it.  There are other costs most inventors do not take into consideration such as Boxing, Labeling, Warehouse space, Marketing or sales reps commission

And there are many other costs involved. So the companies considering your product need to know that you know your business and how they will make money if they license your product.  In doing the business plan, you will better understand the real costs involved and will be able to explain why they would want to take on your product.  You will also have the data if you should decide to create the business and manufacture it yourself.

Every company we have pitched to has asked many of these questions. They want to know you understand the process. I have seen them ask inventors these questions and when the inventor did not have any answers, the comment is – “Why should I care about your product more than you do if you haven’t taking the time to find out this information?”

There is a lot to consider, after you have come up with the idea, in order for you to make money. It is possible and there is help available.

Keep Inventing Daily!

ByCarolyn Keane

So You Have an Idea, Now What Do You Do?

You have, what you think, is a fantastic idea that will make millions and be perfect for Shark Tank but you don’t know what to do or where to start. Here is a list of the first things to do:

  • Check stores for similar items
  • Check the internet for ideas or products like yours.
  • Check the – United States Patent & Trademark Office
  • Check google Search Words. How many hits show up?
  • Find an NDA – Non-Disclosure Agreement and use it.
  • Do surveys – is free. You can do a survey without  telling your idea.
  • Identify target market group – it might not be who you think
  • Call SCORE – Senior Core of Retired Executives for free advice
  • Look for Inventor Clubs in your area. There is a list under Resources on
  • Do a Patent Search – If you have never done one, here is our gift to you – a   free class to learn how to do a patent search.
  • Attend trade shows to see new products
  • Start to collect data for cost estimates
  • Call Inventing Daily for help @561-231-0298 or contact us at ‎


After starting the process, you will see that there is a lot to do before you spend money on a patent or on prototypes.  There is help available and it will take time.   Just Keep Inventing Daily!






ByCarolyn Keane

How Social Media Marketing Stacks Up Against Traditional advertising

How Social Media Marketing Stacks Up Against Traditional Advertising | Social Media Today
Social media marketers have heard this question before: What’s the ROI of social media?
 The best answer is actually a follow-up question: As Gary Vaynerchuk once said, “What’s the ROI of your mother?”
Vaynerchuk’s intention was to highlight that social media is a lot like relationships you have with your family and friends. It’s tough to pinpoint a singular action that your parents committed which directly resulted in you having some sort of personal growth or success. Instead, it’s a series of actions over time that creates that impact.

– See more at:

How Social Media Marketing Stacks Up Against Traditional Advertising

ByCarolyn Keane

Startup Grind Orlando, Founders of Fattmerchant| Drinks | Networking Tuesday | 5/10

Tuesday, May 10th starting at 6:00 pm, Startup Grind Orlando & Google for Entrepreneurs will be hosting founders of Fattmerchant, Suneer Madhani & Salman Rehmetullah. Learn more and get your ticket here, and use code “CATALYST” to get $4 tickets (normally $12)!

The event kicks off at 6:00 pm with a casual hour of craft beer, pizza, music, and networking. Around 7:00 pm we’ll start the fireside chat with our featured guest, followed by Q&A and more beer and networking. 

More about Suneera & Salman, our guest speakers:
  • A graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a minor in Leadership, Suneera founded Fattmerchant in 2014 with the promise to establish a transparent subscription-based merchant services model that offers financial and strategic value to the everyday business owner.
  • Since the launch, Suneera has been recognized by the likes of Forbes, Fast Company, Tech Crunch, Huffington Post, and Merchant Maverick.
  • A graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Finance, Salman founded his first startup at the age of 19 and spent time in learning the in’s and outs of business planning, marketing, finances, and operations.
  • Salman is a former Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor managing assets and portfolios for clients and companies net worth of 10M plus. He is also a former Client Director for Anaplan.

Grab your ticket(s) here, and remember to use code “CATALYST” to get them for only $4 each. 

See you there!

ByCarolyn Keane

Pitching to Investors Workshop

The Florida Venture Forum and the Angel Resource Institute are collaborating to bring you “Pitching to Investors” Workshop, taught by the Angel Resource Institute’s lead instructor, Troy Knauss on May 16, 2016 from 1:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton Carillon, St. Petersburg, Florida!

In combination with the following full day event: 2016 Florida Early Stage Capital Conference, the registration fee is $25.00 per person. The standalone registration fee is $45.00 per person. Learning materials to be provided digitally, so be sure to bring a laptop or iPad to class.
For any questions regarding the Workshop or Conference, please contact Pat Schneider, Vice President at the Florida Venture Forum – or call 813.335.8116.
ByCarolyn Keane


Submit your best new product designs in up to seven categories for a chance to win $20,000 USD, other great prizes, and global recognition. There’s no cost to enter and everything to gain!

Click here for more information and to Apply:

Create The Future Contest

ByCarolyn Keane

Submit Your Invention

A list of links to submit your inventions

Posted on March 30, 2016 by Mark Reyland

While every inventor wants a magic list of companies to submit their ideas to, very few real lists can be found. Below are links from a list compiled by a company out of Cleveland Ohio named NineSigma. (

Nine Sigma has been around for years, and while they don’t work directly with inventors, they do develop Open Innovation outreach for their corporate clients. Who knows maybe they have a program you can get involved in.

For now – take a look at their list below of companies you may want to submit your invention to. While I can’t personally vouch for this list, I can tell you that NineSigma has done a pretty good job of compiling it.

3M 3M accepts only patented ideas through this corporate website. This means that all submitted ideas must be protected.

AbBInBev Anheuser Busch InBev is always looking for new ideas to help make their brands refreshing and relevant.

Aqua Leisure Aqua Leisure is a maker of pool and swimming gear that invites Solution Providers to submit new ideas through their site.

Audi Production Award This is a contest sponsored by Audi to create innovative new visionary ideas in the industry and science.

Avery Dennison Particularly interested in novel and patented ideas that can advance Core Capabilities including: Decorative and Information solutions for label and packaging applications; External embellishment, identification, and tracking solutions for retail; Sustainable materials and adhesive films; Other adhesive and bonding solutions

AkzoNobel Seeking new ideas that are both brilliant and applicable solutions that are connected to their work in any way.

BAE Systems Creating innovative solutions from the amazing ideas of our network.

BASF This is a global technology scouting website that encourages visitors to browse and check into new ideas.

Beiersdorf Innovations are essential to Beiersdorf’s success. As a global company we have always cooperated with innovative partners. With Pearlfinder we want to further expand our global network.

Black & Decker Black & Deck receives thousands of idea submissions per year for new products through its website. It is interested in new products and ideas that will help meet consumers’ needs.

BMW BMW has founded the Co-Creation Lab so people interested in cars can meet share ideas and concepts.

Bosch As a user of power tools, you can get involved in our development. Do you have suggestions or concepts for innovative applications, products or technical solutions? Technically good and market-relevant ideas are welcome at Bosch Power Tools.

Boston Scientific Innovation Portal Do you have an innovative idea? We are testing out new ideas and technologies constantly and we welcome your ideas that could improve the health of patients around the world.

Cisco iPrize One of Cisco’s most public innovation Challenges, which has closed but may serve to spark ideas.

Clorox Clorox’s Hive open innovation hub

Colgate Colgate is looking for patented ideas to add to its product line. Submit patented ideas via the corporate website.

Crown Holdings Inc. Crown details its idea submission process on its corporate website. The company is looking for ways to enhance convenience, improved functionality and make its products more visually appealing.

Dell Ideastorm Dell’s Ideastorm website accepts ideas from the community.

Dow Chemical Dow Chemical accepts ideas through its Collaborate to Innovate submission form on its website.

Dremel Innovations Portal Invites you to tell about your concepts for innovative applications, products or technical solutions in the category of multitools. If you have an innovative and market-relevant idea and you know how to implement it, then simply send it to Dremel.

DSM A great example of a b2b organization embracing the open innovation mindset, with their Chemelot community for the chemical industry.

Elmers At Elmer’s we’re proud of the products and inspiration we provide to encourage consumers to create, build, and learn. They inspire us to do the same. Consumer needs are changing daily; their expectations and behaviors change over time. In order to maintain relevance, we strive to grow and evolve with our consumers through innovation

Evriholder Evriholder licenses products in variety of industries, including food. It allows inventors to submit ideas through its website.

Faultless Inventors Faultless Inventors is a company that purchases products or licenses them for the inventor that either has a patent or is going through the approval process. It is not a licensing agent or an invention submission company.

Fiat Fiat continues to accept ideas for future car models and features after developing a car based on a crowdsourcing project.

Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company accepts ideas for vehicles from inventors through its website.

General Dynamics The EDGE® Innovation Network is a revolutionary model where industry, academia, and non-profit organizations, along with government entities, collaborate in an open community environment to rapidly deliver new technologies and innovative capabilities to warfighters and first responders

General Electric GE accepts ideas for products through its corporate website. The GE Submitted Ideas Operation handles all unsolicited and voluntary ideas that are submitted to the company.

General Mills We believe that there is a great opportunity for us to enhance and accelerate our innovation efforts by teaming up with world-class innovators from outside of our company.

GlaxoSmithKline With an ever-changing global consumer marketplace demanding better quality, better value and improved performance, innovating our products is key. We know the importance of bringing in external ideas and recognizing that the best ideas often come from innovators like you.

Henkel Henkel’s Innovative Partnership Program allows inventors with patents to submit their invention to the company through an online form on the corporate website.

HP HP’s Open Innovation team collaborates with researchers and entrepreneurs throughout all areas of expertise and field. It is more focused on academia and government.

Integrity Outdoor Brands Integrity Outdoor Brands accepts ideas and patented products from inventors through a submission form on its website.

Intuit Collaboratory Integrity Outdoor Brands accepts ideas and patented products from inventors through a submission form on its websi

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Can your idea make a difference? “We must experiment with new ideas.” – Robert W. Johnson, 1943, Johnson & Johnson Credo

Jokari Jokari accepts ideas from housewares inventors on its website. The Texas-based company is always working with new ideas and products.

KCI KCI, a medical device company allows inventors to share their ideas on the company’s website. The company is looking for product ideas that can lead to improved patient care and quality of life.

Kellogs At Kellogg, we’re always trying to look for ways to brighten your future, from better-for-you ingredients to labels that encourage a healthier tomorrow.

Kraft Valuable solutions can come from anywhere and Kraft invites you to Innovate with Kraft.

Lego Cuusoo This is a part of Lego’s recent push for innovation strategies and represents another great external touchpoint for the organization aimed at their consumers and users.

LG Collaborated & Innovate LG has posted its technology needs and broad interest themes on this site. LG invites innovators to post their offers and become an LG external partner.

Lisle Corporation Idea Program If you have an original tool idea for the automotive service industry which others may need, Lisle Corporation is interested in evaluating your idea.

Local Motors One of the first open-source communities for car designers and fabricators.

Lockheed Martin Corporate Innovation Web Site.

Maddak Maddak accepts ideas for inventions through the Inventor’s Corner section of its website.

Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care Do you have an idea to advance the science of Critical Care? Whether you are a seasoned clinician, an undergraduate or graduate student, or a new or experienced entrepreneur we want to hear from you. We are looking for partnerships.

MeadWestvaco A standard Open Innovation website, but there is some aggressive thinking behind the site. Look for great changes that help you engage with the company in new ways.

Medtronic Many medtech companies seem to have the potential for open innovation, but most don’t have the priority. This is a great example, but there is certainly room for feedback.

Newell Rubbermaid Newell Rubbermaid accepts patented ideas from inventors on its corporate website.

Nokia As a part of their sweeping new initiatives, Nokia has also reached out to consumers with IdeaProject. It remains to be seen whether or not the organization can survive against its stiff competition.

Northrop Grumman Innovation Network The Northrop Grumman Innovation Network encourages the most innovative academics and other organizations and individuals to work with Northrop Grumman in the development of the next-generation of these critical programs.

Novant Health Innovation Novant Health Innovation is the place where innovators can work together to solve everyday healthcare dilemmas and improve patient care. Submit your ideas through this one, easy-to-use portal.

Pfizer Investigator Initiated Research A global program is open to all researchers who are interested in conducting their own research. Invites research ideas and offers funding for research projects that advance medical and scientific knowledge about Pfizer’s therapies and generates promising medical interventions.

Philips Sense and Simplicity Philips uses crowdsourcing and social media techniques to create new technical solutions.

Procter & Gamble P&G has initiated their Connect + Develop concept that invites people to submit their innovative ideas.

Psion This was a powerful start, but with the Motorola takeover, we will see how their open innovative initiatives proceed. Something to watch in the future!

SAP This international organization’s efforts have always been very strong in open innovation initiatives. They have thriving user communities and many best-in-class technologies and platforms.

SCA Open Innovation Portal SCA is interested in collaboration with external partners with inventions that can ultimately create innovations and more value for our customers, consumers and business.

Scotts Miracle Gro Innovations If you have a new and unique idea that fits within our categories of lawn, garden, and outdoor living products and services, we would like the chance to work with you.

Shell The GameChanger program encourages innovation from external sources as well as integration with internal resources.

Stanley Stanley’s Invention and Idea Portal allows people with patents and ideas to submit their work to the company.

Starbucks Tell Starbucks what you want. Post your ideas and comment on other people’s ideas.

Statoil Innovate If you or your company can contribute with ideas that could lead to real world solutions for Statoil, we have the competence, financial instruments and the capacity to make it happen – welcome to StatOil Innovate.

Syngenta Thoughtseeders Germinating alliances for tomorrow’s innovations.

Tate and Lyle Open Innovation If you have a new product or technology in the areas of specialty food ingredients; texturants, sweeteners and health and wellness ingredients – or a new food technology altogether – we would love to hear from you.

Transport for London Technology Innovation Portal This portal allows users to submit innovative technological ideas and solutions that meet our key challenges.

Unilever Unilever welcomes business opportunities, technologies and third party proposals for products complimentary to their product line.

United States Postal Service Invites ideas on ways to improve their products and services – New products and services, cutting-edge technologies, innovative approaches.

WMS Do you have the next patent pending, patented game, or technology innovation that can help create the world’s most compelling gaming experiences? If so, your innovation may be of interest to WMS.