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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. (https://ninesights.ninesigma.com/resources)
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.
Russ Krajec is the CEO of BlueIron, a patent finance company, and author ofInvesting In Patents, which explains the BlueIron investment model. Russ is an angel investor, registered patent attorney, the former COO of a venture-backed startup company, and an inventor with 30+ US patents/applications.
Year after year the patent laws become more complex. It seems with every decision from the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit more detail is mandated for a patent application to be complete and for patent claims to have a fighting chance. These case law changes, as well as legislative and regulatory changes, are putting the patent system out of reach for startup companies.
The patent applications that must be filed require an enormous investment in time, money, and expertise – mostly by patent professionals who curate the inventions, write the patents, and nurture them through the examination process. To get high caliber, well researched, and well-written patents costs money – a lot of money unfortunately.
Quality is the main buzzword at the Patent Office, and increasingly so within the industry. Gone are the days that one could just get a patent and expect that it would be valuable enough to license or sell. Quality patents that cover quality technologies is the new business reality in the patent sector. But with the skyrocketing costs associated with obtaining the desired quality many startups resort to cost-saving strategies that most often only work to irreparably harm the changes of obtaining a worthwhile patent.
Filing a hastily drafted, woefully inadequate provisional patent application is a mistake, and one that can lead to a patent foundation being built on a hopelessly compromised base. The patent community was recently reminded of this fact when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) refused to recognize the priority of a provisional patent application filed to cover Juxtapid, a cholesterol medication. The PTAB found the provisional application defective because it did not teach the invention adequately and provided insufficient dosage information. This just proves that bad provisional applications are a very real problem even for pharmaceutical companies that should know better.
What are startups to do? There is never enough money to do everything a startup needs to do in order to succeed, so even the best, most well funded startups need to triage. As a patent attorney with over 15 years of experience, I know all too well this very real financial dilemma. Compounding this problem is the truth that most innovative startup companies are entering a marketplace where larger, well-financed corporations with giant patent portfolios dominate. Patents can be the great equalizer, but such a strategy requires high quality patents.
BlueIron’s non-dilutive financing for startups pays all of the patent costs, including filing fees and attorney’s fees, using a conventional commercial “lease-back” arrangement. This model has been gaining traction since its first release in the fall of 2014. After financing professional poker player Phil Gordon’s patent for his new software startup, Chatbox, BlueIron has made investments in startup companies in software, hardware, biotechnology, medical devices, financial services, and agriculture.
By financing the patents, we remove the cost barriers to getting strong, high-quality patents. This opens up the options to do a full due diligence workup, which most startups simply cannot afford. It also means the patents can be expedited and obtained more quickly. It also frees up critical capital for the startup to invest in business activities rather than paying for patents.
For expediting applications, when possible, we prefer the PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway, which often results in an issued patent within 12 months. With PCT-PPH, the costs of the patent are compressed into a 12 month window, rather than spreading them out over 3-5 years. If a patent application gets into the PPH the allowance rates are much higher, and in many cases over 95%. Given that an issued patent is far more valuable to a startup company than a mere pending patent application – especially one raising angel or venture capital – this strategy pays quick dividends, which benefits everyone involved.
The BlueIron model works because everyone has “skin in the game,” so to speak. We have every incentive to get high quality patents and to do so as reasonably quickly as possible. By having a patent portfolio that protects the startups technology additional investment becomes easier to attract, which makes much of the difficult work a startup will do much easier. By helping the innovative startup succeed we succeed. If the innovating startup company is not successful, the investment will only generate patents for products or services that never made it to the market, or which were not accepted once on the market. Patent assets covering technologies the market shunned have little, if any, value. On the other hand, if the startup company is successful the patents have real value – far more value than the cost of financing.
Through the BlueIron model I’ve attempted to create a new framework where both parties have the same goal: protect and grow a successful business. Our sole focus is to build investment-grade patents that have commercial value. By treating patents as “collateral,” our model rises or falls based on how strong the patents are – and how successful the innovative startup becomes.
If you are a startup company that is looking for someone to finance your patent activities please contact me. Candidly, we only invest in patents for operating companies, not for individual inventors for whom the invention is just a hobby. While we invest at a very early stage, the startup must have a financial commitment to bring a product or service to market for us to get involved.
If you are an angel investor or venture capital firm, we are actively seeking formal or information partnerships and relationships.
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.
The standalone registration fee is $45.00 per person. In combination with the following full day event: 2016 Florida Early Stage Capital Conference the registration fee is $25.00 per person. Learning materials to be provided digitally, so be sure to bring a laptop or iPad to class.
Thoughts from Shark Tank auditions in Miami, FL
People were in line at 3pm the day before. Wristbands were given out starting at 9 am on Thursday. They handed out 500 and there were still more people, so they gave out 80 more, then even more. In all, there were over 700 people whoВ pitched. Last year, over 40,000 tried out and only 180 made to see the Sharks.
While I was not pitching, it was interesting to talk to the people whoВ were and there were several similarities. All were hoping for that Big Break, all wanted to hear that the person Loved their idea, and of course, everyone thought the pitch time went too fast.
While many had samples and prototypes, there was everything including food, websites, baby items and even a new holder for your ipad. That inventor did a rap to get his idea across. I heard that the interviewers loved it.
Dreams are big and fragile. The time, effort and money that went into the products showed that people are creative, looking for a better way, and hopeful that their idea will be the next big success.
There were also some very unrealistic people. Their sense of entitlement was surprising. They did not want to start small and sell a few of their items at a time. They вЂњknewвЂќ that their idea was a million dollar item that should be on the market. There was one person who has an item that might cost $1 to make and could sell for $9.99 (he thought $19.99). He did not want to вЂњwaste his timeвЂќ making a few hundred and try to sell them to show proof of concept. It is unfortunate because he might have a chance with this item if he did that. When I asked him if he knew how Damon John started out, he had no idea.
For all of the dreamers, inventors and entrepreneurs, keep inventing daily, but be prepared for the real world. Any investor, whether on Shark Tank, or not, needs to know that you are giving it 120%. They bet on the jockey not the horse so do your homework and always be prepared. You never know when the opportunity to pitch will arrive. Are you ready?
Carolyn Keane – Founder – Inventor
InventingDaily.com is updating the website. While it is a work in progress, as all websites are, we appreciate your patience while we transition. Thanks for all of your support for inventors. We have come to realize that we can help more people by working directly with inventors. The transition is almost complete. The focus will be on coaching, mentoring, classes and funding opportunities for inventors. We will still have a section for new products under our Product Partners where you will have the opportunity to buy direct from the inventor.
Jim and I have also put together a class for DIY Patent Search – How to Save Money on Patents. We will provide the link shortly. We have several more in the works. Tell us what you would like to know.
As we continue to grow, watch for our new section on “Ask a Question”. We will have several people available to answer many types of questions. If you have the question, many others do as well.
The life of an entrepreneur is like a volatile, yet fun rollercoaster of emotions. Some opportunities come along when least expected and you have to be prepared to seize them. The following is the story of me pitching Daymond John and some of what I learned from the experience.
1. A great support team is crucial to your success.
There you are, sitting at home in your office and working on social media for your company when you get a phone call from one of your best friends. He knows that you have walked away from corporate America and chosen to follow your dreams of launching a business and working for yourself. He says, I have an opportunity to attend an intimate party with Mark Cuban and Daymond John to watch Shark Tank and I can invite one person. The best part of having a true friendship is that they will back you in any situation. In this case, my friend could’ve taken any number of other friends or women that thought it’d d be cool to hangout with celebrities. Instead, he knew that I could care less about the prestige of the event or meeting a celebrity and was much more interested in pitching my invention. This was an intimate event with only roughly 50 people. It wasn’t t a pitch event, but rather a small gathering to watch Shark Tank with both Mark and Daymond while they were in town. That being said, I wasn’t going to be in the same room as two of the most well known investors in the country and not pitch them. How do I do it? What should I say? Over the course of the two and a half hour drive, I racked my brain on what to say, how to say it, and how I’d create an opportunity to pitch them.
2. Be fully prepared to give a 30 second pitch at any given moment because you may never know when that opportunity may arise.
Despite Mark being a very nice guy he left abruptly and I didn’t t have the opportunity to pitch him, only a second to take a blurry picture. I had my phone in my hand with pictures of my prototype readily available, but it just ended too quickly. Daymond, on the other hand, had some time before his next appearance and I was able to pitch him my idea. I asked to take a picture with him like everyone else in the room. Forget an elevator pitch. I had 10-15 seconds to hopefully perk his interest enough to warrant any kind of acknowledgement. When doing so, I told him I liked the show, I had a product and wanted to know his thoughts. I showed him my phone as soon as the flash went off because there were 3 other people in queue to take a picture. He said he liked it! Great! Wait that’s it? You like it? What does that mean? Do we have a deal?
It was the next guy’s turn to take his picture with Dayomnd. Perfect timing! I offered to take it for him. He happily turned over his phone for me to be the photographer. I took that as an opportunity to talk with Daymond for 30-45 more seconds while taking someone else’s picture. I talked more about my product and asked him what he would do next or if he knew anyone that may be interested in it. I think Daymond was taken aback by the fact that I was still pitching despite taking a picture for someone else, but I learned from Glengary Glen Ross to Always Be Pitching. He continued to say that he had a couple of companies that may be interested in my product and to email his associate
3. Celebrate each win, BIG or small like a rockstar.
Wait a minute. Did Daymond John, star of Shark Tank just say that I have a good idea?! I know it’s a great product, but he really gave it a look and liked it?! This is incredible!! I’ve made it! These were some of the thoughts going through my head when we were leaving. Then my boy and I hit the town for the night. To give you highlights that can be written publicly, we drank like we were in college again, partied with celebrities of all kinds and were VIP in clubs that we had no business being in. I’m not saying these things to brag, as we didn’t spend more than $100 between us the entire night, but to tell you that we partied like I just inked a deal with a Shark despite only getting an email address.
4. Never Give Up.
I couldn’t have asked for much more out of this event. Not only did I get to meet two very influential and smart businessmen that I look up to, I got the opportunity to and had the balls to pitch one of them. On top of that, I walked away with confirmation that I had a solid idea and I had an email to send to a direct contact. I’m sure you are wondering what happened with the product and if Daymond pursued it? He didn’t and passed me to his associate to sign up for his consulting services, coaching, etc. I understand, but thought there would be a better outcome. Since then, I have had 3 licensing deals with major companies come and go. I’m still in the process of getting the re-fillable bath loofah to market and won’t stop until they are on shelves worldwide.
Jim Reidy is an inventor and the Founder of Inventing Daily, a unique company that was created by inventors, for inventors. In addition to Inventing Daily, Jim helps to secure financing and licensing for other inventions that have been evaluated, tested, and proven market viability. For more information you can follow him on Twitter @inventingdaily or email himВ firstname.lastname@example.org.