You have decided to pitch your idea or new product to a company. Are you feeling confident and energized by this prospect? Or are you nervous and unsure how to even begin? If you fit into the latter category, don’t despair. There are a number of inventors who feel the same way as you. Below we share some tips that show how to pitch an idea to a company.
Create a list of companies that might be interested in your new product. While more prospects might seem better, paring down your list to a more focused group will save you time, effort, and frustration as your time and resources will be used most effectively. You can research companies in the industry into which your invention falls through online databases and trade associations. Once you have created a list of prospective companies, prioritize them based which would be the best fit with your new product. You might also wish to consider if you have good access to a decision maker.
Be prepared with your elevator pitch, that is, a one- to two-minute explanation of your new product. You never have a second chance to make a first impression, and you must grab the attention of the company representative immediately. Include your product’s benefit, your target market, and how your invention would fit in with the company’s current product line. Whether you are meeting with someone in person or over the telephone, you want to grab attention immediately—and leave them wanting to hear more.
Understand and share the product features, manufacturing process, costs, price, risks, and market opportunities presented with your new product. The more facts you can provide along with qualitative evidence of suggested market acceptance of your invention, the stronger your pitch will be. Think of negatives along with positives: Are there risks associated with your product? If so, what can be done to mitigate them? Knowledge is power, so be prepared to answer the tough questions.
Prepare a professional presentation, including a three-dimensional prototype model, an introductory letter, and a simple sell sheet. This one- to two-page document should clearly detail the following about your new product: the problem, challenge, or need it meets; its features and benefits; its market; and its legal status, in terms of patents and trademarks.
Your pitch should be memorable and offer a course of immediate action. You must be ready to move forward the day of the pitch. If you have not done your research, prepared your presentation, or readied a prototype, wait until you have. Do not walk into a contact’s office until you have a well-crafted story to tell and props to help sell it.
In the corporate world, the goal is to strive, not simply survive. Leading entrepreneurs depend on a core set of guidelines to help them reach this objective. Some of them may seem deceptively simple, but all of them are important as you either move your start-up into growth mode or strive to sustain your existing business. Below are some top entrepreneur tips from leading minds of business. Read More >>
Inventions come in many different shapes, sizes, and levels of complexity, but their goal of solving an existing problem is the same. Through the use of innovative problem solving techniques, inventors have been able to change the world—or at least their corner of it—through creation of innovative inventions designed to tackle challenges large and small. Read More >>
One of the ways inventors come up with cool invention ideas is through a process called brainstorming. Did you know that “brainstorming” itself was an invention?
The Inventing Invention
Originally presented in the 1953 book Applied Imagination: Principles and Practices of Creative Thinking, author Alex Osborn identified brainstorming as a theory of steps involved in the creative process of spontaneous thinking, including some or all of these phases:
Since the dawn of the industrial area, manufacturers have utilized what is commonly known as “subtractive manufacturing” to produce products. That means in order to make a widget, they would take a lump of material and put it through a process to take away (subtract) parts of it until it looked like a widget. Think of a sculptor staring at a large hunk of stone and thinking, “Somewhere in there is my masterpiece!” and then whittling away to create a statue of a beautiful woman. Read More >>
Tired of waiting for stray cats to produce litters of kittens?
New “Grow-A-Kitty” allows you to begin pet ownership in a fraction of the time. An inventor from Pennsylvania has been able to replicate the “kittatania” cell that is in every pregnant mother cat before their young is born. Now kittens can be grown from anywhere with the proper conditions. Here’s how it works:
1. Purchase Grow-A-Kitty Seeds
2. Plant in indirect sunlight, either on a window ledge or under a tree.
3. Water your plant once a day (Add catnip fertilizer included for faster growth)
4. In 3-6 weeks, your kitten is ready to pluck from the vine!
UPDATE 4/4/14: This was an April Fool’s joke! Unfortunately, kittens cannot be grown from planting seeds quite yet, but don’t you wish they could?
Inventions are the world’s great problem solvers. Innovators find problems and devise new and clever ways to solve them. What makes one solution better than the rest? Great invention ideas grow from making sure you are not only solving a problem but solving the right one. Great innovations take old problems and find new ways to look at them. Read More >>
New inventions can sprout from the most unlikely of sources—and the oddest of places. The modern toothbrush was not invented by a dentist in a hygiene laboratory but by a prisoner serving time in an English prison in the late 1700s with a need for cleaner teeth. Read More >>
This famous quotation by Alexander Fleming is certainly true with regard to his discovery of penicillin. This antibiotic resulted in its discoverer sharing the Nobel Prize in 1945 and being ranked as the most important discovery of the millennium by at least 3 large magazines at the approach of 2000. Read More >>
Happy National Inventors’ Day! In honor of this day for inventors, we thought we’d shed light on a major part of inventing – problem solving.
No matter how big or small, inventions should not be taken for granted for at some point they solved a serious problem for a new mom, member of the military, fashionista, or perhaps someone who loves engaging in do-it-yourself activities. Creativity, innovation, as well as determination are employed to produce a vast array of new inventions throughout the world.
Solving a problem or finding its need has been going on for hundreds of years. Early man was determined to come up with inventions of his own, such as the wheel that still plays a pivotal role in our lives today. Perhaps the best way to discuss what type of inventions are needed in the future is to examine some of those that solved various needs in the past.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has invented a multitude of products since its inception in 1958. This prolific problem solver has created many products that have made our everyday lives more comfortable and safe. While the products were initially designed for urgent needs and to solve many safety, comfort, or technical problems, they have also solved numerous everyday problems when they became part of the mainstream. Read More >>