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Why Entrepreneurs Must Believe in Themselves

I can remember sitting in a classroom at Santa Clara University and looking out of a window at the rain, feeling desperately unhappy. I didn’t want to be studying economics. It wasn’t that my classes…

Should You Hire a Patent Agent Instead of a Patent Attorney?

To be honest, I've never hired a patent agent. When I had my 'big' idea many years ago, I sought out a powerful Silicon Valley firm to write my patents. My thinking was: I want these guys to be able…

How to Use LinkedIn to License Your Concepts for New Products

For more than 16 years now, I’ve been teaching people how to license their ideas for new products. I was attracted to the licensing model because it enabled me to focus on what I liked -- being…

How Juan Hernandez Got His Seasonal Toy Into Walmart in Under Two Years Without Breaking the Bank

If you are a product developer, I can almost guarantee you’ve dreamed of having your product sold at Walmart. For better or worse, it’s the holy grail of retail. But, for the reasons I've described…

5 Fail-Proof Free Strategies to Ensure Your Business Stands Out

When you're starting a business -- or even just thinking about starting a business -- one of the most important questions you must consider is: What are you going to do to stand out? How are you…

If You Have a Garage Full of Inventory You Can't Sell, Try Licensing

Last week, I wrote about how to avoid ending up with inventory you cannot sell. But let's say that's exactly what you have: A garage stacked with boxes of product you thought consumers needed, but…

How to Avoid Ending Up With a Garage Full of Unwanted Product

Products churn in and out of the marketplace faster than ever these days. Marvelous, ambitious products whose debut we watch in videos that go viral don't seem to make it to market at all. In…

How to Get in to Any Company to Pitch Your New Product Idea For Licensing Consideration

If you want to license your ideas for new products, you must get your sell sheet in front of the right people at the right companies. I don't think of this step as 'cold calling' so much as getting…

What to Do When Your Provisional Patent Application Is About to Expire

Because I strongly believe in the importance of testing the market, I'm a big proponent of provisional patent applications. Obtaining a non-provisional patent can easily cost upwards of $15,000. And…

Why Midsized Companies Are Your Best Targets for Licensing

Earlier this year at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Freimuth. For nearly 30 years, Freimuth headed up sales and manufacturing worldwide for Fiskars…

Use This Simple Strategy to Ensure Your Deal Gets Done

In my experience, companies want to work with people who are helpful, responsible, and pleasant. I mean, on the one hand, who doesn't? But if you're an independent product developer who wants to…

Why You Should Adopt the Mantra 'Fake it Until You Make it'

Is there anything more transformative than the power of belief? I don't think so. I've been teaching creative people how to license their ideas for new products for more than 15 years now. And if I…

Why Knowledge, Not Money, Is What You Really Need to Bring an Idea to Market

If you want to bring your idea for a new product to market, what do you really need? Knowledge--not merely capital. So many entrepreneurs think, "If only I had the money!" That if they could just get…

When Potential Licensees Are Interested, They Ask These Questions: How to Prepare.

Early on in my career as a product developer, I decided to focus on licensing my ideas rather than trying to bring them to market myself. My motivation was simple: I thought I could improve existing…

How to Find the Right People to Pitch Your New Product Idea

Getting in to the right people at the right companies is the step that trips up people who want to license their ideas for new products the most. Fear of rejection is partly to blame. But until you…

Before You Move to a Licensing Contract, Establish a Term Sheet

In many industries when two parties are beginning to work out an agreement, it's standard practice to agree to some basic terms before moving forward with a contract. Why? If you don't share the same…

How to Create a Sell Sheet That Actually Does the Selling For You

Licensing is one of the least risky ways of bringing a new product to market. I was fortunate to discover its benefits early on in my career when I worked in the toy industry, which has always…

What to Do When You Discover Your Product Idea Already Exists

Say you come up with an idea for a new product. At first, you're elated. This is a product people need, you think. It's genius! Why can't I find it anywhere? But when you begin studying the market,…

How George Burkhardt Taught Himself How to File, Obtain, and License His Own Utility Patents

Because there are absolutely no black and whites when it comes to intellectual property, self-education is critical. Merely obtaining a patent is easy enough. If you pay a lawyer to help you, he…

How Smart Internet Marketing Can Transform Your Unconventional Product's Weakness Into Its Strength

The Internet is fundamentally changing how innovative products are brought to market. It's giving them a lifeline, really, be it through crowdfunding, new launch platforms like The Grommet, and the…

Without This Clause, Your Rights to Your Invention Are at Risk

If you've been following my columns about how to license your product ideas for passive income, you know I believe in the power of self-education. You can't depend on others to do the work for you.…
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inventRight is a one-on-one coaching program founded by Stephen Key and Andrew Krauss. inventRight’s aim is to empower inventors with the knowledge, guidance, and help they need to license their ideas.

 

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