inventRight Has Been Helping Inventors for Over 15 Years
The inventRight team is here to hold your hand throughout every step of the invention process during your yearlong membership. We have over thirty years of experience helping inventors identify potential licensees, get into companies, build prototypes, work out manufacturing problems, protect their ideas, file patents, and negotiate winning licensing contracts. Your problems are our problems. Your success is our success!
In addition to being available to you when needed, our team hosts classes on the latest tips and strategies to help you with your inventions every Thursday. These classes are jam-packed with critical, cutting-edge information.
This is your team. We want to help you in any way that we can. We have the largest database in the world on licensing and we’re always trying to identify what more we can include to provide you with invention help.
Stephen is an award-winning inventor who has been licensing his ideas for over thirty years. His first book, 2011’s One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams Into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work, continues to be a bestseller on Amazon and has been translated into five other languages. He is a regular contributor to Inc. and Entrepreneur. Stephen is committed to empowering creative people to profit from their ideas. To read more about Stephen, click here.
Andrew is inventRight’s Operating Partner. An expert at closing the deal, he has coached inventRight students from more than forty countries. Andrew began perfecting his mentorship skills as the President of the Inventors Alliance group in the San Francisco Bay Area—a position that he has held for the past fourteen years. Andrew is passionate about the licensing lifestyle and dedicated to spreading the word about how inventors can benefit from it. To read more about Andrew, click here.
Senior Licensing Coach & Chief Negotiator
David began committing his ideas to paper when he was just six years old. “There’s some silly stuff in there, like an idea for a new style of rollercoaster, but there are actually some decent ideas in there as well!” he said, referring to his first inventors’ log, with a laugh. After graduating from college with a business degree, he felt unsure of what to do next. He endured three months at Chase Bank and flirted with insurance and real estate. Unable to find anything he “would be even close to happy doing,” he went soul-searching— and remembered how much he loved to invent as a child. He eventually discovered inventRight online.
His first year as a student, he admits, he didn’t get anywhere. “I wanted to do everything my way,” he explained. Once he actually started following the steps, he said, he licensed a kitchen gadget. He’s licensed two other ideas to date. And these days, he’s putting his stubbornness to better use: Once he began looking at getting into companies as a challenge, he became more and more determined—and therefore more creative—to overcome any obstacles in his way.
“As a coach, one of the things I love most is getting to work with the most passionate people on the planet,” David said. “These people will run through brick walls to get something done. Not always the right brick walls, but nonetheless. They keep going, even when it’s not easy. How can I not be driven when I work with people like that?”
In his free time, he runs marathons and ultra-marathons.
Amy Jo Brogan
Senior Coach - Special Projects
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Amy Jo has never let herself be fazed by life’s little nuisances. She’s “always been kind of crafty” when faced with a problem and limited resources available to solve it. Amy Jo is close to licensing her first ideas, one of which is a spill-proof coffee lid. She conceived of the innovation when she was working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles and driving to Starbucks regularly, unable to figure out how to drink her coffee without spilling it. Talk about a common problem!
What she loves most about product development is that it’s an ongoing learning experience. Because every idea is unique and every industry is so different, there’s always a new challenge. “I get bored really quickly,” she explained. “I don’t envision that happening anytime soon.”
In her free time, Amy Jo loves spending time with her young daughter as well as fine dining and wine tasting.
Manager of Coaching Services
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Terry O’Mara has always been creative. He remembers drawing on the slats of his older brother’s bunk bed when he was just a kid. (Later on, he got the go-ahead to ‘customize’ the walls of his bedroom.) In his early twenties, he helped found multiple art related businesses, including a gallery and a framing business. He followed a passion for fine wine into the wine distribution business, where he spent more than 15 years developing brands and managing sales teams for Southern Wine and Spirits of New Mexico. There was something about the magic of winemaking—of bringing a product to fruition—that appealed to him.
A few years ago, a period of soul-searching led him to the realization that he wanted to do something more explicitly creative. Reading about product licensing in The 4-Hour Workweek prompted him to think about bringing his own product ideas to market. “I’d been writing down ideas for years. A friend asked me, ‘Why don’t you do something with them already?’”
What he appreciates most about the inventing community is its willingness to take action. “It’s great to have ideas and be passionate about them, but you have to follow through,” Terry said. “People in this community are creative and really committed to their pursuits.” He also loves that inventRight students and staff are down-to-earth and authentic. “Those qualities are harder to find in the corporate world.”
He’s excited to put his diverse skillset to work as an inventRight coach. Learning how to motivate individuals and a team to do their best is a lifelong interest, which he’s explored as both a manager and a personal development consultant. For him, seeing others succeed is by far the most fun. After completing the inventRight program, he’s currently fielding interest from two potential licensees about an idea for the flatware industry.
In his free time, he stays active rock climbing, skiing, hiking, and mountain biking near his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Licensing appeals to Dan’s personality in that it perfectly balances being fun and challenging. In fact, it drew him in for that very reason. “I love products that solve problems and make life easier. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been asking, ‘What if we could do it this way? Wouldn’t it be better if it did that?’” As a coach, he appreciates being surrounded by people who — like him — are constantly looking for ways to improve lives and products.
Dan brings with him decades of experience in sales, recruiting, training, and management in the advertising media industry. A representative he trained and mentored won his former company’s “Rookie of the Year” nationwide contest a few years ago, he said. “To be on the sidelines sharing that victory — it felt amazing.” It’s pretty simple: When other people succeed, he’s happy.
A Colorado native, Dan loves spending time outdoors hiking, camping, and fishing. He’s also the proud father of a 6 year-old and a motorcycle aficionado.
Judy DePrang is committed to empowering her community in creative, unique ways. For example, the insights she gained as a new mother lead her to construct an online network for nursing moms to buy, sell, and donate breast milk globally. As the operator of Avad, a local nonprofit in the Houston area, she teaches young single moms who have aged out of the foster care system parenting skills. Where she sees a need, she acts.
It was her father who instilled in her an entrepreneurial spirit, she said. “I love investing in people who are invested in themselves. That’s why inventRight is such a great fit — I get to invest in like-minded people.” She enjoys the challenge of breaking down systems, which is how she views the process of bringing a product to market. The common denominator between her many pursuits, she said, is helping people realize how much power they really have to achieve their goals. Judy is a native Spanish speaker who will be coaching some of our international students in particular.
With her family, she enjoys traveling at length and spending time outdoors: Her two young daughters are eager budding fisherwoman.
Santa Clarita, California
Ryan Diez is a lifelong inventor whose hand-held dog-washing device, The Woof Washer 360, went viral in 2015 after he found a licensee. After years of stops and starts, he’s eager to share his hard-won insights with new students.
“When you’re trying to get a product out there and just don’t know how, or can’t, there’s no better way forward than to talk to someone who’s done it. I’ve been there — and really, it’s an honor to be able to pass on what I’ve learned,” he said. “Seeing my product in PetSmart gave me of the best feelings I’ve ever felt. If I can help someone else feel that, well, what more can you ask for?
For the past decade, he’s been sharpening his communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills as a member of the law enforcement industry.
In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his dog Delilah (whom the Woof Washer logo is loosely based on) as well as watching college football on Saturday mornings, going to country music concerts, and visiting Disneyland with his fiancé.
J. Andre Chaintreuil
J. Andre’s love of problem solving took him all the way out to Hollywood, where he fulfilled his dream of designing film sets after getting a degree in architecture. Working on big features for nearly two decades, including numerous superhero films, taught him how to think and act creatively under constraints. (The first movie he worked on was Minority Report.) “I helped design sets, props, vehicles — anything a script or director demanded,” he explained. “Going down to a local shop and buying a spaceship off the shelf wasn’t ever an option!”
Learning how to use the surface modeling program Rhino3D while in Hollywood exposed him directly to product design and development, including 3D printing. When his eyes were opened to the fact he could make anything — well, that was all the inspiration he needed to begin devoting more and more time to bringing his own inventions to the market.
Success has followed: The first product J. Andre licensed, an innovative kitchen colander, will hit the market this summer. He recently licensed a second idea to the same company. What he appreciates about licensing, he said, is that it enables him to focus on being creative and thinking of new product ideas.
“I believe in licensing and also love to help and inspire others,” he said.
In his spare time, he likes to play hockey, hike, kayak, fish, watch sports, motorcycle, and create art.
Long Island, New York
Howie Busch has been an “idea-man” his entire life, but it wasn’t until about four years ago that he set about bringing one of his concepts to market. He didn’t waste any time. With no formal training and in just 8 months time, he licensed his On-Hand Pillow to the largest travel pillow manufacturer in the country.
Shortly thereafter, he joined inventRight as a student. Since then, he’s licensed three other products…some he has even managed to license to multiple manufacturers in different market segments.
Busch brings a wealth of experience as an entrepreneur and attorney with him to inventRight. Before he began focusing on product development, he was a sports and entertainment agent and attorney, as well as an executive producer for television, including negotiating multiple deals for The World Series of Poker on ESPN.
Unafraid to teach himself new skills, Busch is currently working on bringing several other products to market not only via licensing, but also via venturing and crowdfunding. “It’s a great time to be an inventor. There is more access than ever to the tools we need create.”
Busch has also a great love of coaching, having coached a local high school basketball team…but his greatest love was coaching his son and daughter’s travel basketball teams. “I love helping people grow and watching them improve,” he explained. “I’m also an invention junkie — hearing good ideas excites me. Helping people get their products to market was a natural progression for me.”
Scott Putnam is an adventurous fun-loving family man who brings with him a wide range of experience as a student of business marketing, store manager, world traveler, expat, collegiate educator, and entrepreneur.
Using the methods inventRight taught him, he’s licensed three very different product ideas. He remembers feeling amazed when the companies he contacted about his uncle’s idea for a new plumbing product were interested right away. “It was like clockwork!” he exclaimed. “I thought, ‘Why isn’t everyone doing this?’” Licensing is a numbers game, he now knows. With that in mind, he’s licensed his youngest daughter’s idea for a toy jewelry product as well as the design he came up with for a fat bike pressure gauge.
Like many product developers, Scott has been coming up with ideas for new products all his life.
“Inventors see things in a different light. It’s almost like a sixth sense. I don’t know where it comes from, but I know that for many of us, ideas have been pouring in since we were young!”
He’s looking forward to getting students “even more excited about their ideas and guiding them through this process.” When asked to describe which aspect of the licensing process he likes best, he refused to choose — he enjoys every step.
“You have to believe in your own ideas and take action. It’s all about going through the process.”
Scott loves to run and bike outside and relishes flying airplanes whenever he can. He’s also passionate about plant-based nutrition and enjoys helping others on their journey to peak performance as a nutrition and wellness coach.
After graduating from nursing school on a Navy scholarship, Karen worked primarily in emergency rooms at naval hospitals in Southern California as well as a bit overseas. Although she didn’t think of herself as particularly creative at the time, she had always enjoyed solving problems and improving systems and workflows. For example, a pocketbook guide she initially created simply for herself ended up being formally adopted by her department to train other nurses.
Eventually, it became clear to her that the improvisations she was coming up with to make life easier might benefit others, too. “Things you do every day, that you don’t even think about... they’re really opportunities.” When she decided to focus on reconnecting with her imagination, that’s when things really got fun, she said.
Now, she appreciates the freedom and wonder being an inventor affords. Fundamentally, creative risk taking — which is how she thinks of inventing — energizes and inspires her. “Inventors get to wander outside the lines, to ignore the word “impossible”! How cool is that?” In addition to flexing her creative muscle, Karen earned an MBA in 2015.
In her free time, she enjoys hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, photography, reading, and listening to podcasts.
Customer Service Manager
Jon is responsible for welcoming new students to inventRight. He follows up with potential students, sets up appointments for new students, and works our phone line. Like many others, he discovered inventRight by way of Tim Ferriss’s The Four Hour Workweek. Jon decided to become a student—and shortly thereafter, he licensed his very first product idea, a novelty gift item. He’s quick to point out that his early success is unusual, to say the least. “I got lucky and licensed my very first product!”
Although he has licensed several of his ideas, Jon sees himself as more of a doer than a creative type. He enjoys clearing up misconceptions about what it means to be an inventor and encouraging students to get in the game. “Licensing an idea is not as hard as most people think. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on your patent. You don’t have to live in fear of someone stealing your idea,” he explained. “I’m all about putting ideas into action. People tell me, ‘I have more than a hundred ideas!’ And I like to ask them, ‘Awesome. What have you done with them?’”
Jon’s action-oriented perspective may stem—at least in part—from his dedication to wrestling in high school and college. (After graduating from college, he spent some time coaching as well.) Committing to wrestling is “one of the toughest things I’ve ever done,” he said. “Once you’ve done it, it’s in you. There are no two ways about it: You’ve got to be disciplined.” After that, he explained, tasks like calling companies just don’t seem like that big of a deal.
In his free time, Jon loves to surf, snowboard, and ferment his own hard cider. He also has six very spoiled pet chickens.
Assistant Customer Service Manager
Salt Lake City, Utah
Heather Christensen had zero intentions of looking for additional employment, but when she heard inventRight was hiring, she leapt at the opportunity to join our team. “This is a dream job! Nothing ups my creativity like working with other creative people,” she explained, with her typical exuberance. As inventRight’s assistant customer service manager, Heather answers our phone line and ensures student needs are met. She brings with her extensive guerilla marketing experience for the film industry as well as accounting.
Heather remembers coming up with her first idea for a product and shortly thereafter, discovering it actually existed for sale in a magazine, when she was just six years old. Since then, she’s continued to come up with new product ideas. When she read about how inventRight cofounder Stephen Key used paper and other existing products to create his prototypes in One Simple Idea, she was floored — and inspired to take action. “You can literally make anything using these strategies. It wasn’t about perfection, I realized.” Soon after, she became an inventRight student.
Today Heather is motivated to develop products that will truly benefit consumers in their daily lives. “I love the idea of stumbling across one of my products in someone’s home. How cool would that be?” she said.
A mother of five as well as a grandmother, she loves spending time outdoors, practicing yoga, and hanging out with her family.
Between working fulltime, maintaining her own private practice, and raising her two young sons in the suburbs of Chicago, Sylvia found time to license her first idea earlier this year. Needless to say, her dedication is inspiring. We knew we had to have her on our team!
She considered becoming a product developer for the first time after watching ABC’s hit show Shark Tank a few years ago. “If other people can do this, what’s stopping me?” she wondered. As soon as she started reading about licensing, which fascinated her, she said she began thinking about things differently. “Coming up with ideas was fun. It didn’t feel like a job to me. When my kids are taking a bath, I think, ‘Well, what about this idea?’ I’m hoping it keeps my brain sharp!” she explained. She is currently negotiating two other licensing deals.
Before Sylvia discovered inventRight via Stephen’s book One Simple Idea, she had the unfortunate experience of partnering with a promotion firm that promised to do everything for her—but in reality did nothing. That’s part of the reason why she’s excited to become a member of the inventRight team, which she describes as honest and having integrity. “I think these are skills that can be easily taught,” she said. “I want to be able to give back to people.”
Director of Marketing and Business Development
With a bachelors of science from the University of Oregon specializing in chemistry and physics as well as a minor in business administration, Jeff bridges the gap between technically minded tinkerer-enthusiasts and the realities of maintaining a vibrant network of students everyday at inventRight. Jeff is passionate about promoting active learning to solve new problems and helping people develop themselves and their ideas.
Joining inventRight has enabled him to exercise every aspect of his education and interests everyday, he says.
He spends his free time chasing new fitness goals and escaping into the outdoors.
Madeleine began writing about open innovation, product development, and entrepreneurship for inventRight way back in 2007. Articles she has authored have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Express, California Magazine, The Modesto Bee, and on the website Civil Eats. In 2011, she graduated from the University of California Berkeley after getting her start at The Daily Californian.