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 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.
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, CA
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.
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.
Reading inventRight cofounder Stephen Key’s book about licensing One Simple Idea was life-changing for Arleta Daniels. She’d been creative all her life, but unsure of exactly what to do with her hundreds of ideas. “When I read One Simple Idea, I thought, ‘So this is what I’m supposed to do!’” Sure enough, shortly after becoming an inventRight student, Arleta licensed no less than 21 of her playful ideas for gift-to-go novelty stationery products.
After a successful career in IT as a technical writer with an MBA, she began pursuing the life of an entrepreneur about four years ago. In addition to coming up with new product ideas, she’s also an accomplished non-fiction ghostwriter, which means she is constantly immersing herself in new subjects, often related to business.
In reference to some of the clever, beautiful creations she has made for the novelty gift industry that she is now trying to license, Arleta explained that being surrounded by things she loves inspires her. “If I can’t find what I’ve imagined, I can create it! It’s the perfect way to express myself. One day I realized, there’s no reason I can’t make a living doing this… I’ve always been interested in a really wide variety of things, so creating is perfect for me.”
Arleta, who has also earned a culinary certificate, relishes anything having to do with food, including nutrition and cooking. Her love of toys and novelty products related to food, such as food replicas and miniatures, is reflected in many of the products she designs.
Before Kelly Goode decided to become an entrepreneur, she spent two decades working in her home state of Alaska’s legislature. As a chief of staff to members of the legislature, she drafted and edited legislation and worked on state budgets. Along the way, Goode learned how to work with businesses to get what needed to be done. Seeking more independence and flexibility, she began venturing products online about five years ago.
“I’m always making tweaks, so much so that my friends tease me about it,” Goode explained. “It’s something I’ve always done naturally.”
So she began designing her own ideas, mostly for seasonal products, and selling them in her growing Amazon store. After reading One Simple Idea and joining inventRight, she’s embraced the benefits of the licensing route.
Goode enjoys developing products for the pet, home organization, home, holiday, and novelty gift industries. But, what she loves most about inventing is that her options are limitless.
She loves to travel, run, read on the beach, and spend time with her son and grandkids.
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, UT
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.
Design Studio Manager
San Diego, California
Before she began heading up inventRight Design Studio, Lynnsie Whitaker was a fulltime utility and design patent illustrator for more than seven years. “I’ve been illustrating since I was able to pick up a crayon,” Lynnsie said. At the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, she learned how to read garment patterns for production and then produce technically sound fashion illustrations, marrying her ability and desire to create both aesthetically pleasing and functional works.
As inventRight’s Design Studio Project Manager, she’s looking forward to having a platform and an outlet for her creativity. “My mind is always going a million miles a minute thinking of ideas! I’m excited to be surrounded by people who believe in taking their life into their own hands, like I do.”
Art is also her hobby. In her spare time, she also enjoys spending time outdoors with her young daughter and continuing to learn, read, and grow.
Computer and Information Systems Manager, Graphic Design & Accounting
James Shehan has been an indispensable member of the inventRight team since the company was founded as well as our resident jack-of-all-trades. In addition to establishing and maintaining inventRight’s presence on the web, he is an expert in graphic design, layout, and printing. He is a master sell sheet designer, champion of all things Apple, and Stephen’s longtime, much-beloved right-hand man.
He is currently serving as chairman of the Denair Farm and Family Festival, the annual downtown street festival. In 2015, Arcadia Publishing published his first book, a photo history of his hometown Denair.