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inventRight Has Been Helping Inventors Since 1999

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.

View the embedded image gallery online at:

skprofilepic100Stephen Key


Glenbrook, Nevada

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.

aknew100Andrew Krauss


Henderson, Nevada

Andrew is inventRight’s Operating Partner. An expert at closing the deal, he has coached inventRight students from more than sixty 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 held for over 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.

amyjo100Amy 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. Amy Jo has licensed one of her product ideas, which is a spill-proof coffee lid. She conceived of the innovation when she was working in Los Angeles and driving to Starbucks regularly, frustrated with how easily their lids would allow spills. 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’s ultimate love is her young daughter and spending time with her. Aside from that, fine dining and wine tasting are also things she enjoys to do.

terry100Terry O'Mara

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.

paul100cPaul Sorenson

Senior Coach & Chief Negotiator

Smithfield, Utah

Paul Sorenson has been an entrepreneur practically his whole life, especially since graduating college. Owning and running multiple businesses in different industries, including an insurance agency for 15 years, has taught him invaluable lessons about discipline and efficiency that he intends to share with his students.

Paul inherited much of his resourcefulness and creativity from his father. “If I told my Dad, ‘I don’t know how to do that,” his response was always, ‘Well, what would you do if your life depended on it?’ With that mindset he was always able to figure out a way to accomplish what he was trying to do.” This often led to innovative ideas and techniques. That’s partly why the steps outlined in One Simple Idea resonated so strongly with Sorenson when he read the book for the first time in 2011. “I thought: I can do that!”

Since he began studying inventRight’s methods, he has successfully brought an innovation for the restaurant industry to market and is currently working on licensing several other ideas.

Paul is an outdoorsman and loves being in the mountains. He and his wife are raising their four children in the small valley town he grew up in. Camping, hiking, jeeping, and mountain biking are some of their favorite ways to spend time together.

Judy DePrang100cJudy DePrang


Houston, Texas

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.

ryansmcRyan Diez


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.

scottsmcScott Putnam


Dubuque, Iowa

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.

matt100cMatthew Palmer


Denver, Colorado

Matthew has been working with his hands his entire life. As a child, he remembers driving his parents nuts over the holidays because he was driven by curiosity and couldn’t wait to tear apart his presents. Putting them back together? Not so much, at least in the beginning. He has professional experience in a wide range of industries, including construction, automotive, and oil and gas. From working on overhead cranes to assisting in development of components for directional drilling to better steer underground, Matthew has been on the cutting edge of research and development.

Remarkably, he licensed the first product idea he applied the inventRight 10-step process to! After the third time he slipped and fell on his icy driveway during a cold winter, he decided there had to be a better way — so he invented one. His smart de-icing system is vastly less expensive than installing a heated driveway and much simpler to use than sprinkling rock salt.

“Inventing is my passion. I’ve always been inventing; I just never really thought of it that way. In my previous jobs I got to fulfill aspects of being an inventor, like troubleshooting, fabricating, assembling, and taking things apart,” Matthew explained. “Before I discovered inventRight, I felt alone. The world inventors are surrounded by is not always very creative or enthusiastic about inventing. Now I know there’s a place we can help each other, there’s no place I’d rather be than here helping others who share my passion!”

He is currently developing an innovative system that allows for cleaner dishes in half the time!

He enjoys off-roading in the mountains with his wife and having friends over to enjoy drinks and food by the fire pit in his backyard.

april100cApril Mitchell


Oceanside, California

April Mitchell is a successful entrepreneur who is passionate about natural health and wellness to help others feel their best. A lifelong learner, she was a teacher before focusing on raising her four children with her husband Tony, who is an active duty Marine.

Growing up, April remembers that her father was always creating new things, be it tools for his trade or fishing. Inventing runs in her family, actually; her grandfather received several patents for his inventions, and her great-grandfather was an inventor as well.

While studying to become a teacher, she began using her creativity to design her own games and interactive activities. About a decade ago, she invented and licensed a patented device that prevents towels from slipping off towel bars and onto the bathroom floor. (It did not make it to market and is still available for licensing.)

She found success with her next product idea, the Right Height Adjustable Heights Over-the-Door Hook. The company she licensed it to displayed it at the 2019 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago. It will be distributed online within days and at retail very soon.

“I enjoy learning from people and I love meeting people. You can learn and take something from everyone you meet. You never know where a relationship or a product is headed in the long run.”

She loves collaborating with her family to invent new products, namely toys and games. They stay active camping, hiking, bike riding, and playing sports.

brad100Brad Kons


Cincinnati, Ohio

Brad learned how products are sold at retail living in the South working for large companies and leaned into his creative side by teaching himself how to design websites. He is married to his high school sweetheart, an entrepreneur who has started and grown several businesses with his help.

They started their careers together at Miller Brewing Company in Arkansas, where Brad learned where to place product on the Walmart account. He enjoyed the creative aspects of category management the most. Later, changing industries, he took on web-based roles in event coordination and digital marketing for hospitals, and continued to develop web sites on the side.

He remembers coming up with his first idea for a product when he was 13 and always chewing on his pens in class. Why not flavor the cap?

In college, he heard about some fellow students who had licensed and were making money from a simple idea, but all of the pieces didn’t cement themselves together until he read The 4-Hour Workweek by early inventRight student Tim Ferriss, and was hooked on the concept of licensing products.

So far, he’s successfully licensed four ideas for novelty gift products. His first licensing deal was for an inflatable door, one that you might attach to a coworker’s office to celebrate their fandom or a favorite holiday. (It functioned like a saloon door). The second novelty gift idea he licensed was for vehicles, and the third and fourth were extensions on that initial idea.

“Being creative and sharing the same goal, which is to release your creativity and see your product out on a store shelf, that automatically binds you together,” Brad explained. “It’s like nothing else I’ve experienced. Once I got to know the inventRight community as a student, I knew I wanted to be part of this fulltime.”

He likes to work out and spend time outdoors playing basketball, frisbee golf, and cycling.

kirk100cKirk Hyust


Canton, Ohio

Kirk has been a building contractor for more than 25 years. He has always been an inventor, but it wasn’t until 2014 that he decided to dedicate himself to bringing his ideas for new products to life.

The first invention that he licensed is a wrench that can be moved into 800 different positions. Five months after he signed a licensing agreement to develop the wrench for the professional tool market first, he and his inventing partner Brian created and licensed a barbeque related product. They’re actively in the game together, reaching out to companies about a variety of products in categories including kitchen and pet as well.

“Inventing for me is more relaxed now. It's more fun because I’m focusing on ideas that are simpler. You don't have to stress yourself out about it,” Kirk said. “Brian and I have all these different ideas. We're just picking and choosing the ones we like; we don't get stressed out about it. We just follow the 10 steps every time, and play the game.”

One thing that he appreciates about living in the Midwest is that you can get anything prototyped in the Rust Belt easily.

“From 3D printing to aluminum to laser etching, everything is within an hour of my house,” he explained. “And that’s what I enjoy most about product development — coming up with an idea and actually making it work. I’m handy, and I have a lot of tools and a workshop, so I can literally almost make anything.”

Right now, he’s focused on inventing products that are easily produced and will appeal to a mass market.

“I just want to make sure people don't make the same pitfalls I made when I first started. If I would have gone the inventRight way from the very beginning, my path probably would have been a lot less stressful. It’s always a little stressful because you don't know the path!”

Kirk is fluent in Portuguese and in his down time, loves to cook and fish. For him, inventing is a leisure activity.

courtney100Courtney Laschkewitsch


Santa Cruz, California

Courtney is an award-winning entrepreneur and successful inventor who licensed four product ideas to a company that specializes in outfitting dorm rooms. As a child, she remembers making paper models of amusement parks and ski resorts that took up a whole room. She started her first business as a teenager while attending college. Selling online and at several events throughout the year, she learned the basics of starting and growing her own small business.

She’s also an experienced educator. For nearly a decade, she taught classes to youth about robotics, animation, and design through an educational non-profit. "Each of our classes consisted of teaching the students how to be life-long learners and how to be creative thinkers at a young age,” she explained.

She has been recognized for her achievements, including being the inaugural youth division winner of the Nexties Awards for Entrepreneurship, as well as the Bay Area winner for the National Center for Women & Information Technology.

Before she knew its official name, Courtney was sold on the concept of licensing. With so many ideas, why start a business for each one when you can license them, she thought.

“Licensing is deeply ingrained in who I am,” she said. “I can come up with all these ideas and focus my energy on creativity and innovation every single day; I’m so enthralled by this industry”.

As the longtime Managing Director of Inventors Groups of America, she runs online meetings for inventors that maxes out at 100 attendees as well as produces a monthly newsletter and educational webinar series with guest experts.

“Inventors are dedicated movers and shakers who are constantly pushing their ideas forward. It is such an honor to be a part of the inventing community— it's really inspiring.”

In addition to being a zealous advocate for inventors and the inventing community, and developing product ideas for her own company, Courtney is a martial artist, ukulelist and ballroom dancer. She also enjoys golfing, photojournalism, and dipping her feet into new and invigorating activities.

jon100Jon Corbett

Customer Service and Operations Manager

Tracy, California

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 raises his own pet chickens.

heather100cHeather Christensen

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.

talia100Talia Afoa

Customer Service Assistant Manager

Wilmington, North Carolina

Talia is passionate about big ideas that improve our personal lives, companies, and communities. Before joining the inventRight team, she built brands with an advertising agency, television provider, law firm, environmental laboratory, and newspaper. She grew up as a military brat in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and has lived in many different states, helping her relate to inventors from all over the map. She currently lives close to her family and the beach in Wilmington, North Carolina.

She was inspired to begin studying the principles of inventRight after seeing inventor Gene Luoma’s simple, yet genius Zip-It drain cleaner on store shelves.

“What I love about inventing is the creation of something that has never been seen before. I hear people say all the time, ‘Well, everything's been done. There’s no such thing as an original idea.’ That makes me laugh because it’s absolutely not true. A small change to an existing idea creates something brand new – a product you’ve never seen. Inventing is magical.”

She enjoys inventing office and back-to-school products that add novelty and excitement to work and school. She appreciates that inventors are endlessly curious and eager to find their community on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook.

When Talia is not busy connecting and inventing, you can find her creating running clubs with fellow beer drinkers or studying for her pilot’s license.

sylvia100Sylvia Pomazak


Chicago, Illinois

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.”

jeffsm.jpgJeff Houston

Director of Marketing and Business Development

Austin, Texas

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.

maddiesm.jpgMadeleine Key


Piedmont, California

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. 

lynnsie100bwLynnsie Whitaker

Senior Manager, Design Studio Program

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.

eli100cEli Dahlin

Programs Manager

Rexburg, Idaho

When Eli Dahlin sees someone in need, he reaches out to help. “I am a big brother to many,” he explains. Eli began interning in our sales department while studying business finance at a university in Idaho. For the past three summers, he has been leading large groups of young men that he recruits at his door-to-door sales job at Aptive Environmental.

“For a lot of them, it’s their first time on their own. Getting people to understand the potential they have in life is fun and rewarding.”

Eli has been coming up with product ideas that improve everyday life for as long as he can remember. Always having a side project and self-improvement goals keep him busy.

He loves the gym, hunting, and the great outdoors.

james100cJames Shehan

Computer and Information Systems Manager, Graphic Design & Accounting

Denair, California

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. James is also the co-owner of a home decor and repurposed furniture store in his home town called Grandma's Treasures.

About Us

inventRight is the world's leading expert on product licensing. Cofounded by Stephen Key and Andrew Krauss in 1999, it has since helped people from more than 60 countries license their ideas for new products.

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