Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background experience how you first started inventing?
Matt: I’m living in Dayton, Ohio attending a school called the Air Force Institute of Technology. Dayton is a hub for innovation and is where the Wright Brother’s started flying their airplane. As for me, this is my first invention. I have another one in prototype status and I’m researching the intellectual property perspective of the game.
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about Rollors, what it is and how you came up with the idea?
Matt: I created the new award winning game called Rollors. Think of Rollors as a game that combines the fun of Bocce Ball, Horseshoes, and Bowling. There are both the elements of skill and chance to Rollors. The homepage for the game is www.rollors.net
Tara: What were the first steps you took after having your idea?
Matt: Researching if there was already an idea like Rollors in the public domain. I did that by researching what was on the shelves of stores, searching the Internet and using the various patent search sites online.
Tara: Did you try and patent or protect your idea in any way and how did you go about it?
Matt: Yes. I have one utility patent that’s been approved and a couple more pending (one of which is international). After I completed the step above I looked up local patent attorneys and read a couple books on patents.
Tara: Did you get presentation drawing sheets produced or make a prototype of Rollors?
Matt: Yes. I used the drawing sheets from my first patent for the drawing sheets. Another thing I did I would recommend is research any local schools that might have any type of CAD classes or prototyping machines.
Tara: Have you licensed Rollors to a toy company or are you manufacturing and selling it yourself, and why?
Matt: Yes, I’ve licensed the game to another game company in the US. I did it so they could bring Rollors to a new level that I wasn’t able to do since I have another job. I’m now searching for international distribution and/or licensing opportunities for Rollors.
Tara: What have you found are the most successful ways of promoting Rollors?
Matt: I would say persistence, persistence, and more persistence. What keep my persistence going is getting great feedback and testimonials from people about their Rollors experience. They’ve all been very positive which in turn feeds the fire for my persistence.
Tara: What were the most difficult elements of bringing Rollors to market?
Matt: The most difficult part is spreading the word about the game. I’m always thinking up new innovative ways via blogs, gift guides, review sites, press releases, social media, etc.
Tara: How long has it taken from your initial idea to taking it to market?
Matt: The idea started to “roll” around in my head back in 2008 but I did a lot of researching into how I can keep my game protected through patent protection. When the first patent filed then I could start developing the website and spreading the word about the game.
Tara: Is there anything you learned developing Rollors that you would now do differently if you had to do it all again?
Matt: Yes. This may sound like a minor thing but I think every tidbit of information that is shared with future inventors helps them so they don’t recreate the same thing (if it’s negative). When I first started out I had custom letterhead and envelopes created with the Rollors graphic on it with my mailing address. Since I’m in the military I move around more than the usually person so that was not money well spent.
Tara: What advice would you give any aspiring inventor with an idea?
Use the all the very valuable resources that are out there like the inventors websites, blogs, listen radio shows like Got Invention radio or magazines like Inventors Digest.
Tara: Where can people find out more about you and your game Rollors?
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