Lego and Hasbro Toy Design Gurus to Speak at the Inventors’ Workshop
Inventors Workshop for toy and board game designers, 22 September, Northamptonshire, UK – www.inventorsworkshopevent.com
Budding toy and board game inventors will have a unique opportunity to meet professional toy designers from some of the world’s biggest toy companies at this year’s Inventors Workshop.
Samuel Thomas Johnson, a toy designer with LEGO Group, and Hasbro’s Dougal Grimes are among those confirmed to speak at the one day event, which takes place on 22 September at Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire.
The workshop provides both new and experienced toy and board game designers with a chance to take part in life-changing face to face ‘pitch’ meetings with leading toy companies as well as benefit from a morning of educational sessions covering critical issues including funding, toy safety, legislation, intellectual property protection, using technology and pitching to retail
Hasbro’s Dougal Grimes will lead a panel session called How We Made It!, which will see Samuel Thomas Johnson, Jenga inventor Leslie Scott and Crazy Cart creator Ali Kermani deliver a rare insight into life as a toy designer and the secrets behind the success of some of the industry’s best loved products.
“It’s always important for new toy and game inventors to understand the challenges that others are going through,” said Dougal Grimes, Hasbro. “And it’s important for toy companies to support the inventor community because if they are successful they’ll invent more, and we want to keep that community alive.”
Also on the How We Made It! panel is Gillian Logan, who attended the inaugural conference as a delegate last year with her idea for Skinny Sketcher drawing kits. A major toy manufacturer signed Gillian on the spot and her product is now in production and on the cusp of going on sale.
“Getting to pitch your ideas to the toy industry’s major players is a fantastic opportunity for inventors, some of whom have been trying to get in front of the decision makers for years, and everyone who attended last year came away feeling inspired, energised and better placed to get their products on toy shop shelves,” Gillian Logan, Skinny Sketcher.
Billy Langsworthy, Inventors Workshop conference director, finished by saying: “Toy and board game inventors could not be more important to the toy industry because, without them, there would be no new toys, no new play experiences the industry would stagnate.
“The tricky part for inventors who know they have a great product is getting in front of the right people. They can spend years patiently knocking on doors in the hope of getting their products noticed and picked up. We launched the Inventors Workshop to expedite that process and their frustration and we’ve stepped things up this year with an inspiring conference programme and the life changing One2One sessions that will give inventors an even greater chance of connecting with the right business partner.”
Tickets to the Inventors Workshop are on sale now for just £99. This early bird rate is applicable until 7 August and can be accessed here http://www.inventorsworkshopevent.com/buy-tickets/.
D2M have recently launched a new, nationwide Innovation competition for inventors, to have the chance of having their idea fully designed, manufactured and retailed at no personal cost. Applications are being taken from April the 1st 2014, but people can register their interest now.
Shortlisted applicants will go before a Dragons Den style panel to pitch their idea and the winner will receive expert support to transform their idea into a commercial reality.
For more information please visit http://www.design2market.co.uk/competition.html
For anyone interested in being part of a new startup and meeting interesting people this sounds like a great idea especially if you are anywhere near Leicester UK.I’d go if I hadn’t already got something on that weekend.
From the website:
The Launch48 weekend is a unique experience for building web startups with a group of teams from a range of backgrounds and different sets of skills.
For each team, the goal is simple: pitch, build and launch a startup in 48 hours.
The Launch48 weekend is different from most hackathon’s and entrepreneurial events because:
- We focus on the business and ensuring you understand your customers. Check out the agenda for more information.
- We have a great set of mentors that work with groups to develop their business
- Each team has about 10 people working on each idea from a broad range of backgrounds
- We don’t allow pre-existing teams.
- Participants meet, learn from, and work with many people throughout the event
- All aspects of a business are covered including planning, marketing, PR, branding, design, finance, and development
When: Friday 6th September to Sunday 8th September 2013.
Where: LCB Depot, 31 Rutland Street, Leicester LE1 1RE (see directions)
Find out more at http://leicester.launch48.com/
In this inventor interview Shawn Moye who invented a product to help people learn how to shoot a basketball.
Tara: What is your name, invention name and website URL?
Shawn: Shawn Moye, electronic basketball shooting coach, http://www.electronicshootingcoach.com
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background experience how you first started inventing?
Shawn: I am located in Phoenix Arizona. When I first started, I did not know where to turn. I was only 16, living in Ohio, had no money, and no one around me with patent experience so I thought I was stuck. However, what I did know was that it’s important to protect your idea because what may be a dream to you may be a nightmare to someone else. So I eventually turned to turn to an invention submission company for protection. They were eager to help me following an $11,000 upfront fee. After doing an assignment an investor gave me I found out through the Better Business Bureau that the invention submission company had numerous lawsuits pending against it. I now have my Master’s in Business Management with an minor in Entrepreneurship and have been inventing for over 20 years.
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about your invention, what it is, and how you came up with the idea?
Shawn: We are the creators of The Electronic Basketball Shooting Coach (EBSC), which is endorsed by college and AAU coaches and is ergonomically design to help kids develop the muscle memory needed to maintain proper form when shooting a basketball. I came up with this product while I was trying to teach my son the proper way to shoot a basketball. As I looked around the park I saw that a lot of kids were trying to learn the same thing but didn’t have anyone there to teach them properly. The adults that were with the kids didn’t have the knowledge to teach them properly either. That is when I first came up with the idea. What sets this product apart is the Chip On Board technology that allows this product to talk to you. Yes, it talks! It’s like having a coach on your arm! (Good for people of all ages). Our recently patented product is the answer to the youth’s dilemma when learning how to shoot a basketball correctly. Our product, the Electronic Basketball Shooting Coach, helps create the muscle memory need to maintain proper form when shooting a basketball. The E.B.S.C is lightweight weighing only 70 grams, self contained, and easy to use. It will make learning how to properly shoot a basketball more exciting, especially for the millions of youth basketball players who are fast becoming students of the game and not just players of the game. Up until now, a novice basketball player had no accurate method to identify if they were shooting a basketball properly. When you shoot the basketball with the elbow tucked in the product will not sound but if your elbow is out when you shoot the basketball then an alarm will talk and tell you to “keep your elbow tucked in”. Speaking four different phrases when you wear this product it’s like having a real coach on your arm! We have revolutionized the way youth are taught how to shoot a basketball and have raised the bar for the industry by supplying a higher performing product, which ensures a higher performance for the consumer. Golf is next!
Tara: What were the first steps you took after having your idea?
Shawn: I did not know it at the time but the library is where the first step of my thousand-mile journey began. I decided to check out a book on patents. I know its considered taboo to attempt to learn about patents but my inquiring mind wanted to know what was so terrifying. I had to find out why patent attorney’s or invention submission companies are the only entities entitled to learn about the patent process. That day changed my life forever.
Tara: Did you get presentation drawing sheets produced or make a prototype of your invention, how did you go about this?
Shawn: I found a toy designer online to build my prototype for me. Now, I am not an attorney but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention to clearly state everything you want them to do for you in writing in a signed contract. I bring it up because somewhere along the process the toy designer began to love my idea so much that he asked if I wanted to renegotiate the contract we had. After I declined, he said “I wish I had asked for more in the beginning”. I did have a company make some drawings for me which helped when I began to patent my product.
Tara: Did you try and patent or protect your idea in any way and how did you go about it?
Shawn: After learning about different patents, I decided to save time and money by preparing a provisional patent on my own before developing a utility patent. The provisional patent gave me a year to conduct focus groups to find out if my product was functional before I spent thousands on a utility patent. I filed for an utility patent own my own and have just been approved for my utility patent on 6/18/2013. People said I needed a patent attorney but I didn’t. We can do anything we put our minds too.
Tara: Did you always intend manufacturing your invention yourself or did you look into licensing the idea?
Shawn: I have always intended to manufacture my product. It has been difficult but it has been fun. I got online and found companies that could manufacture my product. I am now working with off shore companies but it can be hard because when a change needs to be made it takes a longer time to have the changes made. Recently I have begun looking for licensing deals.
Tara: How did you go about finding a suitable manufacturer for your invention and did you self fund this?
Shawn: I contacted offshore agents who offered to find companies but because of my limited capital I decided to find some companies I have been blessed enough to have find two offshore companies to make my product.
Tara: What have you found are the best ways of promoting your invention?
Shawn: The best ways I have found to promote my invention is through social media sites and through my website. I have found a marketing company that has helped me get my product in desired events.
Tara: What were the most difficult elements of bringing your invention to market?
Shawn: It is hard trying to get in front of buyers for companies and raising the funding to build inventory. Most times major companies want you to have the clients and orders before contacting them but its hard if you don’t have the money to do so.
Tara: How long has it taken from your initial idea to taking it to market?
Shawn: It has taken about 3 years because I wanted to make sure I had all of my I’s dotted and T’s crossed before I tried to contact any companies. I have heard of people having their ideas stolen because they were not properly protected.
Tara: Is there anything you learned developing your invention that you would now do differently if you had to do it all again?
Shawn: I wouldn’t do anything differently!
Tara: What advice would you give any aspiring inventor with an idea?
Shawn: I would tell them to never give up on their dreams! Its going to be hard, people are going to tell you it wont work, people are going to envious, but don’t let it stop you. Take one-step at a time, put yourself around positive people, talk to people that are at the level you are trying to get too, and just do it!
Tara: Where can people find out more about you your invention?
Shawn: People can find out more about my invention at
For more information please contact Shawn Moye at firstname.lastname@example.org 480-363-5736
Are you an inventor or invention expert with an interesting story or advice to share? Please get in touch via the contact form or email tara (at) ideasuploaded (dot) com
I have recently been trying to come up with names for a company and finding it very difficult to come up with anything original, interesting and where the dot com domain is still available. I have just found this excellent set of slides which offers loads of advice and resources for creative product/business name ideas. Check it out below:
It’s always difficult to learn something new, but wouldn’t it be cool if you had someone who could help you one-to-one?
And what if it was totally free
Let’s face it one-to-one tuition and mentorship is USUALLY pretty expensive, but what if we all helped each other by swapping our skills?
FILL IN THE LEARNING SWAP FORM HERE
For Example – I am learning to program Ruby on Rails and would love to have a Mentor I could go to when I am really stuck. Well, I would be happy to help them learn design or even do some design work in return.
You could swap
- Business start up help for Photoshop work
- Help with drawings of your invention for Marketing Help
- Spanish conversation practice for Maths help
- Design Mentoring for Guitar Mentoring
You get the gist – you swap some of your time/expertise for the other persons.
FILL IN THE LEARNING SWAP/ FIND A MENTOR FORM HERE and if there are enough people interested I will put together a mailing list with what everyone is looking for. and see how we can help each other.
PS. Please share the link with your friends, the more people interested the more chance of getting a good match.