Tara: What is your name, invention name and website URL?
George: George Wood, FREEZE N GO freezengo.com
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background experience how you first started inventing?
George: I’m located in Jensen Beach, Florida. My background is in sales, 25 years in the hardware industry and 10 in ceramic/porcelain flooring distribution.
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about your invention, what it is, and how you came up with the idea?
George: It is a personal beverage cooler that when frozen, will keep your beverage cold for over 12 hours indoors. For over 40 years I have gone to bed with a cold drink only to wake up in the middle of the night and it was warm, no way to keep it cold. When I was cleaning out the freezer one day, I accidently left a freeze gel pack on the counter overnight. When I went to move it the next day, it was still cold. I went to Walmarts and purchased four additional but smaller freeze gel packs. I then went home and duct taped them together around a bottle of water. I then put the duct taped freeze gel packs in the freezer overnight. The next day, I removed the unit and put a bottle of water in it and a thermometer in the bottle of water, it stayed at 38 degrees all day long, thus the FREEZE N GO was born. I used it for a week next to my bed, it worked great but needed something to insulate and reduce the condensation. I ended up making a 5mm neoprene sleeve to wrap around the FREEZE N GO to insulate and reduce condensation. The insulation sleeve also makes a great “billboard” to advertise on.
Tara: What were the first steps you took after having your idea?
George: After using the duct taped unit for a week and liking it so well, I proceeded in making a smaller unit out of cardboard to see what it would look like. I then researched it on the Internet to see if there was anything like it on the market. Not finding anything, a patent attorney was hired to do a patent search. The search came back clear in about six weeks, I then applied for a utility patent which was granted in less than 120 days.
Tara: Did you get presentation drawing sheets produced or make a prototype of your invention, how did you go about this?
George: After receiving the patent, I contacted a plastic injection manufacturer with my cardboard prototype to design it in detail on their 3-d cad computer. After being satisfied with the final design, a plastic injection mold was made to produce the FREEZE N GO.
Tara: Did you try and patent or protect your idea in any way and how did you go about it?
George: As stated, the FREEZE N GO is patented and trademarked.
Tara: Did you always intend manufacturing your invention yourself or did you look into licensing the idea?
George: Didn’t really want to get involved with the manufacturing of it but had to see if it actually worked as intended. Now that we know that it works, would love an opportunity to license it to an existing manufacturer that can market it throughout the world. Because of the “Mass Appeal” the FREEZE N GO has, I have had request for distribution from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Brazil, Turkey, Mexico and Russia. In fact, Russia did a story on the FREEZE N GO in their publication titled “Top 1000 Marketing Ideas of the World”.
Tara: How did you go about finding a suitable manufacturer for your invention and did you self fund this?
George: I knew that there would be a number of issues to be resolved during the manufacturing process. If it was made in China, I would not have been able to be involved in correcting the issues we were presented with. I wanted a manufacturer that was located close to resolve issues as they came up. I probably took over thirty trips (twenty miles away) to my selected manufacturer to resolve various issues. A majority of the funding came from a personal friend and former employer.
NOTE: For years we have gone to Las Vegas yearly to have a good time. I always complained while in the hotel room that I could not keep my drink cold all night. I told him if I could ever invent something that could, I’d be rich. Well I invented it, but sure haven’t gotten rich yet!!!!
Tara: What have you found are the best ways of promoting your invention?
George: The best way would be television and the most expensive. Social media including Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and YouTube would be good if I would learn more about it. I’m currently selling the FREEZE N GO’s on my web site at www.freezengo.com, Jamin’ Jensen, a street type table top shin dig in my home town of Jensen Beach on Thursday nights, a couple local golf courses, local Ace Hardware Stores and word of mouth. Approximately 2,000 have been sold since production.
Probably the best way to promote and market the FREEZE N GO is with the insulation sleeve that comes with it. The sleeve makes an excellent four sided “Billboard” to promote or license a wide range of businesses, schools. Hotels, restaurants, fund raisers and casinos to name a few. In fact, we have a pending order for 1800 units from a casino located in Washington State and a watch maker located in Miami for a promotion this summer.
Tara: What were the most difficult elements of bringing your invention to market?
George: I would have to say the issues we have had with the plastic cracking after multiple freeze thaw cycles. We ended up using a resin instead of a plastic, a more expensive product.
Tara: How long has it taken from your initial idea to taking it to market?
George: It took a little over two years, nearly eight months to get the mold made and delivered.
Tara: Is there anything you learned developing your invention that you would now do differently if you had to do it all again?
George: Several things, would design a multiple mold to produce two or four units at a time and automate filling and sealing via sonic weld.
Tara: What advice would you give any aspiring inventor with an idea?
George: Don’t give up and make sure that you have the financial resources to reach your goal.
Tara: Where can people find out more about you your invention?
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