This is the second part of my progress of attempting to license one of my ideas, you can read the first part here
Part 1) Just Started Inventright Course on How to License your Invention Ideas
Please note this post does NOT have affiliate links. I want to remain impartial until I complete the course
I previously wrote a post explaining how I had started the InventRight Course which teaches you how to license your ideas. Prior to signing up I had been listening to their free podcasts for quite a while and liked the information in them, so took the plunge and bought the course. It’s not cheap, but I had heard you do get one to one access to talking to the founders Stephen Key and Andrew Krauss, something which is quite unusual for online courses.
So far I have read through several of the booklets and listened to a lot of the recorded webinars. The webinars are held every week for several weeks and then there is a short break and they start again. I listen to the recordings, as the live webinars would be at 2am my time (UK). I did request that perhaps they could do some alternative times and Stephen Key said he would try to arrange that.
As I mentioned in the earlier post I have started on one of the projects they suggest to come up with candy ideas. This is suggested as it is something you don’t have to be too precious about and you can work your way through all their suggested licensing steps.
Research the market – visiting real and Online Shops
I visited a few shops which sell candy and also checked out some online shops. I found some of the most weird candy out there including a candy dripping nose and a candy toilet (see below – yuk). After seeing what was out there I began brainstorming ideas first with mind maps and then with scribbled ideas. Obviously I can’t show anything here that I might potentially try to move forward with.
Checking if the idea already exists
After I had several potential ideas I began searching google images and google products to see if anything similar existed to the ideas I had. This eliminated a few ideas including one which I quite liked – finger puppet candy.
Choosing an Idea and Creating a Sell Sheet
I picked my favourite idea and decided to try to work up a sell sheet. You can find examples of sell sheets here and here. A sell sheet is basically a sheet with drawings and text explaining and “selling” you idea, though I didn’t quite fully understand this at first (more about this later). I wasn’t too concerned about producing the drawings and graphics as I work as a freelance graphic designer and so I am used to doing this kind of thing. I put together renderings of my idea using 3d software combined with Photoshop and then pulled the various drawings into a page layout program and added in explanation to what was happening.
I wasn’t quite sure if I done this right so I fired it over to Andrew Krauss and Stephen Key who personally answer emails and phone calls. Stephen responded by email within an hour or so with advice on the sell sheet, he made several great suggestions including adding imagery of happy kids. What I stupidly hadn’t appreciated was a sell sheet should do just that – SELL itself. Whereas I had created a sheet explaining how my idea worked what I should have been doing was also selling how fantastic the idea was and what great features and benefits the idea has. You are almost selling you idea as a company would try to sell a product in existence to you in an advert. The sell sheet needed to
A) firstly…Grab attention and create interest
B) secondly…Sell the benefits
C) lastly…Explain the idea
I had a second shot at the sell sheet but this time thought about it much more from the perspective that I was creating an advert for a product as this is something I do in my freelance work.
I fired the revised sell sheet over to Stephen and Andrew the next day and shortly after Stephen phoned me saying it looked good, he liked the idea and advising me on what I should do next. This included listening to one of the webinars that had been done the day before about protecting ideas in different countries and further research I should do.
Only minutes after getting off the phone Stephen called back with some more advice and told me to call or email anytime.
My next steps will be searching for prospective companies to approach and looking into possibly filing a provisional patent once I find out if my idea is feasible. I may also work up some of my other candy ideas into sell sheets in case the first one doesn’t work out too.
Although the InventRight course looks pricey at first, unlike any course I have done so far you get to talk one to one with the founders, this is worth a lot to me. So far my experience of the course has been excellent and I will keep you up to date with my progress when I have more news.
You can read the next steps in my progress at:
Part 3) I Suck at Inventing, What About You?
Part 4) Filing a US Provisional Patent Plus Useful Books and Software
Part 5) Signed my First Licensing Agreement for an Idea
Part 6) Seen Samples of my Candy Idea