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How to get a hardware gadget idea pitched to a company?
show user profile  horizon
So, I have an idea for a piece of hardware (a product line of 3 related gadgets actually), and the biggest and perhaps only question is, how do you get something like that pitched to someone to license it for production.

I plan on doing all the specs, the casing design, the sketches, 3d renders, the name, logo, branding, idea pitch, marketing text etc...

The casing prototype is easily done with 3d printing, and if need be, the working prototype can be arranged with one of the companies like these:

And so the question.... what then? Where to go? Who to ask? Am I in trouble for being so far away in a shithole that is Croatia? I have no idea how this industry work. Do I even have a chance being a nobody ATM?

And while we're at it, if anyone has any experience with patenting offices, prototyping, the industry standards for sketches, pitch text, spec text or anything related, feel free to give advice, links, whatever comes to mind

read 586 times
2/4/2011 3:25:01 AM (last edit: 2/4/2011 3:25:39 AM)
show user profile  Bolteon
woah woah woah... easy how you talk about rijeka... some part of me still cares about that place (stupid birth site attachment).

honestly, where are you looking to have it go? if you want an international company; your best bet is getting the idea viral on the internet. but then there's risk of things and ideas getting stolen and you can't copyright and patent everywhere in the world...

my suggestion? either find someone who knows someone who knows someone or start production yourself and sell via the internet.

-Marko Mandaric

read 570 times
2/4/2011 5:11:11 AM (last edit: 2/4/2011 5:11:11 AM)
show user profile  horizon
You should try coming back for a few years, to live and work, not visit, and see how you feel about it then :P
You want prototyping? I found only one place that does it. Here is their awesome site
You want money from paypal? NO!
Want to drive? $6.4 per gallon (and our average/comfortable pay is around 11K per year)

But lets leave the rant for some other thread, lets just say we are a forgotten backwards part of the world...

Anyway... thanks for the suggestions. I thought about building a site, do some advertising, build up some interest and then trying to sell it but 1)like you said someone might just start making it and 2) I still don't know where to go to.

As for producing it myself, I'm not sure how. I mean the technology itself is all around in parts, but I wouldn't know where to start with the functional prototype, let alone the finished product.

read 559 times
2/4/2011 7:10:15 AM (last edit: 2/4/2011 7:10:31 AM)
show user profile  Garp
Personally, I'd try to approach a large company that sells the same kind of product. See if you can contact their marketing dpt on their web site and just tell them what you said here. They're used to it. You will not sell them anything anyway. The product will sell itself or won't.

read 554 times
2/4/2011 7:24:59 AM (last edit: 2/4/2011 7:24:59 AM)
show user profile  advance-software
Croat Dragons Den. If it doesn't exist, there's your next idea !

If the barrier to entry (ability to copy your idea) is low and you don't protect your invention, anyone you approach will just copy it and cut out the middle man (you).

If it's original & worth the effort, a patent would be the way to go.

read 540 times
2/4/2011 11:02:22 AM (last edit: 2/4/2011 11:41:41 AM)
show user profile  horizon
Garp, you think they'd read something like that and not just trash it? And how much to tell in the initial contact?

AS - nope, no such thing here, even the bbc one is not available in my area (can't see video). You still reading this bolts? :P

As for patenting, I'm not quite clear what passes as an original patentable idea this days. I mean, not much is written from scratch today (every single dll, library etc...), and nothing is built without existing technology (if you builda remote control that controls every microwave you might own, you will still use IR transcievers someone else came up with, switches, buttons, circuit board...)

Where is the line to be considered new? The gadget won't be the first one on the market, but as far as I've seen, it will be the most thought thru and functional amongst all existing.

read 511 times
2/4/2011 3:31:19 PM (last edit: 2/4/2011 3:31:19 PM)
show user profile  Joey Parker Jr.
The gadget won't be the first one on the market, but as far as I've seen, it will be the most thought thru and functional amongst all existing.

Nipple clamps?
 photo 2012-sig_small3_zpsbd114b69.png

read 501 times
2/4/2011 3:48:46 PM (last edit: 2/4/2011 3:48:46 PM)
show user profile  LionDebt
@Joey: lol...

A concept is worth absolutely nothing without the means to make it a reality. My advice would be to contact local companies who create similar products and just start a dialogue with them. Try to aim as high as possible - as in, try and secure an interview or meeting with the individual right at the top of the company. Then it's basically up to you to sell your concept in a pitch and hope that the company bites and hires you/pays you for the idea. Be sure to cover yourself legally - and this is something that is becoming increasingly difficult. My suggestion would be to draft an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), which is basically a legal document wherein the undersigned parties agree to not divulge trade-secrets, concepts, designs, or embark on creating similar products (or any other terms you wish them to agree to). You might also want to contact local universities for assistance in either marketing, business management, creating the legal document/NDA, or even their design and technology departments. Edit: Assistance as in, learning about the processes, not as in physically helping you create your product.

The long and short of it is, not what you know, who you know blah blah blah. Try research as much as you can about the process of developing your gadgets, speculated costs, hypothetical profits, sales per year, set up costs etc... The more knowledge you bring to the table in your initial pitch to a local company or whomever, the more confident you will sound.

My two cents :) good luck to ya!

Croatia is awesome - but I wouldn't like to live and work there :p
read 492 times
2/4/2011 4:12:25 PM (last edit: 2/4/2011 4:13:30 PM)
show user profile  horizon
@Joey - I've already started the patenting process so don't try to outrun me

There are NO local companies producing similar products. There are NO local companies even producing anything technology related that is available in stores. The closest thing is the industry producing electrical components, meaning circuits, not gadgets.
Only the local branches of international companies like siemens, ericsson and similar might be worth something.

My graphical design college has a 3d printing machine, the cheapest one out there, but even we can't use it.
The only one college in electrotechnics capable of doing a project like this isn't at all open to the students outside their own (I'm not allowed to even attend a lecture my high school friend is doing).
Waiting on Bolts's comment :P

So anyway, searching for strings to be pulled it is. If all else fails, prototype it and start advertising without the actual product to ship, hoping someone will bite the bait.

read 478 times
2/4/2011 5:59:12 PM (last edit: 2/4/2011 5:59:12 PM)
show user profile  advance-software
Remote operated nipple clamps have been available at Dr Jim's Teledildonic Emporium for years.

read 468 times
2/4/2011 6:10:17 PM (last edit: 2/4/2011 6:12:20 PM)
show user profile  Garp
"you think they'd read something like that and not just trash it?"

So you're not contacting them because they might not answer?

You first email them not to sell anything but to ask for a contact. And by them I mean for example Apple Europe, not Apple Croatia.
Dear Sir, I have developped a product about '..web device..memory' that I would like to present to your company. Could you indicate me the appropriate department or person to contact? Thanks. H.
If after a few days you have no answer, you do it again but this time you call them.
Once you have a contact (you might be redirected a couple of times) you say that you've been told by '...' to get in touch with them and you ask candidly (candid doesn't mean naive) how to proceed. Don't pretend to know what you don't.
From there as I said either your product sells itself or it doesn't.
Don't be overly protective about it. Big companies have no interest in trying to steal your 'gadget'. It's not so much that you could sue them but the damage you could cause to their reputation if they did.

Or you could do it yourself, sell a few hundreds in the next five years and, if you're lucky, cover half of the production cost.

read 448 times
2/4/2011 10:17:18 PM (last edit: 2/4/2011 10:17:18 PM)
show user profile  Joey Parker Jr.
Hire Garp as your PR man. Done!
 photo 2012-sig_small3_zpsbd114b69.png

read 440 times
2/4/2011 10:35:48 PM (last edit: 2/4/2011 10:35:48 PM)
show user profile  Dub.
going to a large company is almost certainly a waste of time. They will probably activly not be interested in case they come up with something similar themselves in the future. if they don't engage with you, then there is less risk of being sued by you.

The only thing that should be in your mind right now is building a prototype.

read 434 times
2/4/2011 10:48:30 PM (last edit: 2/4/2011 10:48:30 PM)
show user profile  advance-software
... unless you're in the Europe & want to get a grant to help you, in which case you have to raise your funding first, submit an application, get a % matched funding contribution from the govt. then start the real work. If you start work first, then submit an application, it gets rejected "because" you already have a fairly advanced prototype at the time of application ... or at least that's what happened to me. Yes, I know this is retarded.

I realize you're in Croatia which is not yet in the EU, but the point is, check how govt. support programmes (if any) work before starting work.
read 424 times
2/5/2011 12:57:30 AM (last edit: 2/5/2011 5:09:14 PM)
show user profile  Cloak
Horizon: There are services and legal firms which specialize in patent & product development. I'd start looking up these before you contact anyone else; protect the investment you've already made.

read 415 times
2/5/2011 1:40:07 AM (last edit: 2/5/2011 1:40:07 AM)
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