Networking Web site gathers inventors

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Veterinarian Mike Thomann shows off his "Port-a-Scoop" invention.


Bill Radke: You know, I'll bet at some point in your life, you have said to yourself, "I have this great idea for a new product," and then you forgot about it because, how would you ever get it to market? Well reporter Simone Orendain tells us about an invention Web site based in Charlotte, N.C.

Simone Orendain: Every good idea needs a home. Like a scratching post covered with sand paper so your cat can file its own nails.

Ad: Here kitty, kitty! Ever try to trim your cat's claws? It's impossible! Now your cat can trim her own claws, with Emery Cat!

"Emery Cat" is on store shelves thanks to a PBS reality show called "Everyday Edisons." The program tracks how ordinary folks turn ideas into useful products. The show got so many great ideas from would-be inventors, they started a Web site called "Edison Nation" just to collect those pitches.

And the business community took notice. Now companies like Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond and PetSmart come to "Edison Nation" to find the next big thing.

Matt Spangard: We have a team of experts who interview the retailers.

Matt Spangard heads Edison Nation.

Spangard: They then tell us what their needs are. We put together a live product search.

So for example, Home Depot is looking for new tools that make painting faster and easier. Exactly what that means is left up to the inventor's imagination. Spangard says retailers like the system because they'd prefer to deal directly with Edison Nation's experts, rather than with individual inventors.

Charlotte inventor and veterinarian Mike Thomann knows what it's like to go it alone. He spent $50,000 and five years of his life trying to sell companies on his invention, a portable pooper scooper.

Mike Thomann: I'm trying to cram this down their throats, whereas Edison Nation has idea hunts where companies are coming saying these are the products we want, we have an opening for it, so just fulfill the opening.

Now Thomann's invention -- he calls it the "Port-a-Scoop" -- is a finalist in a PetSmart search.

Thomann: It's a streamlined process and you don't have to fight with these retailers and these big companies much to get your product on a shelf. So it's a very efficient process.

If Thomann's idea is accepted, Edison Nation will give him a $2,500 advance. And they'll take care of licensing the product.

So, what's in it for Edison Nation? It splits royalties 50-50 with the inventors.

In Charlotte, I'm Simone Orendain for Marketplace.

Veterinarian Mike Thomann shows off his "Port-a-Scoop" invention.

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I have been an inventor for over 25 years, but have not had the funds to follow up on many of my ideas. I sat by and painfully watched for years as idea after idea that I had written down became someone else s cash cow. Before Edison Nation, there was no cheap and effective way for inventors to get their ideas to the marketplace. Edison Nation just revolutionized innovation in America. As far as trust is concerned, would you rather do as I have for years, or trust the experts at Edison Nation and take a chance? If your idea isn't exposed to the proper people, you won't make anything. If you can afford tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and have a team of experts, then by all means... go at it alone. For the rest of us... I've waited 25 years for such a company. I'll be happy to split the profits with them!

hello I would like to know how your invention is being handled are you confident Edisonnation is being fair to you?
thank you in advance

Hi my name is Jeff Betts of Mound City, KS. I am the inventor and Owner of A Inovative and Oridgenal idea what I call The Portable Hunting Blind (P.H.B. Co.) I have the prototype,the logo of the product and Company name, But that is all I have. It is not patented. It is used for Deer,Turkey,Duck and Goose hunting,Photography and Nature Lovers alike, it also can be used to haul your deer out of the woods and even can be used for an emergency shelter. It is light weight easy to transport, it's big enough for a wheel chiar. I also have plans for a 2 person Portable Hunting Blind (P.H.B.#2). If I am allowed to have my dream I will market it at Cabelas,Bass Pro,Dicks Sporting Goods, But I don't know if I should market at a Walmart or K-Mart, I am going for quality because it is not cheap, yes there is less exspensive hunting blinds also there is more exspensive hunting blinds out there BUT THERE IS NOT ONE HUNTING BLIND out there that I KNOW of that does what mine does. Please consider to be My Partner in an buiness adventure of a lifetime, what I have plans for IS BIGGER than me,I want to help the poor people Because WE have good ideas also. THANK YOU for YOUR TIME and GOD BLESS

Inventor and Owner
of P.H.B. and P.H.B. Co.

I need a partner to write the software for my invention= a "memory board for the elderly and shut-ins...This is a very simple and easy to use rreminder,etc. Many physicans have loved my idea for their elderly parents. Now I just need an ethical person to help make a prototype. Please givve me a chance. This could be a life saver for many seniors..Thank you veery much..Marcia Hudson

I would like to talk to someone who can invest in making some of my inventions a reality. I have 100's of ideas written down. I need a backer. Thanks Brian Keller 203-375-3804

i have an idea for a shoe or sneaker that can change the way we all see safety its worth it believe my family lloves the idea but i think they really dont believe in it but i do i want to sell it as well as profit off of it so im looking for some help

I am able to read all of this but there seems to be NO way of contacting them.

I can't find a phone number, e.g.

I have a patented 'heated' ironing board capable of working with a cordless iron in the US 110 volt environment using 'smart' circuitry to balance electric load between iron and board. Prototype already built. Cuts ironing time by 50 %. In interested, email me.

I have an invention , plus a patent on my invention. My invetion is called The Auto-Mower. It can be seen on www.marketlaunchers.com under the home & garden section.

I joined Edison Nation on Sept30th 09. I have 9 submissions into them and have watched almost daily as they have moved them along through their pre-screening,etc. processes. Normally, I would not have done anything with my inventions because I don't have the money to lay out for them and I have never trusted or felt safe to confide in anyone, other than my husband. Everyday Edison has integrity and they are an exciting team of intelligent people that I have entrusted my secrets to. This is the one positive avenue I have going for me and my future plans do rest on what my inventions can do for me. I have something very exciting to look forward to and because of Everyday Edisons, my future is something I can feel happy and secure about. Physically, I'm limited, but that does not stop me from using my brain and the feeling that my ideas have value and that I can contribute to our future plans and that my husband does not have to go it alone in these hard economic times. We have had inventions down on paper for 30 years and when EN came along,we dusted them off and submitted them. Because of EN, our dreams are coming alive. I am going on trust and faith and am happy I have an avenue for my ideas. We,my husband and I haven't even submitted our best because Home Depot will have to make it a topic of interest to EN before we can submit them. It is so exciting to go to my computer each day and see if they have moved our inventions up a notch!To actually think of one of our products on store shelves is the most exciting thing I could ever hope and pray for.
We will owe it all to Edison Nation and their wonderful team of positive, bright,innovative people.


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