“If I see a problem then I can connect the dots and use a solution from a different field to invent a new design or product.”
Edison Nation member Sanjeev Singh is an electrical engineer who has 15 issued US patents and five additional patents pending. It’s safe to say he’s an experienced inventor. Ironically, the idea that earned him his first Edison Nation licensing deal had nothing to do with electronics. It’s a product for pet safety, licensed by Worldwise, Inc.!
Born in Hamirpur (HP) India, Sanjeev currently lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, and found Edison Nation in an internet search back in 2010. He has submitted several products to multiple searches since joining our community, but the path to this licensing deal has quite a story…
As we’ve said in the past, some licensing deals happen quickly, others take more time. Everything depends on many, many variables, the majority of which are out of our control. Each licensing deal has its own backstory.
In Sanjeev’s case, we’ve tapped Scott Dromms, our Vice President of Licensing, and the person responsible for the licensing deal with Worldwise, Inc., to tell the tale in his own words…
First, congratulations to Sanjeev!
Here at Edison Nation, every now and then you get an innovation that you just know has to get into retail markets, and like a bulldog you sink your teeth into it. Well, I had to do that on this one, certainly.
It all started late July 2015. Yes, you read that correctly, 2015.
On July 31, 2015, we sent out the sample of the innovation to a new contact at Worldwise, Inc. They had recently acquired the Quaker Pet business in May 2015, and this new contact was the President of Quaker Pet.
The initial reaction to Sanjeev’s idea was really positive. But with all the changes following the acquisition, and the fact that Worldwise, Inc., was now in the midst of acquiring the Sherpa brand, we were advised that any decision would be delayed.
The Worldwise team advised that negotiations would linger until late 2015. In January of 2016, they shared that their team had commissioned an in-depth consumer focus group to better evaluate the Sherpa brand and their upcoming plans to develop that product line.
We received the following message that fall:
We will not put together the line vision until we have finalized the Sherpa brand acquisition and review the results of the consumer study. I am returning the sample to your attention today and will get back in touch when all issues are resolved on our end. At that time we’ll see if the product still has merit and is available.
Appreciate your patience.
Well, we have patience, and we won’t give up on your innovations!
Fast forward to March 2016, where I followed up to learn more about the outcome of the focus group. I was advised that at the start of May, they were starting the Sherpa Travel Line.
I circled back in the middle of August 2016, and on August 31, they expressed renewed interest in the product! I resent information, adding some color around the potential path forward, the keys to the IP, the testing results of other products in the space and how this would be superior to existing products. On September 9, they asked for the prototype to be resent, and it was on its way back to Worldwise three days later.
The first mention of a possible licensing agreement took place on November 7, and I sent out a first pass of the agreement later that day. There was a Board of Directors meeting for Worldwise in NYC on November 29, and the next day I was informed that Sanjeev’s concept was well received and was MOVING FORWARD!
HOORAY! All done right? Not exactly.
On December 19, I was told they had received the final green light to proceed. On January 3, I found out that over the next two weeks, they were to meet again with management to address a new challenge they had been given – take the 18 proposed SKUs for the line and cut it to 12.
This sparked a lot of questions…
Will Sanjeev’s product make the cut?
Does it end up being a Wave 2 product?
And the biggest question: will Sanjeev’s product be considered over two other products in the exact same space?
Well, as you already know, Sanjeev’s product made the cut, beating out all other items in the same category. That news was shared on January 30th, so what happened next?
The Worldwise team came back with some additional revised product testing language to be added to our license agreement. I countered with language that made sense for both Edison Nation and Sanjeev and sent a revised agreement on February 7.
I sent several follow-up requests to the Worldwise team but the weeks still went by. I was then informed that the Denver, Colorado, office of the Quaker Pet division of Worldwise actually moved! Thankfully, that just meant that they were offline and unable to finalize for a few days.
Seriously after 19 months, what’s a few more days?
Late on Friday night, March 3, the final executed agreement was FINALLY in place.
Phew! What a journey! Congrats again Sanjeev and thank you for taking this journey with us. I hope that the story of how things can happen inspires you all to not give up when you believe in your innovation.
Inspired by a need in the pet industry, Sanjeev created a product to solve the problem. When asked what advice he would impart on inventors looking to secure their first licensing deal, Sanjeev offered, “Be creative and persistent to pursue your invention. It can take quite some time before a licensing deal matures.”
We’re very excited to follow the progress of Sanjeev’s invention with Worldwise, and look forward to sharing more details about the product soon!
“My experience with Edison Nation with respect to my innovation was great. The process of getting an invention reviewed is so smooth and well thought that it encourages me to regularly think of new ideas and submit them for evaluation. The licensing part was a bit extended but my patience paid off. I am thankful of the Edison Nation team to pitch the idea to product companies and have it licensed successfully.”
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