InvENting 101: Submitting your idea – Tips and tricks to submit to the best search

InvENting 101: Submitting your idea – Tips and tricks to submit to the best search

In past “101” posts, we’ve given you hints on How to Brainstorm an Idea. We’ve reviewed how to make your idea Stand Out in a Crowded Market, Have Mass Appeal and avoid Engineering Challenges. We’ve provided an example of an Ideal Submission.

You’ve reviewed all the tools needed to identify and perfect your idea. You’ve completed the submission form. Now all that’s left is to figure out what search to submit to…and that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in this post.

Before we dive into the decision process in submitting an idea, let’s do a quick overview of the types of searches offered by Edison Nation…

Sponsored Searches

When a company partners with Edison Nation to create a search around a specific set of criteria, that is considered a sponsored search.

Sponsored searches are live for approximately six weeks and ideas submitted to sponsored searches are evaluated in our standard 8-stage evaluation process.

Ideas that reach Stage 7, or Finalist Stage, in sponsored searches are included within the sponsor presentation. This is when the Edison Nation team meets with the sponsor company – this can be done in-person or remotely via Skype or video conference – and shares the “best of the best” ideas for licensing consideration. At the conclusion of the presentation, the sponsor decides how many ideas they’d like to pursue for additional research (due diligence).

Ideas submitted to sponsored searches are not shown to other potential licensing partners.

Non-Sponsored or Internal Searches

These searches are run by Edison Nation and are ongoing (no end date). Currently, there are two active ongoing internal Edison Nation Searches: the All Category Search (a/k/a the Open Search) and the Consumer Healthcare Search.

Similar to sponsored searches, ideas submitted to internal searches are evaluated in our standard 8-stage evaluation process.

Ideas that reach Stage 7 are pitched to a variety of different companies that may be a licensing match for the product concept. There are no end dates for these searches. If an idea reaches Stage 7, or Finalist Stage, it is pitched exclusively for a six month period.

The Edison Nation team reviews all “G7” (Finalist) ideas on a monthly basis to ensure that each idea is actively being pitched. During these monthly reviews, we also make determinations as to whether ideas that have passed the six month mark have been exhausted or if there are still opportunities to be explored. Insiders who reach Stage 7 receive ongoing feedback to their dashboards as new information is available.

ASOTV Searches

Instead of our standard 8-stage process, ideas submitted to our ASOTV searches are evaluated through the following six phases:

  • Submissions to all ASOTV searches will first undergo an initial EVALUATION to determine if the idea is a strong fit for the ASOTV category.
  • Ideas that are considered strong candidates for the ASOTV platform are then presented to our experts who will VOTE to determine if the idea will move on to the next phase or not.
  • Those that receive a “yes” vote will be sent through our proprietary SURVEY system.
  • Ideas that score high enough in survey metrics will move onto a round of WEB TESTING.
  • Ideas that have a successful web test are moved to TV TESTING.
  • If the TV test is successful, the product will be moved to LAUNCH, on both the ASOTV platform and into retail distribution.

Remember, Edison Nation Insiders receive success fees if their ASOTV ideas successfully pass the Survey, Web Testing and TV Testing phases!

Insider Licensing Program

While not a “search,” we also wanted to address the Insider Licensing Program (ILP) within this post. The Edison Nation Licensing Team set up the Insider Licensing Program to help our Insider members with patented or patent-pending ideas.

Our team has access and relationships with several retailers and manufacturers across a variety of industries. If an Insider has a patented or patent-pending idea accepted into the ILP, they will have our team working on your behalf to introduce your idea to the right people with the intention of getting it licensed.

The ILP works a bit differently than the searches we’ve highlighted so far. Instead of having eight stages to review, the ILP has four: Preliminary Review, Preparation, Pitching and Outcome. To learn more about each stage, click here.


Now that we’ve reviewed the types of searches Edison Nation offers, here are some tips on how to decide where to submit YOUR idea…

First things first, make sure you READ, READ, READ!

Take a look at our Searches page or scroll through the Searches Widget on your Dashboard. Click into the searches to review the criteria of each to determine if your idea is a fit. Search criteria varies search by search, and even though some may be similar in description, there may be nuances that set them apart from each other.

Going one step further, if there are links provided in the search criteria – this happens often in sponsored searches – click into them to review the sponsor, their product line, etc. Do a bit of research to ensure your idea is a strong fit for their brand.

Perfect your “Opt In” strategy

While all users have the ability to opt an idea into more than one search, Edison Nation Insiders can do this for free. While this is a fantastic opportunity for visibility for your idea, ensure your strategy is on point. Just because you have the ability to opt an idea into seven searches doesn’t mean you should.

Again, review the criteria for each search to ensure your product is a fit BEFORE you submit it.

It is also not always the best to opt an idea into multiple searches immediately. Insiders receive feedback on ideas that are declined. If your idea has been submitted to multiple searches and is declined due to a more general reason such as competitors or lack of mass marketability and it’s opted into five different searches, that decline will carry through to each search.

TIP: Submit your idea to one search, let it run it’s course, if it does get declined, review your feedback to determine if you can improve upon it and THEN opt it into another search for consideration.

That being said, going one step further, ensure if you are opting an idea that was previously declined into a new search that you are UPDATING your idea BEFORE submitting it for additional consideration. The team will review the past history for each idea and check to see what updates have been made.

TIP: If you customized your submission for a sponsored search and want to submit it to the All Category Search for consideration by other potential partners, remove any branding or brand mentions from your submission (this includes attachments) to make the concept universal. This needs to be done BEFORE opting it in for additional consideration.

Helpful Hints:

  • Edison Nation does not allow ideas that were previously declined from a search to be opted back into the same search. If you feel you can improve upon the idea based on feedback you received and there are no other searches that may be a fit, you can duplicate your submission and submit it as new. We always recommend making a notation that it is a resubmission within your description to alert the team.
  • If you update a declined idea, the update will not automatically reactivate the idea in the Edison Nation system. Ideas need to be updated AND opted in to be visible to the Edison Nation Evaluation Team.

The All Category Search vs. the Insider Licensing Program

If you are an Edison Nation Insider and have a patented or patent-pending idea, it may be confusing as to whether to submit to the All Category Search or the Insider Licensing Program…or both!

There are a few key differences in these two paths:

  1. Timing: the All Category Search has an eight-stage evaluation process versus the ILP’s four.
  2. Cost: the cost to submit to the All Category Search is $20 versus the ILP which is $100.
  3. Information: the ILP offers more detail and visibility around the pitching process on a user’s Dashboard.

That being said, the end goal for both searches is the same – to present finalists to as many potential licensing partners as possible for a deal. (The 50/50 split is the same for both searches).

TIP: You may want to submit to the All Category Search first, and if the idea is declined, update it and then submit to the ILP for consideration.

NOTE: Free submission coupons are not valid in the ILP.

The power is yours and yours alone…

We often get asked if the Edison Nation team will automatically opt an idea into a search where we may feel there is a strong fit. The answer is no.

The control of where your ideas are submitted is yours and yours alone. When an idea is opted into a search, it is under a new innovator agreement.

The Edison Nation team will never accept legal terms without your permission.

While there may be instances where a team member recalls an idea that may be a fit for a sponsor presentation and reaches out to the innovator to request an opt in, this is not the norm and should never be expected.

The decision to opt an idea in is solely the choice of the innovator. Even when the team does reach out to inquire about opting an existing idea into another search, you can still say no.


We hope this InvENting 101 post helped to give you a little roadmap for your next idea! Now that you’re armed with this information, head on over to the Searches page and see where your ideas may be a fit!

Happy Inventing!


We exist to get product ideas out of your head and onto retail shelvesall at no risk to you.

2 Comments InvENting 101: Submitting your idea – Tips and tricks to submit to the best search

  1. Ed Chobot

    This article was well worth reading. I’m new here and now I have a better understanding of how the searchs work.

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