Category Archives: Edison Nation

Meet the EN Team: Heyward Moore

Heyward Moore

It’s no secret that our in-house engineering team plays a huge role in what we do. This month, take a little time to get to know Heyward Moore, one of our Enventys/Edison Nation engineering staff members.

Q1. What is your position and what does it entail?

    A. I am a project engineer; I help bring the idea from concept on paper to a manufacturable product.

Q2. What is your favorite product you’ve worked on at Edison Nation/Enventys?

    A. Wine Shark because it was a mix of mechanical and electrical systems.

Q3. If you could be doing anything else right this moment, what would it be?

    A. Learning to fly if the weather is nice. If not, driving my rock crawler Toyota pickup.

Q4. What’s your hidden talent?

    A. I can touch my tongue to my noise.

Q5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

    A. Started out as an astronaut, but then changed to mechanical engineer. I guess I could still do the astronaut thing.

Q6. If you could experience someone else’s life for just one day, who would it be?

    A. I’m going to go outside the box on this question.  What I would like do is to spend 1 hour of my day in a given age of my grandfather’s life, for example, my grandfather lived to be 93, so divide his age by 24, and you get 3.875.  So I would spend my first hour as him at the age of 3.875 years old, then the next hour would be 7.75 years old, and so on for 24 hours.  The reason for this crazy idea is, during his life time he saw many first and world-changing events that I have always wanted to experience.

Q7. Who are you often told is your doppelganger?

    A. Patrick Bailey, he is another EN project engineer in the office next to mine.

Q8. You’re only allowed to eat one food for the rest of your life. What would it be?

    A. Rare Steak

Q9. What’s a goal you’re most proud of accomplishing?

    A. First place at Odyssey of the Mind world competition

Q10. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?

    A. Facebook… 1 billion users in less than 10 years. I know there are much greater inventions out there that save lives and make the world a better place, but Facebook has changed the way the world communicates and interacts with each other.

Want to meet other members of our staff? Catch up on past Meet the EN Team posts!

Meet the EN Team: Patrick Bailey

Patrick Bailey

Every day at Edison Nation is seen as an adventure to some, but for Patrick Bailey, this extends to his life outside of work, as well. This month, take a moment to get to know Patrick!

Q1. What is your position and what does it entail?

    A. Design engineer.  Most of my time is spent designing products and building prototypes, but I am involved with new products from preliminary research through manufacturing.

Q2. What is your favorite product you’ve worked on at Edison Nation?

    A. The test apparatus for the slow pull dog leash from Everyday Edisons Season 4 was a fun one. Weighing hundreds of pounds, it can automatically collect data while repeatedly (and violently) crashing the test sled.

Q3. If you could be doing anything else right this moment, what would it be?

    A. SCUBA diving, hands down.

Q4. What’s your hidden talent?

    A. I can whistle a tune while smiling. I know it will come in handy someday….

Q5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

    A. Superman, and my family does not let me forget it.

Q6. If you could experience someone else’s life for just one day, who would it be?

    A. Anyone currently on a kayak tour through the Galapagos. Exploring and diving those islands is at the top of my list.

Q7. Who are you often told is your doppelganger?

    A. Heyward Moore, the design engineer with the office next to mine. Coworkers in other departments occasionally get us confused. Coincidentally, our parents now live only a few blocks from each other.

Q8. You’re only allowed to eat one food for the rest of your life. What would it be?

    A. Sushi or a rare steak, depends on the day.

Q9. What’s a goal you’re most proud of accomplishing?

    A. Probably my mile time back in high school track. It represented a lot of hard work.

Q10. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?

    A. Digital cameras. I take a lot of pictures, mostly nature and underwater shots. Digital cameras make the hobby substantially easier and cheaper.

A little behind on getting to know us? Catch up on past Meet the EN Team posts!

Meet Perfect Bacon Bowl inventor, Thom Jensen!

Thom Jensen1_blog

You’ve seen the infomercial, you’ve laughed at the quips on late night TV – and admit it – you’re DYING to have one of your own! The Perfect Bacon Bowl has recently taken the foodie world by storm thanks to the Edison Nation As Seen On TV submission of one Mr. Thom Jensen!

By trade, Thom is a Research Histologist living in Salt Lake City, but when it comes to food, he’s a breakfast-lover with a creative mind. In fact, that’s exactly how the Perfect Bacon Bowl came to be!

“I was cooking breakfast one Saturday morning for my family and was playing around trying to create a bacon turtle,” Thom shared. “I wove a basket out of the bacon trying to make the body and through the process I thought of the Bacon Bowl pan. I made a crude prototype and submitted my Bacon Bowl pan idea to Edison Nation.”

The Perfect Bacon Bowl TV spot began airing nationwide in December 2013 and has been the subject of bacon-lovin’ chatter ever since! Be on the lookout for this product to debut in a retail store near you next month.

Please join us in a HUGE congratulations to Thom on all the buzz surrounding the Perfect Bacon Bowl! And In case you’ve been living under a rock, check out the Perfect Bacon Bowl TV spot!

 

Plus, see what celebrities are saying about Perfect Bacon Bowl on social media and TV:


Think you can come up with the next “gotta-have-it” ASOTV product idea like Thom? Submit your idea for consideration.

Meet the EN Team: Carlos Perez

Carlos Perez

When discussing the beginning stages of product development, we’ve often highlighted the engineering process of building prototypes — but one other key piece to that puzzle (and the yin to engineering’s yang!) is industrial design. This month meet one of our talented industrial designers, Carlos Perez!

Q1. What is your position and what does it entail?

A. Good question… I am an Industrial Designer. This means many different things depending on the project. My responsibilities can range anywhere from initial market research and human factor studies, all the way through 3D modeling and Rapid Prototyping of a concept. I frequently work together with the engineering staff to develop an idea sketched on a Wacom Cintiq, into a functioning/marketable product.

Q2. What do you enjoy most about working at Edison Nation?

A. The variety. There is never a shortage of unique ideas coming through the doors, each one at a different phase in its life. This definitely keeps anxiety interest at a high level.

Q3. If you could be doing anything else right this moment, what would it be?
A. Easy, walking on another planet/moon. Few things could be more exciting and terrifying.

Q4. What’s your hidden talent?

A. I get punched and kicked a lot while training MMA, without showing too many cosmetic injuries.

Q5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A. A Veterinarian/Astronaut that occasionally chased tornadoes. I still have plans to accomplish this…

Q6. If you could experience someone else’s life for just one day, who would it be?
A. Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Thinking of how smart this guy is makes my head hurt.

Q7. Who are you often told is your doppelganger?

A. Honestly, no one. My brothers and I do look quite similar though.

Q8. You’re only allowed to eat one food for the rest of your life. What would you choose?

A. Super-hot chicken wings.

Q9. What’s a goal you’re most proud of accomplishing?

A. Graduating college and not being buried in debt.

Q10. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?

A. ‘Open source’ and ‘open-to-all’ digital services like LiveLeak, Wikileaks, Wikipedia, Linux, etc. Digital services that are controlled and edited by everyday people have the power to change the world, and on many occasions, have.

If you enjoyed learning these fun, random facts about Carlos, get acquainted with other members of our staff by checking out past Meet the EN Team posts!

Meet the EN Team: Lea LeFebvre

Lea Lefebvre

As our As Seen On TV division becomes more and more successful, the team responsible for discovering, vetting and marketing those ideas is growing, as well. This month, get to know one of our ASOTV staff members, Lea LeFebvre.

Q1. What is your position and what does it entail?

A. I am a Marketing Manager in the ASOTV division of Edison Nation. I help manage the products that are selected for commercialization from implementation through deployment in the U.S. and beyond.

Q2. What do you enjoy most about working at Edison Nation?

A. We do everything ourselves — from the time an idea is selected for commercialization to product deployment. It’s always something different!

Q3. If you could be doing anything else right this moment, what would it be?

A.  At a live concert of one of my favorite bands — cold IPA in hand.

Q4. What’s your hidden talent?

A.   I have double-jointed thumbs?

Q5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A. It was always changing, but for a really long time I wanted to be a Forensic Psychologist.

Q6. If you could experience someone else’s life for just one day, who would it be?

A. Grumpy Cat.

Q7. Who are you often told is your doppelganger?

A. Someone once told me I looked like Jennifer Lawrence — I was pretty okay with it.

Q8. You’re only allowed to eat one food for the rest of your life. What would you choose?

A. Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter.

Q9. What’s a goal you’re most proud of accomplishing?

A. Graduating from the best university in the world, Clemson University.

Q10. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?

A. The Internet. See answer to question 6.

Want to meet other members of our staff? Catch up on past Meet the EN Team posts!

Introducing Room 5: A new benefit just for Edison Nation Insiders

Room 5 image

In 1884, Thomas Edison moved his laboratories from Menlo Park to West Orange, N.J. in order to maintain the utmost secrecy regarding his ideas. He dedicated an exclusive area for the development of his newest inventions, and only a select few were allowed entry. This area was known only as “Room 5”…

Beginning Thursday, December 12, Edison Nation is creating a special online space just for our Insider members. There, Insiders will be the first to learn exciting news and updates and other goings-on behind the curtain at 520 Elliot Street. This new area will be known as “Room 5.”

How Room 5 will work:

  • A new bulletin containing the week’s exclusive information will be posted at EdisonNation.com/Room5 every Thursday at 2pm EST.
  • The information will only be available to view for 24 hours from the time it is posted.
  • What is reported in Room 5 must stay in Room 5 and should not be shared in the forums, via email, or anywhere outside of the room.
  • Remember: This is a special feature for Edison Nation Insiders ONLY.

Join all the cool kids and get your exclusive invitation to Room 5. If you’re not an Insider yet, but want into the room this Thursday, learn how to upgrade your membership.

We want to do MORE for our community: Introducing our new crowdfunding support program

We believe in the inventive nature of our community and in each of our members’ potential. At Edison Nation, we’ve worked with inventors who’ve come to us with a raw idea and a sketch, and we’ve worked with inventors who have a patented, prototyped product. Our goal is to get great products to market. We’ve pitched your ideas to some of the best retail and manufacturing partners out there. While often these companies believe in an idea enough to license a concept and oversee development, occasionally we hear such feedback as “I love this idea, but we need to see more.” Well, we want to do more.

We’re launching a pilot crowdfunding support program to help products that need to get over the development hump beyond raw concept and ideation. There’s interest and there’s potential – now, we’re going to work to get the product fully developed. We’re excited to explore this new avenue as a part of our continued mission to bring everyday inventors’ ideas to market.

How our crowdfunding program works

In instances where we have significant interest from a licensing partner, but they require more development in order to offer the best possible deal, Edison Nation will provide our expertise to assist the inventor in creating a crowdfunding campaign for the product. We will assist with:

    • Prototype Development
    • Video Editing
    • Graphic Design
    • Photography
    • Public Relations and more…

Many of you have likely seen the Kickstarter campaign by fellow Edison Nation member, Peter Goncalves. Peter came to us with his idea for Stem Light and we were thrilled to find that several potential licensing partners were interested – there was just one problem – they all wanted to see more. As a result, we assisted Peter in developing the components of his Kickstarter campaign and we are now helping him to promote it. If the campaign is successfully funded, Stem Light will be developed and the licensing partner will have a finished product that they can easily incorporate into their offerings, with no additional work required. As a result, Edison Nation will be able to secure a much more lucrative licensing deal for Peter.

Below are just a few thoughts from Peter on his experience through this process:

“I could honestly say that my experience with Edison Nation and the Kickstarter Program has been overwhelmingly positive so far… much more than I ever expected, to be honest. The collaboration on the part of the team in Charlotte has been phenomenal! They’ve been flexible and patient with me as I sent feedback and worked with them from many miles away. I owe a debt of gratitude to everyone from the office to the engineering room!”

If this campaign is successful, we hope that Peter will be the first of many inventors that we are able to help through this initiative. We’re invested in your success and we want to do all that we can to help you bring your ideas to market. We believe that this new program could be a game-changer for many of your ideas, and we hope you’re just as excited as we are.

Want to show support for Peter’s campaign? Visit here and share with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.

Meet the EN Team: Mike Starkey

MikeStarkey-headshot

This month, take a moment to get to know one of our Edison Nation/Enventys engineers, Mike Starkey!

Q1. What is your position and what does it entail?

A. My position is product engineer. This entails overseeing a product’s life cycle from the start of the project to its transfer to manufacturing. I help in conceptualizing directions for a product, testing functional ideas and constructing prototypes to demonstrate end functionality.

Q2. What is your favorite product you’ve worked on at Edison Nation?

A. Products are much like children, it’s hard to pick favorites, but, if I have to, it would probably be the Stark Hand.

Q3. If you could be doing anything else right this moment, what would it be?

A. Sailing

Q4. What’s your hidden talent?

A. I enjoy building custom electric guitars

Q5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A. Actually, what I currently do is what I have looked forward to doing since I was very young.

Q6. If you could experience someone else’s life for just one day, who would it be?

A. Probably Richard Branson

Q7. Who are you often told is your doppelganger?

A. Numerous people have mentioned Josh Radnor (aka Ted Mosby), but I don’t see it.

Q8. You’re only allowed to eat one food for the rest of your life. What would it be?
A. Chicken Tikka Masala

Q9. What’s a goal you’re most proud of accomplishing?
A. Obtaining my masters

Q10. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?
A. The actuator mechanism I developed for my masters’ work. I believe it has potential to make robotic mechanisms smaller and lighter

Want to meet other members of our staff? Catch up on past Meet the EN Team posts!

Get Out and Play! Radio Flyer is Searching for Innovative, New Ride-Ons for Kids

Radio Flyer Inc., maker of the famous little red wagon, as well as tricycles, three-wheel scooters and more, announces its partnership with Edison Nation in an effort to find innovative, new ride-on concepts for kids.

 

An icon of American childhood, Radio Flyer continues its legacy of providing high quality, classic and innovative toys that inspire outdoor, active play. Through this search, Radio Flyer is looking to find unique, new ride-ons for kids that can be developed, branded and marketed to American households.

“Radio Flyer has been innovating children’s ride-ons since 1917. As we continue that tradition of innovation, we’re excited to partner with Edison Nation to look for the next great idea that we can develop into a fun, safe, reliable product that lives up to the Radio Flyer brand,” says Tom Schlegel, Sr. VP of Product Development at Radio Flyer.

To learn more about Radio Flyer’s product search, visit www.edisonnation.com/radioflyer. The deadline to submit ideas is Monday, January 6, at 11:59 p.m. (PST)

Jonathan C. Smith: My “Bed Lifts” Journey

Spyder_360-775

I vividly recall when I first heard about Everyday Edisons and Edison Nation. I was driving home from work in 2008 when I heard an interview with Louis Foreman on NPR. He said there was a casting call this weekend at McCormick Place in Downtown Chicago.  From that moment traffic couldn’t move fast enough! The 23 miles I had left to drive seemed like it took forever! When I arrived home I checked out the site and saw the details of the event. My next step was to call my boss and ask him if I could take the next day off. It was a Thursday and the event was on Saturday. I used that next day to prepare some renderings for the presentation of a concept I had for crutches after observing the challenges users had getting in and out of vehicles.

I spent the rest of the night and the following day preparing my presentation boards. I thought about whom I might meet and the conversations that might be had and the friends I might make. I arrived early but I was clearly not early enough! The line was very long, but I wasn’t outside! After my number was called for the initial presentation I sat and waited for a long time to see if I was selected to go on to the next round, which I was! I then presented my collapsible crutches concept to a panel of people, each of who represented different companies. I was again selected to present to Louis and a panel of judges. The presentation would be recorded and may be included in the show, even if the idea wasn’t selected.

At the end of the day the idea was not selected by Everyday Edisons to be on the show, nor was it selected to move forward into production. But it was an awesome experience! I know that is the nature of product development and I wasn’t going to give up. After all, developing products is what I do for a living and I feel very fortunate that I am able to live out my passion.

Just a few months later, I was laid off from my job and was looking for work when I decided to see if Edison Nation was hiring. Unfortunately they were not, but I saw Bed Bath & Beyond’s Students of Invention search for back-to-school inspired inventions. Something that stuck in my mind from college was how little storage space there was in my room. Because of that problem I decided to get a loft bed so that I got back that floor space. Another thing that stuck out in my mind was that many people had lights in their rooms. When I asked them why they had them, they said it served as both a night-light and as decoration lighting.

Thinking on this further I thought about combining the two into a solution that would give them more storage space, something that is a premium in college dorms, and a convenient night-light that could have a pedal switch to easily turn the on and off. That day I sketched up some concepts, looked at the USPTO.GOV website and did some patent searches, then looked online for other examples of products in that category. There wasn’t anything that currently existed so I decided on one of my sketches and built a 3D model on my computer. Once I completed the design I combined it with the sketch I drew and submitted it to EN. I then got back to my job hunt.

 Bed Riser Sketch
Original sketch

viewer
Original 3D model

A few months into 2009 our lease ended. So we packed up all of our belongings and moved most of them into a storage unit and moved to Texas to live with my parents. There wasn’t any option at this point. I had a few telephone interviews and some face-to-face interviews but nothing solid. By this point I had completely forgotten about my submission to Bed Bath & Beyond’s search.

I later received an email/phone call telling me that my idea had been selected by Bed Bath & Beyond from this search! I was very excited and it took me a second to realize what they were talking about, the previous year of looking for work took a lot out of us, so this news couldn’t have come at a better time.

When they told me about the concept and how it had changed from a light-up bed riser to a USB bed riser, I was grateful that they had taken my concept and turned it into something that resonated with the retailer and aligned with consumers’ needs. My idea wouldn’t have been selected without their efforts to evolve the idea into what it has become.

From 2009 until 2011, may seem like a long time, but that is how product development progresses. Even if the retailer likes it a lot, the focus group or individuals that assess the product might not like it or see a use for it at all. So this all could have gone another direction. In 2012, things really took off for Bed Lifts. It was featured in select stores for a test run. I later learned that it sold out in the test run! So then in 2013 they decided to sell it in all of their stores during the back to school campaign! I have a feeling that the individuals at Edison Nation had something to do with its success and growth. Setting sales hurdles and negotiating with the buyer at Bed Bath & Beyond must have played a role in its success.

BBB_July_Circular_BedLifts_v2Bed Bath & Beyond July 2013 circular

I was very excited to see what would happen and if the product would live up to their expectations. I received a call in September of 2013 telling me that it did exceptionally well and that BBB has decided to sell them year round in 600 stores across the U.S., and in all of their stores (again!) during the Back to School campaign! WOW, we are very excited to say the least! The team at Edison Nation has certainly played a role in taking this concept from a sketch for a product that hadn’t seen any innovation in its category for years to something that really resonated with consumers!