Congratulations to Chad Sindaco and John Darnell on their newly-signed licensing deals! Through our Insider Licensing Program, we’ve secured a home for Chad and John’s ideas with leading indoor game manufacturer, DMI Sports. Learn more about both Chad and John below, then be sure to leave your congratulatory remarks in the comments!
A Phoenixville, PA resident all his life, Chad Sindaco has been teaching eighth grade Earth and Space Science for 19 years. As a kid, Chad was always found fixing something and coming up with ideas for things he could make. Even as an adult, he continues to enjoy learning how things work and looking for ways to improve them, so when he heard about Edison Nation while listening to Got Invention Radio, he quickly signed up and began submitting ideas. Chad’s most recent idea came about when planning to attend a summer Phillies game with his friends. He wanted to create something fun to do during their tailgate cookout and ended up creating a game idea that he knew others would enjoy as well.
A Maryland Resident, John Darnell has had an interesting and diverse career path. Holding a PhD in biochemistry, John has taught High School Science; he’s been self-employed as a Consultant and Designer on energy efficiency and passive solar projects; he’s worked as a production biochemist; and he spent the last 15 years on the staff of a local Congressman as an Energy/Science Advisor, before retiring on January 2, 2013. Despite all his of professional experience, John’s interest in inventing began much earlier in life. John conceived the first prototype for his invention back in 1975 while playing with aluminum foil on Christmas Day. Many years later, John’s idea is now on course to become a game that will hopefully be enjoyed for years to come!
Fun fact: This picture of John and his wife, Katrina, was taken in front of an experimental solar wall that John invented to help heat his home. It provides nearly 1/3 of their heating needs, which he reduced from around 5-6 tanks of heating oil down to about 1/2 tank + 1/2 cord of firewood.
A few months ago, we shared with you that Kenny Orr’s cookware invention had been licensed to Norpro. This weekend, Kenny’s Pepper Popper Pan made its debut with Norpro at the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago! Huge congrats to Kenny!
Are you attending the show? If so, leave a comment telling us what products you’ve seen over the last few days that have stood out to you.
Miss the first half of the story? Catch up on Part 1!
Upon arrival at HSN HQ, I was immediately greeted by Christia, my HSN Guest Relations Coordinator. She took me to my very own “green room” which had a big makeup mirror and two TVs, one of which was tuned to the current on-air HSN broadcast, and the other was a monitor which showed details about the product they were demonstrating. It was now 6:30 pm Florida time and I wasn’t scheduled to go on until the end of the 9:00 hour, so there was a lot of down time. As I sat and waited I watched the monitor with all of the product details on it and I remember thinking that some day soon sales of the Frostingo would be on that monitor!
A short time later, Christia returned to give me a tour and introduce me to Nora Dunn, the actress in The Guilt Trip who selected my Frostingo, and two on-air personalities: Callie Northagen and Lesley Ann Machadod. Lesley would host my segment.
Christia on the left
Next, it was time for hair and makeup. As I watched my transformation take place in the mirror, I swear it looked like I had a facelift! Everyone including all of the on-air personalities seemed to know about my big adventure because before each one left the makeup room, they would stop by my chair to congratulate me. When my hair and makeup was done, I went back to my green room to wait and began practicing what I was going to say on air. Suddenly and unexpectedly Christia came back into the room and much to my surprise she said, “Ms. Dunn wants to know if you would like to join her in her green room because she doesn’t want you to be alone before your big moment.” It was such a sweet gesture and of course I said yes!
So, I spent the next forty minutes with Nora Dunn on the couch in her green room. We talked about a lot of things and what made this the most wonderful moment of the entire experience was that it gave me the opportunity to personally thank her for selecting my invention. I knew it could have easily been any one of the other finalists and I was so grateful to her. She said she took her job in making the selection very seriously and it was NOT an easy decision. She also said she knew that her decision would not only change someone’s life, but by selecting one, she was disappointing all of the others. I have thought back on that conversation many times in the days since my trip and what a nice and thoughtful person she was. I asked her to autograph my itinerary and my Guilt Trip Movie stub, both of which she did happily.
When it was finally time to go on air, what was going through my mind was: Represent, Represent, Represent! Be gracious. Don’t forget to tug on your ear. Don’t forget to thank Paramount Pictures, HSN and especially Edison Nation! Give a shout-out to my fellow EN Inventors! Don’t forget to look at the camera. Be sure to thank Nora Dunn, and most of all, don’t forget that you are very, very lucky to be here! If you missed it, you can watch the clip of my big moment here:
Before I knew it, it was all over. Ms. Dunn gave me a big hug and wished me luck, everyone else said their goodbyes, and someone even said they just knew that Frostingo would be a huge success, to which the rest agreed. I was very touched by everyone I met at HSN because every single person I encountered genuinely seemed to care that I had the best possible experience and went out of their way to make it special for me. They all went along their way and then it was just me and Christia again.
She took me back to the prop room to collect my Frostingo, helped me pack up, and gave me her card and a DVD they made of my big moment. She then walked me out to the car so I could go back to my hotel. By the time I got back to my room and made all of my phone calls to family and friends, I only had 3 hours until I had to get up to catch a very early Christmas Eve flight back home.
What this experience has taught me and what I hope it will teach my fellow EN members is to NEVER GIVE UP! I know that so many of you have had your own struggles and heartbreaks and that sometimes it’s hard to continue with your dream when you’ve had so many disappointments. I too have had a few doubts that it would ever happen for me. Even after joining EN, I entered search after search and would get the dreaded Red X, not because my idea wasn’t a good one, I knew that it was. I was Red X’d because my product WASN’T THE RIGHT PRODUCT FOR THAT PARTICULAR SEARCH! I’m not gonna lie, I’ve cried – more than once when I received a Red X – it hurts! But as I’ve told many of my EN friends, keep submitting your idea in every search for which it fits the criteria. If you’ve got a great idea and you believe in it, keep trying! If I had given up after my first, second, or third (or fourth, or fifth) Red X, I wouldn’t have a licensing deal with HSN right now.
So of course the moral of the story is to keep dreaming your dream and entering those Live Product Searches because, like me, you’re in the best possible place any independent inventor could be in – you’re in Edison Nation!
My experience being the selected inventor in the HSN/The Guilt Trip Live Product Search
“THE CALL,” as I now often refer to it, was one of the most exciting, amazing experiences of my life and a one I will never forget. Since the date for the HSN Florida trip was fast approaching, my husband, Craig, and I knew that a decision was due any day; so every time the phone rang my heart would skip a beat and I’d hold my breath thinking “this could be it!” I’d break my neck to pick up the phone quickly only to find that it was usually one of my friends or family members calling to see if I’d heard anything.
After days of false alarms, the phone rang, and this time I finally heard Scott Dromms’ voice on the other end. I yelled “THIS IS IT!” to my husband, who quickly rushed to my side. Scott began, “HSN and Nora Dunn have made their decision and I’m calling to tell you the results [short pause], unfortunately…” and then he paused again for what was only a moment, but felt like an eternity. During that eternal moment, the word “unfortunately” registered and when I looked up into my husband’s eyes, I could tell “unfortunately” had registered with him, too. Then Scott continued, “unfortunately… you’re going to have to go to Florida on Sunday!” I think I screamed. I looked back into my husband’s eyes and what I saw was pride, relief, devotion, love and again relief… and then he said quietly, almost silently, “You did it!” And I said just as quietly, “No – WE did it!”
After we hung up the phone, I looked at my husband and said, “Now the other five finalists are about to get the call that we had been dreading.” With this in mind, the other five finalists were never far from my thoughts throughout this journey.
Next came the hardest challenge of the entire adventure – no, not the whirlwind trip to Florida (although my husband later calculated that I was away from home for 30 hours and in that time I only got about 3 hours of sleep!) – the hardest part was that I couldn’t tell a soul that I’d been selected, not even my mother! I wanted to stop strangers in the street and tell them this wonderful news, but I was sworn to secrecy!
Over the next few days, I prepared for the trip and my to-do list was as follows:
Keep the secret! Don’t respond to emails, texts or phone calls! Let Craig run interference for me (check)
Get hair cut and colored and go shopping for a new outfit (check)
Get nails done… (oops, I forgot – I’ll do them in the morning before I leave for the airport)
Lose 60 pounds by Sunday… (oops, I shouldn’t have eaten those potato chips!)
Do phone interview that HSN set up with the Sacramento Bee (check)
Lose 40 pounds by Sunday….Ummmm… are those salt and vinegar chips?
Lose 20 pounds… by Sunday… I wonder if we have any more chips?
Pack for a one day trip and don’t forget THE FROSTINGO! (check)
Set alarm for 3 am and do nails in the morning
Hit the snooze bar every nine minutes until 4 am… (Forget the nails; I’ll do them in the green room!)
When my flight arrived in St. Petersburg, Florida, a driver picked me up at the airport in a beautiful black Lincoln Town Car with tinted windows. He was holding a sign with my name on it and I felt like a celebrity!
HSN had a detailed itinerary for me and instructed the driver to take me to my hotel where I could relax for an hour and a half. The room was gorgeous; I was on the sixth floor of the Hilton Carillon Park. I sat on the balcony overlooking a beautiful man-made lake, and directly across the lake from my room was a beautiful bell tower.
At the appointed time the car arrived to pick me up again and took me to the HSN studios. I was very nervous – but it wasn’t about being on national TV – I was on American Inventor in 2007, so I already knew about the pressure of the cameras and lights. What I WAS nervous about and the foremost thing on my mind was that I had to do my best to represent Edison Nation, the other five finalists, and all of the other EN members. I knew that so many of my fellow inventors would have given anything for the opportunity that I was given and it was important to me that I keep that in my heart throughout the entire journey. I also wanted to represent for Edison Nation so much because I know I could NEVER have done it without them and I thank my lucky stars every day that I finally found them.
As I headed off to HSN Headquarters I kept telling myself “represent, represent, represent.” There was also one more thing I kept reminding myself of: to tug on my earlobe! For those of you who didn’t follow the “HSN/The Guilt Trip” topic in the Edison Nation Forums, I had promised that if I was the selected inventor that I’d tug on my earlobe, ala Carol Burnett’s famous ear tug at the end of her show each week to say ‘I love you’ to her grandmother. This was going to be my secret signal to all of my EN friends that I was thinking of them.
See what happens when I arrive at HSN HQ in Part 2 of my story!
Big news for EN member, Irene Truskalo. Her As Seen On TV (ASOTV) submission has been selected and will move forward for on-air testing! Please join us in congratulating (and cheering on) Irene as her idea makes this big step in commercialization! Learn more about Irene and how she came up with her great, new ASOTV idea below!
“I grew up in the suburbs of Washington Crossing, New Jersey. New York City is now my home. I began inventing when I had an idea for a new product that I wanted to use myself, that solved a problem for me in my own life. I became an Edison Nation member when I created that new product and needed help in trying to launch it. After becoming a member of Edison Nation, I continue to submit ideas that occur to me. My ideas so far have all been products that I want to use myself that I think others would also like.
My ASOTV idea came about because I decided I wanted more versatility in my personal hairstyling. As an active mom I found myself wearing ponytails constantly, and I wanted a dressier look and more variety. The idea really came to me because of my own desire to expand my hairstyle options, and the tool I needed did not exist.
I have enjoyed the creative process of inventing and being a member of Edison Nation, and I am excited and grateful for this amazing opportunity. On a personal note, I love spending my time keeping up with my son in NYC. In my spare time, I enjoy writing poetry and songs.” – Irene Truskalo
We look forward to seeing where we can take Irene’s great idea from here! Congratulations, Irene!
We have a new licensing deal we’re excited to share! Tim Howard of North Berewick, ME has landed a licensing deal as a result of our VF Imagewear Live Product Search!
An automation/controls specialist by trade, Tim came up with his idea while doing one of his favorite hobbies – working on his “project car.” As he worked, he noticed an issue with his clothing that was not only an annoyance, but could also present a safety hazard. Realizing he could create a solution to the issue, Tim began performing a patent search and came across the Edison Nation website. He saw the VF Imagewear search and felt it was a perfect match for his idea. The team at VF agreed that Tim’s idea would make a great addition to their product line and they now have plans to make that happen!
Please leave a comment below to help us congratulate Tim on this exciting opportunity!
We have an exciting update from our search with Liberty Garden. Peter Lavelle’s idea has been selected for a licensing deal! Read below to learn more about Peter and get his first-hand account of the experience from submission to licensing success!
A Wilbraham, MA resident all his life, Peter Lavelle spent 31 years as a field service engineer before recently switching gears to work as a sales manager. His selected idea is one he’d been thinking about for many years as he dealt with a common issue while working in his yard. Peter shared:
“I figured there must be something on the market that addressed this, but I searched and couldn’t find anything. That’s when I started visualizing my idea… but making a prototype turned out to be a lot more difficult that I ever thought it would be. I originally tried to make one out of clay, but that was a complete failure. It was probably about this time that I found out about Edison Nation and decided that I didn’t have any knowledge about patents, or the experience to fabricate the idea that I had in my head. I made the decision that if this was ever going to be a viable, marketable item, I would need the help that the folks at Edison Nation could provide.”
“I initially submitted the idea into an Open Search where it reached Stage 7, but didn’t get the final nod. When Liberty Garden announced it was looking for the next gardening idea, it seems my idea was a much better fit! The entire process has been fun, sometimes frustrating, but exciting as well – to think that something I thought of could actually end up being sold at my local hardware store or online someday was kind of a pipe-dream. I know it is certainly not the next iPad, but I’m just thrilled to see that Liberty Garden agrees with me that it is something people will see and say: ‘Hey, I could use one of those.’”
Liberty Garden still has a few additional ideas under consideration, but we’re so pleased to announce this first selection. Congratulations, Peter!
We’re thrilled to share another licensing deal that has just been signed in the Edison Nation community via our Insider Licensing Program.
Congratulations to Peter Lefferson on his new deal with juvenile safety product manufacturer, Dreambaby®! Read below as Peter shares more about himself and how he comes up with his great ideas:
“My professional background is electronics in all of its forms. I discovered inventing for fun after I retired. I took thirteen products to the USPTO - some never went further than the Provisional Patent Application, a few were refused, and three of them were granted. A few years ago, I recognized Edison Nation as an honest place to show some of these ideas, so I submitted product ideas five times. This idea was inspired by my wonderful wife Kathy.
Most inventions are the product of our environment and problems we try to solve. This idea is an obvious example of that. Inventions can also become a challenging mental exercise. At my age of 72, I walk a fast three miles a day on a treadmill every morning to keep my heart in good health. Last March, I started a mental exercise – every weekday I find some common item and develop a way to improve it. It cannot be a simple thing like painting it another color and it must be an improvement I have not seen in the catalogs or on TV. Often it will take a day of meditating to find that improvement. Then I write it into my Daily Improvement Document and most often add a CAD sketch to illustrate the improvement. To date I have finished 190.”
Please join us in congratulating Peter on this exciting success! Keep the ideas coming, Peter!
Big licensing news for Edison Nation member, Kenny Orr – one of his ideas, through our Insider Licensing Program, has landed a deal with kitchenware manufacturer and distributor, Norpro! Please join us in a huge congratulations to Kenny on this exciting news!
A Destin, FL resident, Kenny Orr has worked for the U.S. Air Force, spent many years in construction management, and currently helps maintain facilities for the Army Special Forces. While Kenny has seen a few changes throughout his career, one thing that has remained the same is his love for cooking and grilling, which prompted his idea for a new innovation in the cooking/grilling space.
Currently, prototypes for Kenny’s invention are in the final stages and manufacturing will soon begin.