- Tell us something about yourself, your background:
Ever since I was 5, I would make mini prototypes out of paper. From little pieces of furniture to ski resorts and amusement parks that spanned my whole room, creating has always been a love of mine. When I got older, I started teaching for my parents’ non-profit called Learn to Discover, where I taught tech-based classes to K – 12 on a wide variety of topics including robotics, aeronautics, animation and video game design. While attending high school, I pursued further education in robotics and business.
I endured a lot of societal pressure to attend a four-year university. Though I got accepted into multiple colleges, I made the hard decision to focus on entrepreneurship; I chose to go to a community college that offered 65 free hours of business help from the Small Business Development Center on campus. This is when I started my first business. Starting a business helped me understand the vastness of the entrepreneurial sea, and helped me realize how many product ideas I had. It also taught me how unfeasible it would be to create a business for each one!
After the people of Santa Cruz recognized my entrepreneurial spirit with a NEXTies Award in 2015 in the Youth Division, I knew I wanted to sustain myself by following my dreams.
So I started searching for books that inspired my entrepreneurial spirit, and discovered the book, Invent It, Sell It Bank It!, by Lori Greiner. It set me down the path of realizing there is more than one business model I can play with. Then I came across the book, One Simple Idea, by Stephen Key, and my whole world turned upside down – but in the very best way. Licensing clicked for me. I was searching for something that I never knew existed, and I found it. After that, it was off to the races! I read the book and joined inventRight. It was the best decision I had ever made. It still is. I took the program in 2016, and licensed my four products to a company in 2019.
I am now the Managing Director of Inventors Groups of America where we support Invent Leaders from Inventors Associations across the country, and host free events for inventors each month. I am also now an inventRight Coach, and a Serial Professional Product Developer, pitching many products across many industries. Licensing is such an integral part of who I am; it’s an honor to be able to develop deep relationships with companies who are open innovation friendly, as well as share tactics, tips, and tricks with the community.
- Tell us about the products you have invented with a brief explanation:
My first product is called the Keyboard Desk, and it’s the product that truly started it all. When I was participating in some online classes, I was frustrated with never having enough space on my desk. Surely, I thought, other people were having this problem. After performing a 300 student survey at a high school and college near me, I knew it had some merit. This product is what caught my licensee’s eyes, and was the 82nd company I reached out to! After he was sold on this idea, he asked if I had any more. So I came up with 20+ ideas and pitched them all, and 3 of them he liked! And that is how the Chair Pouch, Trunk Pocket, and Entry Organizer came to life!
The Chair Pouch is just as it sounds – a sleeve that goes over your chair and has a pocket on the back for books, snacks, and office supplies!
The Trunk Pocket is 6 pockets that slip into the inside of a trunk to store drinks, clothes, etc.
And the Entry Organizer is a furniture piece perfect for storing various items before you leave or when you come home. There is a top tray for small items, a storage space with a small hinged door for purses and larger items, an even larger space below it for backpacks and large bags, and two shelves below for shoes or binders and notebooks.
- Why did you start inventing? What set you off?
I started to write down my ideas about 10 years ago, and as they started to pile up to 250+, I realized nothing will happen to them unless I act on them. I was searching for a way to bring many of them to market without starting business after business. I looked into manufacturing, and without knowing the full extent of the demand and market for my product, it made me nervous to spend 10’s of thousands of dollars on something that I didn’t know would make it. After I learned what licensing was all about I knew that was what I wanted to do.
- How did you get from idea to finished product?
Through the inventRight 10 Steps, of course! I did my market research, prototype, sell sheet, PPA, and started pitching!
- Let us know of useful resources that helped you i.e. Books, websites, software etc
Wow, do I have some great resources to share!
One Simple Idea by Stephen Key
Become a Professional Inventor by Stephen Key
Licensing Ideas Using LinkedIn by Stephen Key and Benjamin Harrison
Sell Your Ideas With or Without A Patent by Stephen Key
Invent It, Sell It, Bank It! by Lori Greiner
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Dare to Lead, by Brene Brown
The Game Inventor’s Guidebook, by Brian Tinsman
My blog post about being a young inventor
- Where are you with your product? Where can we buy your product?
You can buy my products on Amazon, Overstock, Wayfair, and on the DormCo website!
- Social Media, Website and Video Links:
Facebook: Click HERE
Instagram: Click HERE
LinkedIn: Click HERE
Website to buy products: Click HERE
Chair Pouch Video: Click HERE
This 22-Year-Old Licensed Four Products Video
Watch Courtney Reveal the Products She Licensed Video
inventRight Coach Licenses 4 Products to 1 Company Video
How to Pitch a Toy or Game Idea and Get a Licensing Deal Video
The Mindsets You Need to License an Invention! Video
--End of Interview--
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