Curt Weber has been the Senior Vice President of RPS Products (also known as BestAir) for just a few months. But in his short tenure, he’s already done an about-face in the company’s position on Open Innovation and working with independent inventors.
In a prior role as VP of Marketing with a Fortune 500 company, Weber was tasked with finding new innovations and growing product lines. He turned to the independent inventor community, but quickly learned how incredibly time consuming it was to manage the hundreds of submission forms, prototypes/samples and inventor correspondences
In May 2012, at the National Hardware Show, Weber crossed paths with InventionHome’s Colleen Kelly – someone all too familiar with the challenges encountered by marketing and product development. Pulling out an iPad, Kelly showcased a web-based, user-friendly system developed by InventionHome to address those very issues. The system, called “SubmitMyInvention” (SMI), enables companies to streamline inventor submissions from point of entry (via a customizable submission form) to the management of each submission. The application even provides auto-responder emails to give status updates to the inventors.
Weber liked what he saw and within a couple weeks he got his company to implement SMI. Weber said, “SMI gave us the structure to collect, organize and review all of our inventor submissions in a well-designed system. Set-up was easy, and its value was apparent right away.”
Fast-forward about a year and Weber found himself settled into a new job at RPS Products. Based on his experience with product development and RPS’s appetite for innovation, it was a great fit. Weber’s first order of business, though, was to tear down the walls dividing RPS from the thriving independent inventor community.
“This country was founded on the principles of innovation and invention. The lifeblood of this process is the individual inventor who has a dream and the passion to turn that dream into reality. These individuals, from Thomas Edison, to the Wright Brothers, to Henry Ford, have all made invaluable contributions to our society and the betterment of mankind. It is this vast intellectual resource that RPS Products wishes to tap into to help us deliver the next generation of cutting edge products to our customers and users.”
Weber made a call to Kelly, and within days his new company was up and running with SMI.
Here’s a link to RPS Products’ website (inventors welcome!)