It was just over five years ago — August 9, 2009 to be exact — when a program called “Shark Tank” first aired on American television. Since then, Mr. Wonderful and his fellow sharks have helped numerous entrepreneurs and business start-ups by providing funding and promotion to those lucky enough (and thick-skinned enough) to capture a shark’s attention.
It was also about five years ago that InventionHome developed and offered the first mainstream “open innovation” system, enabling all companies (big, small and in-between) to receive and manage product submissions right on their own websites.
Coincidence? Not at all…
In early 2009, after a Shark Tank casting director contacted InventionHome to request help in promoting the newly created show to the inventor community, a discussion about the casting process began. Through these discussions, InventionHome discovered the difficulties in the casting process associated with managing the onslaught of audition submissions. As a result, they realized the need for an integrated and streamlined system for collecting and managing casting submissions and they set their sights on creating a solution. Thus, SubmitMyInvention (SMI) was born.
Although inspired to originally help with the television casting submission process, InventionHome quickly recognized that this process was similar to the product / invention submission challenges faced by countless manufacturers and product companies across the United States. Shifting their focus to adapting SMI for companies, InventionHome proceeded to build the first easily-integrated, “cloud-based” system to enable companies to embrace inventors with an easy process for accepting and reviewing ideas and communicating with inventors. Since then, SMI has become a valuable tool for enabling companies across the U.S. to open their doors to outside innovation and to easily manage the inflow of product submissions. In addition, with this system in place, InventionHome can easily share product opportunities with companies utilizing SMI, laying the foundation for an industry-wide product submission platform.
While the hit show “Shark Tank” continues to entertain and inspire future inventors, it seems fitting that SMI (with its Shark Tank roots) is also at the forefront of promoting innovation. And, while SMI was not fully adopted to manage the Shark Tank casting process after the original pilot phase (they ended up focusing more on business ventures than product ideas), it has become widely used by companies across the United States to manage product submissions.
SMI offers a turnkey system for companies to easily begin accepting outside product ideas. The system enables you to consolidate all of your submissions into one centralized location thus eliminating the calls, faxes, emails, etc. By pointing all submissions directly to your website, you free up time while automating the process of collecting the info needed for a product review such as product detail, pictures, video, patent status, development status, benefits, etc.
Organizing all your product submissions into one location with a system that also automates the follow up process will eliminate the time involved in customizing individual inventor follow-ups and ensure that inventors actually receive a response from your company. Your response can now be completed with a click of a button. The organization and time saving benefits will enable you to prioritize and identify the best-fitting and most valuable products for your company and improve your efficiency from start to finish.
Finally, SMI also offers the ability to create “goodwill” with those inventors who were declined by providing them with the opportunity to evaluate how InventionHome can help reach other similar companies.
For more information or to view a video demo visit www.submitmyinvention.com.