Invention City helps independent inventors and companies confirm, develop, protect, license, manufacture, and market new product ideas. Our company began in 1986 with a sole inventor in a family garage. Since then the products we commercialized generated an estimated $500+ million in retail sales. We know from big successes and many failures that the only way to succeed as a professional inventor is to fail as early and inexpensively as possible. That perspective is what we share with our clients. We help inventors spend their time and money wisely to maximize the chances of success and minimize the costs of failure so they can try, try again. We also license and represent selected inventions in a wide range of categories.
Invention City's promise of Honest Inventing is not a slogan. We built it into our DNA, and begins with our Brutally Honest Reviews, where we tell inventors what they need to know rather than what they want to hear. We want to make money with our clients rather than from them.
A Few Testimonials
Read more testimonials at BBB
Do you invest in invention ideas and businesses?
Yes, but we are very particular. Our investments are usually in the form of revenue sharing deals, where we provide services such as product development in return for equity and/or a share of revenue. We also do licensing deals where we take a project forward at our own risk and expense and pay the inventor a royalty if the project is successful (the inventor pays nothing after our initial review). The first step to have an invention or business concept considered for investment or licensing is a Brutally Honest Review.
How do I protect my idea so it is not stolen?
The short answer is that you apply for patents and trademarks, claim copyrights, use confidentiality agreements, and keep your proprietary information secret as much as possible. The long answer is that protection is complicated and imperfect. Here are 6 things you should know about patents. Here is more info on what we call the disclosure dilemma.
Why should I trust you?
Invention City is rated A+ by BBB with great reviews from real people. We have more than three decades of real inventing experience. Our relationship with you is covered by our Confidentiality Agreemeent. And because we make our significant profits from revenue sharing rather than fees, our interests align with yours.
Do you help with patents?
Yes. We make strategic and next-step recommendations from business and engineering perspectives and can refer you to the patent attorneys and agents we work with ourselves.
Do you help with prototypes?
Yes. We help with industrial design, engineering and prototyping. Learn more about our prototyping services here.
Do you help with manufacturing?
Yes. After helping to refine your idea so it is ready for quotations, we can help you with sourcing, tooling, manufacturing, assembly, packaging, shipping, warehousing, and fulfillment.
Do you help with crowd funding projects on platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo?
Absolutely. We love crowdfunding as a way to get a new product idea into the market and if we believe a project has strong commercial potential are open to working on a rev-share basis.
In a business where most projects fail, we believe the best way to reduce risk on all sides is to spend as little as possible until a project becomes successful. Often in the form of royalties derived from licensing, revenue sharing is at the heart of our business model. We have licensing deals today that have already run for twenty years and are expected to run for twenty-plus more. Few deals last for decades, but our attitude toward every deal is the same. We expect to live with a deal for a long time and need it to work for both sides. Fairness is a necessity.
There are downsides to rev-share deals, the biggest being that if a product is successful, the inventor/entrepreneur/licensee will end up paying far more than if the development fees and intellectual property rights are paid for up front. There is also the issue of control. If you own everything outright, you have no contractual obligations or restraints.
Invention City is highly selective for rev-share deals: we give offers to roughly one percent of the opportunities offered to us. The terms we offer for rev-share are highly dependent on circumstances and risk and can range from a split of 20/80 to 80/20.
Many inventors want to continue working with us even after we reject their invention, and some are not interested in rev-share deals at all. For those inventors we provide fee based consulting and referrals .
Some Past Products
Invention City helps inventors and entrepreneurs with every step of the commercialization process from ideation to Amazon listing and Wal-Mart shelf. Our deepest expertise is in product development, intellectual property, licensing and manufacturing sourcing and management.
- Inventicator™ - Free online invention evaluation tool. Does your new product idea have the right stuff?
- Brutally Honest Review ($95) - Professional feedback, next steps and possible licensing offer
- 3D Images and Animation (starting at $395 and $695) - Images for market research and presentations.
- Working Prototypes, Industrial Design, Engineering (referral)
- Consulting - Patents and Contract Review from a business perspective, Licensing, Manufacturing Sourcing and Management
Boston, Minneapolis, Los Angeles
(meetings by appointment only).
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