Each winning invention can get up to $250,000 in start-up funding. Hoping to spur on some closet inventors in the U.S., Edison Nation, the search agent for several large retail outfits, has set up a $25 million fund to help inventors with great ideas fund their development.
In addition to its Live Product Searches, in which Edison Nation passes on your entry ideas to specific retailers for specific items, the Innovation Fund is Edison Nation's own open search for ideas in four general areas: Home, Kitchen, & Bath, Fitness & Outdoor Recreation, Consumer Products, and Technology. If your idea is chosen, Edison Nation will fund up to $250,000 for its development and license the product from you, paying you royalties.
The differences between the Live Product Search and the Innovation Fund search appear to be that 1) your idea would be considered and funded by Edison Nation itself, rather than a third party retailer; and 2) that Edison Nation may have the right to license your idea if it is chosen for financial sponsorship.
Submission requirements for the Innovation Fund are the same as for Live Product Searches. All submissions must be made online, through the Edison Nation website and include completing a submission form, an explanation of your product, images, sketches, and other media that communicates your idea. Edison Nation encourages entrants to submit a video, up to 2 minutes long, demonstrating your innovation. Each entry costs $25.
The deadline for the first round of Innovation Fund searches is June 13, 2011. Ideas that have been previously submitted to any Live Product Search will not be accepted.
As I always add, read all agreements carefully with a business or patent attorney before submitting anything. Know what rights you will keep and those you will give away. Here is the Edison Nation innovator agreement that you will have to sign once you submit your ideas.
Edison Nation, Edison Nation Press Release