ABC's American Inventor Finalist, Erik Thompson, Invests Winnings to help other Inventors

Eric & DanardEric & DanardPRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:

For more information and interviews contact:
Danard Bailey

ABC's American Inventor Finalist, Erik Thompson, Invests Winnings to help other Inventors

As most of America knows, Mr. Thompson was awarded $50,000 from the hit ABC show for the rights to his Catch Vest, but what might surprise you is what he did with the money.

After saving his house from foreclosure, Mr. Thompson took the majority of his winnings and started a company, "Belykewater Productions." Belykewater will produce a series of DVDs called "The Pitch Coach" TM, which are aimed at helping the inventor succeed in getting their product to market. The idea was first recognized while attending an invention tradeshow after the American Inventor show. There, Mr. Thompson was bombarded by inventors with questions and pleas for help with their ideas for the upcoming season's show.

Mr. Thompson's most unique and exciting business move was forming an alliance with three other companies who shared his vision and drive to assist inventors in fulfilling the American Dream. The three companies, (makers of a self patenting software), (American manufacturer) and (a fun and popular website for inventors), have united with Mr. Thompson to form a network of contacts and resources to save inventors time and most importantly money!

Mr. Thompson will travel across America to bring inventors in contact with companies that provide great services or products at a fair price. His next stop will be at the Tech Shop in San Francisco, California. Founded by Jim Newton and Ridge McGhee, the Tech Shop is a fully equipped do-it-yourself workshop for inventors and creative folk (it's like Kinko's for geeks). Mr. Thompson will present the Tech Shop with the first ever "Inventor's Choice Award". The award was established by the three companies working together with Belykewater and will be given to select companies that are helpful to inventors and understand the passion and need of inventors to see their ideas become reality.

Mr. Thompson will host a series of seminars known as "The Pitch Coach Tour - Wacky to Wow" in selected cities across America, preparing inventors for the second season of casting calls for the American Inventor show, by offering tips and clues on giving a great product pitch.

People can track his progress and follow the Pitch Coach by visiting the website

Mr. Thompson feels this is the best investment he's ever made in the hopes and dreams of other American Inventors.



Sep 27, 2006
by bottleslingguy
bottleslingguy's picture

Great Move!

I just read about this at the Yahoo Finance site. What a great idea! You guys are really on to something with that and Eric and his buddy are great coaches. Their original pitch on the show not only made me laugh, but they also got the whole idea of the product out there quickly and to the point. Best of luck with everything...

Oh and don't forget to please check out my invention at Bottle Sling - Invention Gallery .

Sep 27, 2006
by Michelle
Michelle's picture

Thanks Phil

We are really committed to serving the needs of the inventor and not the invention companies and this is one of the many things we are putting in place to help inventors.

We have some great stuff planned and coming soon, so stay logged in. :)

Michelle Team

Sep 28, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

ownership and royalties

Does Erik Thompson still own any of the rights to his invention? And will he recieve any royalties on the number sold by whomever has control of his idea? How does that deal work with the t.v. program American Inventor?

Sep 29, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Erik will recieve 25%. That

Erik will recieve 25%. That is it. Hope he sells a lot.

Sep 29, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

25%for life?

Is it to be understood, that Erik will recieve 25% for life, or as long as the patent is productive? And if he thought of a spin-off of his current product, would he have to go through the people who currently hold title to his present invention, if the next generation had the basic shape of his first invention?

Sep 30, 2006
by bottleslingguy
bottleslingguy's picture

How's the old saying go?

Twenty-five percent for life is better than zero percent until death. Something like that? Besides, it's still much higher than the typical royalty percentage in a licensing deal. Less than ten percent is more typical. Even still, Erik spent like thirty bucks on the idea and original prototype. That's a pretty good return on his investment. I'm not sure if he even had a patent, and was given fifty grand seed money (GIVEN, not loaned?). That's not a bad deal. I'd say Erik's doing alright now and MaryLou can stop crying.

Speaking of good deals- if I got a licensing deal for twenty-five percent of all bottle sling sales (potentially 400K+ units/year), I'd be a millionaire.

Bottle Sling - Invention Gallery .

Oct 4, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

update the other finalists in American Inventor

O.k., Erik T. is reaching out to help other inventors with a website and a DVD, what is the scoop on the other finalists on the first season of American Inventor?

Nov 10, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Other finalist update

One finalist that never made it "0n Air" was the Dustbunny. The inventors received a no response from the judges but have just recently sold their product on QVC. They used my company, Echopinion, to help them with their product. It just goes to show you the judges are not right all the time!

Nov 13, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

american inventor season 2


Sep 13, 2007
by bob amore (not verified)

american Inventor Tonerbelt takes it to fruiton and gives back!

To all my fellow inventors:

Exciting news! I have successfully licensed the “Tonerbelt,” the product I developed while I was a contestant on the ABC’s show American Inventor. Several companies were interested in the Tonerbelt, and after many, many meetings, I finally signed a contract with an organization that has worldwide marketing and distribution.

In addition to a license that includes manufacturing and marketing through direct marketing and retail, they have also asked me to become a liaison between their organization and other inventors. I will be keeping my eye out for new ideas and will pick certain products to present to the company in pitch meetings. I have already spoken with several inventors who have had trouble moving forward to the next step, and I will be representing their product through this company. I may also work with some of the other finalists from last year’s American Inventor show, too.

If you know my story from the show, then you know that inventors are my first priority, and I would love it if I were able to help you down this rough road. Feel free to email me the field your invention is in (such as bathroom or car products), and I’ll let you know if it fits into the product line.

I wish you all the best in your amazing journey.

Don’t ever stop until your idea comes to fruition!

Bobby Amore
American Inventor show final 12
To Fruition LLC.