What's Happened to the Inventors from American Inventor - Season One?

Curious about what's happened to your favorite inventors and inventions from Season One of American Inventor?

Well, we have lots of information but we didn't know for sure what we could share with you and what we couldn't since much of it was unconfirmed or confidential.

So we thought it would be a good idea to create a place where folks from Season One can report on what has been going on for them in their own words.

There were reports from many sources that the finalists from Season One have recently been released from their contracts with American Inventor and Freemantle Media and are now on their own.

Many of these released finalists are waiting for potential investors and licensing partners to come through for their products and a few have potential deals in the works.

We also heard that some of the auditioners on the show who were not finalists, stil benefited greatly from the exposure their inventions got on the show.

Rather than naming names and giving details, I am hoping the inventors from Season One will all come here and give us an update here if they are not planning on writing a separate update or advice article for AmericanInventorSpot.com.

Also, if you can share any advice to those who are planning to audition for Season Two of American Inventor that would be appreciated too.



InventorSpot.com received an update from Mark Martinez one of the finalists from season one of American Inventor. He has told us that his Sackmaster will be in the shelves of Home Depot in the next few months.

Congratulations Mark!
Feb 18, 2007

HEADLINE IT! will be coming to market in JUNE/JULY 2007!

I LOVE THE AMERICAN INVENTOR SPOT WEBSITE..... if is jam packed with so much great info for all... Thanks, Michelle and Alexis and everyone else that contributes here.

This has been a busy year! Here are some of the things that I have been up to.
1. attending numerous charity events
2. four magazines, nine tv interviews, eleven newspaper interviews, twenty plus blog interviews, podcasts and more.
3. Threw out the first pitch at the MILWAUKEE BREWERS GAME
4. Road in the 4th of JULY parade as an AMERICAN INVENTOR TOP FINALIST
5. Closed TWO spokesperson deals(Techno Systems(Invent Help, Inpex, Intromark) and SIGNATURE EYECARE in BROOKFIELD, WI)
6. Flew to LA to film two TV commercials and radio commercials.
7. Met the Admirals Hockey team, attended game as guest star.
8. Did several motivational Speaking events.
9. Became a WBEC.. Woman based company
10. Registered wth D &B, created my UPC codes, TPIN and MPIN numbers, SIC and NAISC codes...got my company in order.. getting ready to launch our NEW HEADLINE IT! WEBSITE..where people can purchase our product.
11. Designed my products shape for effectiveness SIX times.
12. Re-designed the packaging three times
13. R & D, and product testing
14. Working with manufacturer three times a day or more.
15. Appeared on LIFETIME TV FOR WOMAN... on HEALTH CORNER as a FEATURED GUEST. The story was about ALOPECIA.
17. Kept in close touch with my other top 12 and top 24 friends...and DOUG, ED, PETER and MARY LOU.
21. Will be going to LA to hit some big media outlets, to help promote season TWO Amerian Inventor and RELEASE MY HEADLINE IT! product and book to the world!
22. Praying that I will be able to share my story on OPRAH...
23. Always being MOMMY FIRST and FOREMOST... TOOK my daughter to LA with me, and went to DISNEY for FOUR WONDERFUL FUN FILLED DAYS TOGETHER.. swam in the PACIFIC ocean in SHARON'S neck of the woods!
24. MORE TO COME....... LIFE IS AMAZING when you can follow your dreams, and watch them come true!



Feb 18, 2007
by Samul Not Jackson (not verified)

I heard that not one of the

I heard that not one of the inventions from American Inventor got a deal. Is that true?

Is the show a complete waste of time for those watching and for those auditioning?

I mean if you don't get a deal, what's the point? If you want to be famous, can't you just go as well go on American Idol and audition there? At least someone would be watching.

Feb 18, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Headline It

It's wonderful that all these things are happening for Jodi, but how many Headline its have you sold?
Sy Stebins

Feb 18, 2007
by bottleslingguy
bottleslingguy's picture

For those of you budding

For those of you budding inventors: notice numbers eleven and twelve in Jodi's list.

Don't assume your first prototype design or packaging idea will be the last. When facing these issues you have to remember to look at your baby with a very critcal eye. YOU may like it, but you could be the only one. Just because it fits your head doesn't mean it will fit everyone's. My bottle slings (name coming soon) can be made to fit different size people and they all hold bottles of different sizes and shapes. They can be made with different fabrics in different colors and designs.

You may love the fundamental aspects of your invention but be willing and able to be flexible with everything else.

I'd like to ask Jodi if she has a patent for the HeadlineIt!? And if she is aware of any competition in the marketplace? I love the idea of the HeadlineIt! and would like to suggest Jodi designing a style sort of like those snowboarding caps everybody and their brothers are wearing even in warm climates. Make them out of the same absorbant material as the HeadlineIt! but in designer colors and patterns. I would wear one in the summer to protect my scalp and absorb sweat while I work. Jodi could you wear one and pour water over it in order to keep your head cool?

Concerning Samul's post: I've said all along, if the show doesn't produce some actual products it will lose all credibility. I think Peter Jones would be wise to have America start voting much earlier in the show.

I hate to say it but I have a feeling we'll never see the Anecia again. It's an interesting concept but I don't think it can be ergonomically feasable due to the size variations of children and cars. When a baby is the size and shape of a ten pound sack of potatoes it could work fine, but six months later the baby's arms and legs grow longer and they tend to flail them around constantly. That may be a problem with the nested spheres rotating like an amusement park ride. How does the Anecia allow for this? Maybe some sort of damping system to slow it down. This would also stabilize it at low speeds and during turns (don't want the child getting seasick). Evenflo has had some crappy design problems lately, they need to come up with a winner. I hope they can get the bugs worked out at a reasonable price.

Francisco's bike? Come on guys... did anybody think that would actually ever be sold in stores like the show says the product has to be able in order to qualify? So many, much better, products got overlooked for lack of a sob story. And don't get me wrong, I sat next to Francisco and his partner on the way up to the "green" waiting area just outside the set on the second floor of the LA Design Center. We wished each other good luck and I hope he's now making the most out of his opportunity since the show, I just think the show (and MLBooHoo in particular) used him.

But the toilet seat and the restroom survival kit should be no-brainers. They can be made and sold ANYWHERE. I think as the show progresses it should follow the design/packaging/testing phases of the finalists so America can either build a liking or lose it as we see the progressions from budding inventions to actual "products in a box". We could vote on packaging options and other details so they will know they have a winner with the public. Maybe there should be five top prize winners instead of only one?

The show's contract retains rights over finalists so they can't use the spotlight to promote their products privately for one year. After that you can do what you want, that's probably why we don't hear much about any products actually hitting the stores yet.

My slings are ready to hit the stores PRONTO! Please check them out at Bottle Sling - Invention Gallery .

Feb 19, 2007

Thank you Bottleslingguy

HI Bottleslingguy!

I wish you the best of luck on your invention.

Yes.. I have both the UTILLITY and DESIGN patents on my product. Thank you for asking.

We are happy that there are NO OTHER PRODUCTS like mine that will be on the market. With my claims in my patent, we have that industry covered, so far. I was really blessed to make it as a finalist on the show. With the publicity and powerhouses behind us all... success will be achieved.

If you check out my website, you will see the artwork can be different on each HEADLINE IT! for variability of marketing the product.

The HEADLINE IT! is UNIVERSAL. It will fit any sized head and in any cap! On the website.. is the OLD DESIGN. I will be launching the new effective shape and packaging on my new HEADLINE IT! website, in JUNE.

We will be marketing to SNOWBOARDERS, just like you!
I would hope that you will contact me on my website, and we can swap products to test. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOUR PRODUCT as well. It sounds very interesting and I wish you all the luck in the world! If you have questions or need any help, please ask. Maybe I can direct you to some that could help further your product. KUDOS TO YOU.

The HEADLINE IT will be launched to market in JUNE/JULY of this year... with the start of SEASON TWO AMERICAN INVENTOR.

Please remember, it is a REALITY TV SHOW.. where you know that there may not be full truths being told.

PETER JONES has the contestants best interest at heart. I still write to PETER weekly, and he is willing to give advice and continue as my MENTOR. HE REALLY CARES about the show and the contestants a great deal. He is an amazing man.. and what a joy to meet! BRILLIANT!

All the other judges, MARYLOU, ED and DOUG have bent backwards to help so many of us contestants. They all cared about the show a great deal, as well..... as MATT GALLANT who is a super, wonderful person that will give you the shirt off his back if you asked! I am so honored to have him as my friend.

Great things can come out of any situation... and we were blessed to be part of this show.. regardless of what comments anyone posts!

Sometimes, the publicity of one's product is just enough to launch it into the market place. I am living proof of that.

Thanks for watching SEASON TWO, it will be better than ever!


Feb 19, 2007
by Sy (not verified)

Utility Patents for Headine it

Jodi Pliska,
I understand that you have both a design and utility patent.
What is the patent number for the utility patent? I've been following all these comments and hope you wouldn't mislead us. If the other ex judges are being let go how have they helped you? Please answer these questions instead of ignoring them as you have in the past.


Feb 19, 2007

American Inventor Show


Each of the judges has been in pivotal in helping with endorsements, design, teaching, mentoring, marketing, business plans, taking products to companies and more. I am not avoiding your question, but some of the info is not privy at this time, and I would rather have my other top finalist friends tell you how they were helped, in their own words.

I am still working on several projects with some judges, and will release this information in JUNE, with the launch of my product. Thanks!

As for patent numbers, I am sure that you can find all of these on record. We all are protected. They took GOOD CARE OF US ON THE SHOW...and protected us before the release of SEASON ONE.

That's all for now.. I have written a lot of BEHIND THE SCENES INFO in my book, BALD IS BEAUTIFUL, MY JOURNEY TO BECOMING!

Hope that you will read it and enjoy, SY.

THANKS for the questions and best of luck to you!


Thanks for the questions.

Feb 20, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)


Jodi if you have a marketable invention that sells  a design patent is worthless. All you have to do is make a suble change of it and sell the same- only in a different material than what's stated in your utility patent. They already have cool hat & cap bands that can be slightly changed for wigs.

Feb 20, 2007
by Sy (not verified)

Utility patents VS Design patents

I understand the differences between Utility and design patents but how could anyone on the American Inventor show who did not have a utility patent prior to the show have one this fast. I don't believe it. It takes almost two years to receive a proper Utility patent. The prior comment about sweat absorbing headbands existing already is correct. I did the research. There's no way that Jodi has a utility patent for this. Design yes, utility no. Patents are only a defense against copycats. Even with copycats it's hard and costly to fight them in court.

I'd like to hear the real stories from the final twelve without all the BS. I know that this business is tough but we bloggers like hearing the truth. If we wanted to hear fluff and BS I can go to Invent help or Davidson. As far as I understand the Judges have been zero help to any of the finalists.I don't personally know any of the Judges but I'm happy that most, if not all are gone. Inventors need respect not mockery.

I've invested in a few inventors dreams and have been mostly successful. If I were to invest in any of the final twelve from last year I would bank on The Sackmaster (really works) The toilet seat (I went to the site and it could be a winner with the proper marketing), the door clip (cheap to make but could be an item at every truck, travel stop), Portable exercise equiptment. Easy X guy (Could be winner for us out of shape types or even in shape guys and girls who want to stay that way on the road). The Toner belt falls into the same category. Niya doll is marketable.Everything else is a long shot.

This site is also a great thing for inventors. Just my professional thoughts.


Feb 20, 2007
by bottleslingguy
bottleslingguy's picture

Please don't hit me.

Just kidding. I would disagree with you regarding the EasyX. The key to a "portable" gym is to make it portable. Instead of lugging around 100 lbs. you need something that weighs like twenty pounds yet provides enough resistance to give a good workout. I didn't really see anything beyond what's already out there, nothing about it stood out to me. 

The SackMaster, while useful and efficient doesn't have a very big market (does it?). I think the Niya has some incredible competition. I agree the toilet seat, toner belt and survival kit are winners. 

I think Jodi is being very cautious (understandably) and not telling us the whole story. There doesn't seem to be anything in the USPTO under her name. What's up wit dat? Hint: she signed contracts with Tick Tock Productions. I think Jodi is a genuinely good person immersed in a sphere of cold hard tv reality. I think it would be detrimental to this site if you kept pressing her any further. I think she's trying to be polite and really doesn't need any hassles. You and I may call it searching for the truth, but believe me, she doesn't need us and may decide to leave making this place a little less exciting. Sort of like the Inventor's Underground site.

Hey, check out my invention Bottle Sling - Invention Gallery . and see how it could make you even more successful.

Feb 20, 2007
by Erik "The Pitch Coach" (not verified)

the real deal

Hey everyone, look. American Inventor was what it was, a reality TV show, with that said if I had to do it all over again, ya dam right I would! The show made it easier for me to make contact with sport industry movers and shakers as well as help other inventors make contact with different companies and industry reps.

Everyone needs to step back for a second and stop playing "the head inventor" what we need to do is pool all of our resources, this way we can capitalize on the many opportunity that are out there.

Companies like Davidson know how to sucker the everyday inventor out of their cash because there is no sure shot way to get your invention to market and the average inventor is desperate and these companies know this.

Did American Inventor do all it promise, yes and no. Yes we got some great exposure and made some great contacts plus we learn the rules of the game from the inside. No it didn’t change our lives like American Idol, Our product is not on store shelves but we’re selling product, the show didn’t get our invention pick up by a major company. In defense of AI this was the very first series and a lot of it was done on the fly, the second season will be much more together.

With that out of the way let’s be real, when American Inventor 2 hold it’s casting calls in selected cities, everyone with an idea, a real idea is going to be their. If you are looking to get your product out their, this is your best chance without paying a dime!

Remember that 10.7 million viewer tuned in weekly, someone out their may like what you have and put their money behind. You can bet on this, if you don’t try out for AI-2 someone else will.

Feb 21, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

patents on like inventions

 Patents on like inventions are not that difficult, ex. tonerbelt & Denise Austins. This is why a "very good" Patent attorney is needed! Kershaw Knives is another example. they patented their assisted opening folder with various patents. One had a leaf spring while another had a coil piston spring opening.  This was just a few years ago and now look at the market! About every knife company- Buck, Sharp eagle, Camillus. Benchmade, S&W, United, Browning, and many others have what looks to be the same leaf spring assisted opening? They apparently got around the claims of kershaw to claim another patent or patent pending.

Feb 23, 2007
by Burgie

All of this chatter is

All of this chatter is interesting, but here is what caught my eye.


10. Registered wth D &B, created my UPC codes, TPIN and MPIN numbers, SIC and NAISC codes...got my company in order..


Expanding on this process with contact info and prices would be very helpful and interesting.


Thanks, Jodi 

Mar 8, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)


 i believe in Janusz situation the $1,000,000 will have to be paid back with his 25% royalties to AI before he can start accruing more money. As for Ed, he may have to pay back the $50,000? After that I believe he gets all the 5% royalties. Tell me if I'm wrong ED?

Mar 15, 2007
by Mark Martinez (not verified)

Hi Everyone, This is Mark Martinez


I heard you wanted to hear from last years top 12 of American Inventor.

OK, here it is.

Out of the thousands of people who tried out for the show, I was the only person who came out singing. I wrote a rap song using the back bet of Eminem song "Lose Yourself". I altered it a little but I used the main verse,
"If you had one chance, one opportunity would you use it or would you let it slip away? This is my chance and I'm going to go for it."
You need to stand out when you audition.

I had a idea for the SackMaster around the time of el Niño. The rain was coming down and help is being needed so I put down a plan
that I had in my head, got it down on paper and that's how the Sackmaster began.
It's a tool that I made for those hard rainy days when the rain is coming down hard and things are floating away. Itt's quicker, it's takes half the time and it wont
hurt your back because it is ergonomically designed.

So what happened after American Inventor?

The day after I got off the American Inventor show I took out a loan on my house then I took my mold for the Sackmaster to a plastic company were I had 100 units
made. Once the units were finished, my wife and I went on a Donation Tour with the SackMaster.

I was under contract with Fremantle not to sell my product! but it didn't keep me from giving them away! So we did.

First we went to Hawaii where
we met and donated several units to the civil defense department and they gladly
accepted them since they just had 30 days of flooding and mud slides ,then
we went to New Orleans and met up with Fire chief Tomas Stone. He is the same
person who help me on the show with my testing with his help we donated over
28 shovel to some of the areas hit hardest by hurricane Katrina , then we
went to Florida to Orlando and drove from Orlando to Port St.Lucys all the
way to Miami over 700 miles donating Sackmasters all the way to several
different counties and cities meeting mayors and city council people all the

It was great. The people of Hooters Corporation sponsored a party for us on the beach at Fort Lauderdale by the sea.

Thing are going good for us.

We sold Sackmasters to the US Army base in Fort Rucker, Alabama and the air force base in California, the US forestry department has purchased 95 Sackmasters and there is so much more.

Overall, the American Inventor show was a great experience. I learned a lot and got some great exposure for Sackmaster.

Good luck to the Season 2 Inventors.

Mark Martinez

Mar 25, 2007
by izeroin

Season Two Auditions

Question: From the time you audition, at the individual cities, and are turned down, how long are you required to wait, exactly, before you are allowed to pitch your invention elsewhere (ie: manufactures, etc.)? Please advice someone who is motivated to "get-on, getting-on" after having not made it to LA. Can someone help me to re-confirm in my mind what I signed on the "Consent & Release" form, at the city's audition, as to what rights the Producers have on my ability to sell my licensing rights to my patent, elsewhere. I heard talk about a three month wait only. Is that right, or what? Please advise. Most appreciated. ALee

Mar 27, 2007
by Stephen Key (not verified)

I Would Like To Help? From Successful Inventor Stephen Key.

It seems like many of you are upset about the show. We'll forget the show for now.

For those of you who would like your invention questions answered. I will answer them right here for free!

It's painfull to see so many bright inventors stuck simply becasue they don't have the information they need to bring their product to market. Selling you ideas can be done. I've done it for many years and would be happy to share what I know with you.

I have licenced over 20 products and would be happy to answer your questions through this blog.

So post any quesiton you have abot inventing and I'll do my best to post a concise response so everyone can learn from.

Kindest Regards,
Stephen Key

Apr 1, 2007
by Ape Ape (not verified)

After auditions

From what I understand, you dont have to wait at all. When we didnt get a yes to move on (6 hours ago, I am in Chicago now), we were handed a paper that read...

"As you have not been selected to move forward in the competition, you are under NO obligation to the show or ABC with respect to rights in your invention, and you are free to independently pursue any other avenues for marketing and distributing your invention."

That is what I have right here.

After we didnt make it today I got on this site. Now I am actually happy to have not made it. It makes me want to work harder to market our invention so we can be so-called "American Inventor rejects that made it!"

We have a tool that has some serious global potential. I mean we have no competition in the field and there is such a great need for what we have to offer. I was seriously confused because I saw some of the junk they accepted... I mean, did it really have global potential? Could they really make that much money off of it? My answer was no.

When we were waiting in line outside in the rain (for about 8 hours)at the Navy Pier, I started to think...

This is all for a show. I walked around and there was plenty of room to house us. We were friggin freezing and wet and the line barely moved! I went to a gift shop and the lady says she cant understand why they didnt bring us inside??!??!?!

haha joke was on us.

Thanks to everyone for hearing what you have to say about the show, I feel better knowing everyone isnt all about it.


Apr 3, 2007
by bottleslingguy
bottleslingguy's picture

Testing one two

Testing one two three. I can't believe the DroughtMaster story. I would probably hunt the guy down and wind up in jail over that one.

Maybe now that season two is starting we'll hear from more of them. I get the feeling though that many don't want to take any risks and say something here they may regret later. Same goes for the current auditioners although I liked ApeApe's story. I'm interested in mechanical inventions like tools.

There has to be a way for them to get some exposure!? Hey why not post a video of your product here at this website? That would be awesome! Let's ask "why not". This site would not only gain exposure for the AI Rejects, but it would get more traffic from the popularity of broadcasting yourself. This could be the web version of an inventor reality show.

 Bottle Sling - Invention Gallery .

Apr 3, 2007
by Michelle
Michelle's picture

If anyone want to create a

If anyone want to create a SHORT video of their invention for us and its interesting to watch, we will post it on our site. I think 2 minutes max. I won't promise as I need to check with our Webmaster but I am pretty sure we can do it.   Perhaps we'll even have a whole section with people who can vote on best invention video. Anybody? 

If its interesting and catchy enough, we can get several hundred thousand veiwers to see your invention.



Jul 22, 2007
by Christopher (not verified)

Great advice by that attorney!!!

I would just like to say I agree with attorney. It is VERY SOUND advice. If you have an invention and believe it should be produced, DON'T go showing it on american inventor without a PATENT!! That's like giving a burglar the key to your house!

It's not cheap to apply to a patent either, a few thousand dollars. And if you're really serious about your invention you will have already applied and I will wish all the best for you!

But remember:
A great idea doesn't do much for you if someone else has the patent for it.

Aug 1, 2007
by Michelle
Michelle's picture

InventorSpot.com received an

InventorSpot.com received an update from Mark Martinez one of the finalists from season one of American Inventor. 

He has told us the following wonderful news:

American Inventor Mark Martinez - yes ,yes ,yes WE ARE IN The
Home Depot said yes, The Sackmaster will be on the shelves within 3 to4
months at The Home Depot.

Congratulations Mark! 

Jun 24, 2008
by Anonymous


Hello everybody this is Mark Martinez of the first season of American inventor on June 27th 2008 the Sackmaster will be on the shelves of The home depot In Quincy illinois and in Jacksonville illinois Thank you" American inventor " I will be in Quincy Doing demos on June 28th and the 29th at 5432 Broadway Street Quincy illinois 62301and on the 30th june thru the 2nd of july I will be in Jacksonville illinois at the Home Depot at 1601 west Morton ave JV iL 62650