From an ingenious dry erase page called the "Problem Pad" to "No Poke Pins," an innovative twist on traditional thumbtacks, Staples Inc. today announced the winners of the third Staples Invention Quest®, its national search to find the next great product that makes school- or work-life easier. The 2007 Staples Invention Quest winners in the Kid, Adult and Staples Associate contests offer three unique product ideas that can make the lives of students and office professionals easier and more productive.
The victors emerged today after more than seven months of competition, where contestants faced a nominee, semifinal and final round before they became champions. The three prize-winning individuals competed against thousands of entries nationwide in categories such as computer accessories to furniture to organizational tools. Their winning creations were selected by a panel of inventor and entrepreneur judges and a public vote on www.staples.com/IQ. The winners were announced today at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York City and presented with a $25,000 cash prize. The runners up in all categories each received $5,000. All of the finalists and winners are entitled to royalties if their products are produced and sold in Staples stores nationwide.
Meet the Invention Quest winners:
Keagan Bolibol - Kid Category
Keagan is a 10-year-old fourth-grader from Woodinville, Wash. Her invention, the Problem Pad, is a dry erase page with various learning tools that fits into a binder. While working on a difficult homework assignment, Keagan realized there had to be an easy way to keep her homework from turning out so messy. After talking with her father, she came up with the Problem Pad.
Mark Trageser - Adult Category
Mark is a toy inventor from Los Angeles, Calif. His invention, the No Poke PinTM, is a unique take on thumbtacks that stick anywhere a thumbtack would, but won't leave holes in items. No Poke Pins easily attach to walls and support any note, photo, receipt and more, without damaging them.
Rebecca Lurie - Associate Category
Rebecca works at the Staples home office in the human resources department. Her invention, the Drawerganizer, is a unique system of folding shelves that easily attaches to most desk drawers or filing cabinets. The shelves expand and collapse in a tiered manner, much like a jewelry box, when needed.
"Staples Invention Quest is a great way for us to learn directly from our customers and associates what products would make work and school life easier," said Shira Goodman, Staples Invention Quest judge and executive vice president of marketing for Staples, Inc. "The response from the public has been tremendous, both on our online voting site and in talking to customers at our stores. It is wonderful to see the excitement generated by the creativity and innovation from kids and adults alike."
Exploring Invention Quest
Submissions in the three categories of Staples Invention Quest included a computer chair with an additional seat to a mouse pad that dims the computer monitor after a certain amount of time. This is also the first year the competition was opened up to kids through age 18. Staples collaborated with By Kids For Kids Co. (BKFKTM), a company motivated to inspire and stimulate innovation in kids, to introduce the new category and to encourage kids to explore and share their ideas that would make school-life better.
In the first-ever Staples Invention Quest Kids contest, teacher mentors were honored along with the student finalists as inspirations for creativity and innovation. Keagan's mentor, Karol Pulliam, principal of Cottage Lake Elementary, was honored with a $1,000 Staples gift card.
Judges for the finals event included Art Fry, inventor of the Post-it® Note; Donald Kelly, President of the United Inventors Association and intellectual property consultant, David Gregg, senior editor at Beststuff.com, kid inventor Scott Barnhill, creator of the Security One card, and two Staples executives. America's vote at www.staples.com/IQ gave the winning contestant five extra points onto their judging tally and factored into the determination of the winner.
"As a lifelong inventor, I appreciate the unique blend of creativity, intelligence, and realism that goes into new product development," said Art Fry, Staples Invention Quest judge and inventor of the Post-it Note. "It is wonderful that Staples recognizes this innovation and looks to consumers to uncover ideas for the next revolutionary products. After all, consumers know best how to make their lives easier, which is why Staples Invention Quest is such an effective initiative."
The 12 remaining finalist products in the competition included flash drive holders and organizational tools, a marker cap container, a filing cabinet with drawers that pull down instead of out, a customizable, transparent book cover and locker wallpaper.
Visit www.staples.com/IQ for more information on the contest and the finalist and winning inventions.