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Hello, My name is Eric Jones and I am an Air Force veteran. I have an idea for a new product but I'm wondering who or how do I get my idea to someone who can turn it into reality. Any help would be appteciated. Thanks in advance.


Eric Jones Crewe, VA

I am looking to possibly start my own small business.

3 August 2015 6 replies General



Steve Smith Cedar Park, TX

Hi Eric!

After protecting your idea, consider local business incubators or co-working spaces. In Austin there are several business incubators where angel investors and business professionals provide advice on how to move forward. I would only explore this after you have protected your product from someone taking your idea and running with it themselves.

Thanks for your service, and best of luck!


John Gunter Riverton, UT

Glad to sign a NDA/NCA with you and discuss possibilities. We've designed hundreds of products in our small company over the years - latest to be released later this year. Most of these have been quite successful, but not all! We'd be glad to share advice (maybe even help you with your own company). John


Eric Jones Crewe, VA

Thanks to all for your answers--ERIC


Kevin MacWalters New York, NY

What are you thinking to do with your business?


John Gomez Rumson, NJ

Eric - the advice that Joseph provides you is spot on!

Depending on the type of product (software, physical item, process) will dictate the type of protection you need to put in place. Before you speak to anyone though, make sure you get a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and have them sign it before you talk about your product. You can find NDA on the web and just modify it for your needs. Also, checkout - it's not free but you can find a variety of legal agreements and other items rather cheaply.

I also suggest you checkout your local community college, there are usually really good startup business resources that can provide guidance and counseling for free. Also check out your states Economic Development agency. They may be able to help you with ideas on financing and grants. Depending on your product, don't rule out grants - especially if your product will generate jobs.

All in all, just take some time to attend some educational sessions - they pay off in the long run and will help you navigate the world of business. Keep things simple and don't spook yourself - but most of all protect your idea and also make sure it is truly unique. I find many people learn too late that what they think is unique is actually already patented. You can do patent searches for free - so give that a shot.

I hope this helps - best of luck.



Joseph Barry Pittsburgh, PA

I'll offer below, but caution I have zero experience. This is what I would do though....

First I would protect the idea. Copyright might be easier less costly than patent. (Speak to an attorney).

Next develop costs for prototyping, and expected unit costs for mass production. Make a financial model to calculate what you need to charge in order to give yourself a decent return (I would not do for less than 15% return). If modeling does not discourage you, and it is simple enough to buld, and you can afford it, prototype it yourself. You need to demonstrate that it works.

After this - you need to find money; Small business admininstration might do loans.
You'll need a business plan at this point. Don't forget product liability. (How can your product be misused in the most imaginative ways? How can this mis-use have been foreseen by you? What steps did you take in design to prevent mis-use? Did you warn the end user? ).

Hope this helps.

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