Do you have an invention that makes life in the cubicle easier?
You might win $25,000 and 8% royalties for life if you have a great idea!
From Start Up Journal…
Neil Grimwood once missed a meeting because a Post-it note he’d stuck on his computer as a reminder fell off. That inspired him to invent a small rubber disk with strong adhesive on the back to serve as a stick-anywhere, mini bulletin board to which lists, photos and other papers can be affixed with push pins or thumb tacks.
In 2004, after years of fruitlessly marketing what he called StickDots to large companies, the Marina del Rey, Calif., inventor entered a Staples Inc. contest for inventors called InventionQuest. Winners of the contest receive $25,000 and up to an 8% royalty. Mr. Grimwood didn’t win, but the office-supply chain sometimes grants contracts to runners-up. In this case, the company agreed to carry the product under the Staples brand name, rechristened it TackDots and now sells packets of eight for $3.99.
The contest is part of a broad effort by Staples to develop a stable of exclusive products to differentiate its own-brand line from those of competitors. The strategy appears to be working; Staples-brand products, which carry a higher profit margin than other goods, accounted for 18% of Staples’s $16.08 billion in revenue last year, up from 11% four years ago. Chief executive Ron Sargent says he expects that to rise to 20% this year.
Staples products coming from private inventors: