IANE MEMBERS ONLY “SHARK-TANK LIKE” INVENTOR’S CLINIC
By Joseph R. Birkner, M.E., Registered Patent Agent Copyright 2014
holds public meetings at MIT, usually at 7 PM on each second Monday of the month.
Speakers typically include patent professionals, marketers, entrepreneurs,
successful inventors and business persons all of whom discuss relevant topics
of interest to inventors and entrepreneurs. Membership in IANE, currently is
only $40 a year; a nominal donation of $5 is suggested for non-members and guests.
Members receive a monthly Newsletter, participate in networking and are eligible
to attend a private, Members Only Inventor’s Clinic. Details of IANE meetings,
Inventor’s Clinic and valuable articles of interest and other information can be found
Well before the appearance of the popular SHARK TANK TV show, where budding
inventors and entrepreneurs present their idea to a panel of “Sharks” for feedback and
possible funding, IANE has been conducting, since 1991, a somewhat similar venue as
a perk for Members Only.
IANE’s “Shark-Tank-Like” Inventor’s Clinic occurs every second month, usually on a
Wednesday at 7 PM at a private location (not at MIT) for Members Only who are
encouraged to present their ideas for inventions. The Clinic is a great way to get
FREE, valuable impartial feedback and opinions as to the technical, business potential
and feasibility of an invention before spending money on patents, prototypes,
drawings, molds and tooling. The Clinic, in a short time, provides a “reality check”,
provided the Presenter is listening carefully. Presenters book their intent for presenting
their invention in advance, since the number of Presenters is limited due to time
constraints. Typically about 6 presentations are made. Usually, 6-8 non-presenting
members attend the Clinic, some of whom have backgrounds in areas such as patent
law, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, prototyping, licensing, and general
business.. The Presenter does not have to have a fully developed idea, prototype or a
patent on file, although it may be helpful. All in attendance must sign a non disclosure
agreement for each presentation. Presenters have a timed period of 15 minutes to
present their invention and solicit feedback. A video projector and screen are available.
All suggestions belong to the Presenter.
Several previous Presenters have had their products come on the market, influenced
by the feedback they received at the Clinic. For record purposes, all presentations are
video-recorded and a copy, upon request, is provided only to the Presenter. Members
who have not attended a Clinic they are encouraged to do so as a listener to see how
the Clinic operates. Further details about the operation of the Inventor’s Clinic are
generally discussed at each month at the public IANE meeting. If you like SHARK
TANK, you will LOVE the INVENTORS’ CLINIC. See you there!! Joe Birkner