By Donna Goodison | Sunday, February 5, 2012 | Article Link
Stride Rite Children’s Group is reaching out to aspiring inventors for innovative ways to improve its Robeez baby shoes.
The Lexington company put out the call on Edison Nation, an online site spun out of PBS’ Emmy-winning “Everyday Edisons” show.
Stride Rite hopes to reach a wide audience of “mompreneurs,” according to product line manager Kate Cox. “Robeez by Stride Rite was created by a mom for moms, and we wanted to continue in this tradition as we look to add new ideas to our celebrated footwear brand,” she said.
Stride Rite is soliciting ideas for fashionable and functional pre-walker shoes for newborn to 1-year-old children that have easy on/off and stay-on features, and baby-friendly construction and materials that are durable and easy to clean.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based Edison Nation is an “idea-to-shelf” consumer product developer behind dozens of products in more than 25,000 stores, including the Gyro Bowl, Emery Cat and Mister Steamy.
“Everyone has a great idea, but most people don’t know what to do with the idea or have the time or money to pursue or develop the idea,” CEO Louis Foreman said. “We take the great idea and turn it into a successful product.”
Edison Nation identifies what consumer product companies and retailers are looking for, posts the information on its site and screens submitted ideas for the companies.
“They have the ability to license any of the ideas that we bring to them, and then we split it 50-50 with the inventor,” Foreman said.
Edison Nation takes on the risk and invests the capital. “We’re going to file the patents, we’re going to build the prototype, and we’re going to do the development work,” Foreman said.
The payoff can be lucrative. Inventors whose ideas are selected get a $2,500 minimum advance and split a negotiated percentage of sales for up to 20 years.
“Typical licensing deals that are done in the industry can be anywhere from 3 to 7 percent of sales,” Foreman said. “If you’re able to license a product to a manufacturer that turns out to generate tens or hundreds of millions (of dollars) in sales, 3 to 7 percent of that becomes a very meaningful number.”