WelcomeInventors Network of the Capital Area
The Inventors Network of the Capital Area is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1993. Our members are interested in patents, the innovation process, product design, marketing, licensing, prototyping and other product development issues. Visit the Contact Us page if you have questions.
See the Meetings page for a schedule of upcoming meetings, directions, and more information. For announcements about additional upcoming events join the Inventors Network of the Capital Area Meetup Group or join/visit the INCA Google Group.
Meetings are free and open to the public. We invite you to attend our next meeting to participate in networking over pizza, snacks, and drinks. If you are interested in speaking at an upcoming meeting, or would like to recommend a speaker, visit our Speakers page.
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Current Meeting Schedule:
May 2013′s INCA meeting will be on Monday the 20th at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library in Falls Church, VA. The speaker and topic will be announced in the near future.
Dear Inventors Network of the Capital Area:
Mike Collins, the CEO of Big Idea Group, recently gave a very successful talk at the IANE in Cambridge. We wanted to see if you’d like him as a speaker at one of your upcoming events. His speech is on crowdfunding and other trends in innovation.
In addition, Mike can schedule one-one-one invention review meetings with interested inventors prior to his talk. There would be no charge to you for either the presentation or invention reviews.
If you’re interested in having Mike speak to your group, please contact us. For more information about Big Idea Group, visit www.bigideagroup.net.
If you’d like to see the text of Mike’s recent IANE presentation, here’s a link. You can also check out his blogs and posts to get a flavor of his style.
About Michael Collins
Michael Collins has shared his expertise in innovation and product development in print, online, and in person. He is author of The Million-Dollar Idea in Everyone, a guide foraspiring entrepreneurs. In addition, Mr. Collins explores innovation and crowdfunding topics on the BIG Idea Podcast and frequently presents at inventor/entrepreneur meetings. He also serves on the boards of multiple companies.
Mr. Collins began his career in venture capital with a four-year stint at TA Associates, but soon found his calling as a serial entrepreneur. He has launched multiple businesses, including crowd-innovation firm Big Idea Group, hedge fund Disruptive Capital Performance, specialty retailer Kid Galaxy, home improvement manufacturer Rebound Driveway Marker,video production company IQ Communications, webcam accessory retailer Best Face Forward, and others. He has also personally invented several successful products in fields as diverse as hardware, home goods, and toys.
Mr. Collins has an undergraduate degree in Engineering Science from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard BusinessSchool. In his free time, he coaches competitive club basketball. You can follow him on Twitter at BigideaGroup.
Crowdfunding (CF) is an appeal via a CF website for development funds to bring an idea to market. Supporters donate money, in return for rewards (such as future product) from the inventor. Crowdfunding can provide both needed money for development and critical feedback on youridea’s potential. In 2012, nearly 20 projects on Kickstarter (a top CF site) raised $1 million+ each. And opportunities are exploding, with over 700 CF websites available.
Big Idea Group
April 2013′s INCA meeting will be on Monday the 15th at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library in Falls Church, VA. The speaker and topic are yet to be determined.
More About Our Monthly Meetings:
Every month we host a meeting with a speaker and time for experienced and beginning inventors to network. Private sector speakers at past meetings have included successful inventors, and experts in: marketing, branding, patenting, licensing, prototyping, venture capital, and entrepreneurship. Speakers at previous meetings have also included officials from the US Patent & Trademark Office of Independent Inventor Programs and representatives of government small business assistance programs. For more details on past speakers and meeting topics see the Past Meetings page.
Other Current Events:
Virginia Invents: Telebrands Product Search. Members of Virginia inventors clubs can submit their invention ideas to this product search. This PDF slideshow includes information on what makes a good product to sell on television. Page 9 of the slideshow has a link to a YouTube video explaining what Telebrands is looking for in an “As Seen on TV” product. Note that the submission deadline is Decmeber 31, 2012.
In The News
Community College of Baltimore County Catonsville Opens MIT Fab Lab
The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) Catonsville in Catonsville, Maryland opened an MIT Fab Lab (fabrication lab) in January 2011. The first open house was Thursday January 13, 2011. An MIT Fab Lab is a workshop open to the public where inventors and product developers can get help making prototypes of their inventions. After taking safety and other training classes users will have access to a ShopBot CNC milling/routing machine, UPrint 3D printer, Roland vinyl cutter, laser scanners, and CAD (computer aided design) software. Check back here or watch the INCA Google group and the CCBC MIT Fab Lab Meetup group page for announcements on Fab Lab classes and the times the lab will be opened to the public.
The CCBC MIT Fab Lab will have its first training classes on February 7, 201. Right now three classes are planned for this date. One class will be in the morning at 8am, another in the afternoon at 12pm, and the last in the afternoon at 4pm. All three classes are 3 hours and 15 minutes long. The class will cost $99. Contact Bill Werneke at wwerneke @ ccbcmd.edu or 443-840-4401 and let him know if you are interested in taking a class and which class time you are interested in. You must register for this class before attending.
The community college is located off of interstate 95 at exit 47B, which is about fifteen minutes (no traffic) south of Baltimore and one hour (no traffic) north of Washington DC.
After taking exit 47B you will be on 195 West and will be heading northwest. 195 West continues as the left part of a fork/”Y” you will come to. At this fork follow the sign that says 166 on it (this is a left at the fork). Do NOT take the right part of the fork/”Y” that says “UMBC Only” as the “UMBC Only” exit will take you to the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), not the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville (CCBC and UMBC are two different colleges and are located at two different campuses).
195 West ends at/runs into 166/South Rolling Road. You will still be traveling northwest while on 166/South Rolling Road. Once on 166/South Rolling Road look for Campus Drive (Campus Drive will be on your left and is opposite of Valley Road). Turn left onto Campus Drive when you see the sign for the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville (this blue sign also includes an electronic messaging display). You will be now heading southwest on a long curvy driveway and up a fairly large hill. When you come to another fork/”Y” in the road take a right. You will then be going counter clockwise on the “ring road” that encircles the CCBC Catonsville campus. Drive until you see the sign for parking lot number 5. Parking lot number 5 is the closest parking lot to building H.
The general physical address of the community college is 800 S Rolling Rd, Baltimore, MD 21228-5317. The Fab Lab is located in room H145 of building H on the Catonsville campus. A vertical sign in front of the building with an “H” also designates this building. This building also has a blue awning that says “Applied Technology Center” on it. Go in the door with the blue awning. There will be a short jog to the right once you go in this door. After the jog to the right the Fab Lab is at the end of the long hall and on the right side. The Fab Lab is across from a room that has air traffic control and flight simulators.
Buildings on this campus are well marked, but see the campus map for the exact location:http://www.ccbcmd.edu/directory/cat/camp_map.html. You can also find the lab on Google Maps by clicking http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=%22CCBC+MIT+Fab+Lab%22
Park only in the spaces with white lines (parking in spaces with red, blue, or green paint stripes may result in your vehicle being ticketed). If you have to park in a parking lot that is a bit far from Building H, and you don’t want to walk, you can ride a shuttle bus that runs during normal business hours.
For more Information:
For more on the CCBC MIT Fab Lab events see http://www.meetup.com/CCBC-MIT-Fabrication-Lab/. For general information on MIT Fab Labs see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fab_lab and http://fab.cba.mit.edu/.
USPTO Announces New Electronic Publication “Inventors Eye” for Independent Inventors
Learn more about how to subscribe to this free bi-monthly electronic publication by clicking here. The first edition has articles featuring inventor stories, how to avoid invention promotion company scams, patent reform and more.