Launching Innovative Products
Slingshot exists to help inventors and entrepreneurs from the Pacific Northwest launch their products into the global marketplace.
Sourced regionally – Sold globally
What is slingshot?
Slingshot Northwest, Inc (Slingshot) is an option for inventors who have worked with NWIRC to get their product ready for market but do not wish to build the business elements required to develop the market for their product. Slingshot can do that for them.
Why did the NWIRC establish Slingshot?
After working with many inventors who had great products ready for the market, but were not in a position for a variety of reasons to take the step of getting their product on the market, NWIRC wanted to find a way to help them experience success with their efforts. The skills and interests required for the vision and creation of a new product are not the same as the many business elements required to get a product to the market. It was imperative that we find a way for the inventors to get their products into the market.
What is required for Slingshot to consider a product?
- The inventor must live in northwest Washington – Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island or San Juan County.
- The Inventor must complete the steps established within the Buildit Program to get the product ready for the market.
If Slingshot and the inventor agree, how do they proceed?
NWIRC will work with the Inventor to discuss the fit of the product with Slingshot’s capabilities. If after talking with Slingshot, the Inventor wished to proceed, NWIRC will continue to support the Inventor by providing guidance about the process of licensing their product to Slingshot.
How does licensing work?
An Inventor can provide the right to another person or company to make, have made, use or sell the intellectual property which continues to be owned by the Inventor. This means that the Inventors permits another to carry on the responsibilities of building a market or business for his/her product. In turn, the other person pays a royalty to the Inventor for products sold.
There are many elements to a licensing agreement – all of which are negotiated between the Inventor and, in this case, Slingshot. There include the amount of royalty, any geographic restrictions, expected performance and many others. Until the license agreement is signed by both parties, no rights have been permitted.
After the licensing agreement is signed, what can I expect?
It is Slingshot’s responsibility to find the best market opportunity for the products. There are three primary options:
- Sublicensing – For products that are a good match for an established industry, Slingshot identifies the industry, researches the best company, identifies the decision makers in those companies and builds a relationship with the objective the company adding the product to their product line. In many cases, this will mean that the company will manufacture the product and sell it through their own market or distribution channel.
- DRTV (As Seen on TV) – Some products may fit the market approach provided by those companies who advertise and sell products with mass appeal through TV commercials. Slingshot has developed a relationship with the reputable companies with expertise to engage in this form of marketing.
- E-commerce – Some products require proof of market demand before an industry partner will gain interest. Slingshot will have an e-commerce capacity to develop such a market. After the demand is proven, the product will likely move to a sublicensing opportunity
What is Inventor's ongoing relationship with NWIRC and with Slingshot?
NWIRC will always continue to work on behalf of the Inventor. We will assist the Inventor with any marketing materials that would be required and sit with the Inventor as part of any Slingshot meetings and the negotiation process.
The product becomes the responsibility of Slingshot. The will likely seek advice or assistance with some marketing communication if the Inventor is agreeable to that.