July meeting topic: Managing Your Web Presence

July 7, 2014 in Announcements by Gary Pageau

Gary Pageau

Gary Pageau

The July 2w meeting of the Jackson Inventor’s Network will feature Gary Pageau speaking on the topic ‘Managing Your Web Presence.” The internet is a valuable research tool for inventors, but it can also find help you find partners, vendors and investors. Gary Pageau will show you how to create and maintain your online presence.

Gary Pageau, a 25-year veteran marketing communications and publishing executive, is principal of InfoCircle LLC, a content-marketing company serving local and national clients. Prior to starting InfoCircle, he was Publisher, Content Development and Strategic Initiatives, of Photo Marketing Association International.

A native of the Detroit area, he graduated from Adrian College, Adrian, Mich., in 1985 with degrees in English and in Art. Prior to coming to PMA, he worked at the St. Ignace News, St. Ignace, Mich., and Olivet College, Olivet, Mich.Meeting agenda

6:00-6:30 Registration

6:30-7:30 Program

7:30-8:30 Networking, including expert corners for getting one-on-one help.

The meeting is now at the Jackson College W.J. Maher Campus, 3000 Blake Rd, Jackson, MI 49201.

June meeting topic: What is QFD and how can it help your business plan?

June 10, 2014 in Meetings by Gary Pageau

Tom Grace

Tom Grace

The June 24 meeting of the Jackson Inventor’s Network will feature board member Tom Grace speaking on the topic “Quality Function Deployment (QFD): What it is and how it can help your business plan”. The JIN recently went through the QFD process for the Jackson MakerSpace and this project will be shown at the meeting. It is an exercise any entrepreneur should know and understand.

Grace has a 41-year career in electrical engineering and management with General Motors, and was in charge of GM’s electrical engineering department and the Research & Development Team. He has received 26 patents. He has a BS in industrial Design from MSU, and graduate study at GMI, Lawrence Tech, & Wayne State.

Meeting agenda

6:00-6:30 Registration

6:30-7:30 Program

7:30-8:30 Networking, including expert corners for getting one-on-one help.

The meeting is now at the Jackson College W.J. Maher Campus, 3000 Blake Rd, Jackson, MI 49201.

Brad Smith describes patent defense strategies at JIN meeting

May 29, 2014 in Meetings by Gary Pageau

Brad Smith describes the patent application process at the Jackson Inventors Network.

Brad Smith describes the patent application process at the Jackson Inventors Network.

The Jackson Inventors Network featured Endurance Law Group attorney Bradley L. Smith, talking about techniques for preserving your intellectual property and patents at its May 27 meeting at the Jackson College North Campus. He observed a patent has little value unless it is enforced and defended. If a patent holder doesn’t defend an incursion, the holder could lost their trademark, which happened to the words “aspirin” and “escalator.”

“Doing nothing invites further infringement,” said Smith. “It also weakens or loses your availability of damages or injunction.”

Smith provided a long checklist of recommended activities and actions to consider, if you think your patents or IP have been infringed upon.

Weeklong CEO Academy to train tomorrow’s entrepreneurs  

May 19, 2014 in Announcements by Gary Pageau

CEO Academy iconThe search is on for the next Jackson-area entrepreneur! High-school juniors and seniors are invited to participate in the free weeklong CEO Academy at the Poling Center on the Spring Arbor University Campus. The event, from June 16-20, will be filled with informative sessions on branding and social media, finances, logistics and ways to connect with customers. Area business professionals and SAU faculty will share their expertise and help students grasp business principles as they formulate and present a business plan. The winning team will share a $1,000 prize.

Details:

What: CEO Academy

Why: Hands-on real-life experience for high-school juniors and seniors

When: June 16-20, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Poling Center, Spring Arbor University campus

How: Free to attend, but limited number of seats. Breakfast and lunch will be included every day.

For more information, call 517.782.7822.

About Spring Arbor University

Spring Arbor University (www.arbor.edu) has distinguished itself for 140 years as a place where faith and learning meet. What began as a small elementary and secondary school in the late 1800s has evolved into a top-tier, liberal arts, Christian university with more than 4,000 enrolled students.

About Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement of the Michigan Edge Inc. (www.jamichiganedge.com) is dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in their futures. In partnership with business and educators, JA programs and mentors bring the real world to students, opening their minds to their potential and preparing them for the world of work.

May inventors meeting to feature patent defense

May 6, 2014 in Announcements, Meetings by Gary Pageau

Brad Smith

Brad Smith

“Patent Law-How do I Defend my Patent” is the topic of the May 27th meeting of the Jackson Inventors Network. Brad Smith will help us learn the pitfalls and the challenges of defending patents. Smith’s practice includes preparation and prosecution of patents, trademarks and copyright registrations, with a particular emphasis on IP litigation. His experience includes IP and commercial litigation in a variety of industries, including software, electronics, automotive manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, financial services and real estate.

Prior to co-founding Endurance Law Group, he practiced litigation and patent prosecution at two prestigious law firms where he supervised numerous trials and several AAA arbitrations. Smith received his engineering and MBA degrees from Cornell University (1984, 1985) and his law degree from the University of Michigan (1992). He served as managing editor of the Michigan Law Review and clerked for the Honorable Edith H. Jones, current Chief Judge of the U.S. 5 Circuit Court of Appeals.

Meeting agenda

6:00-6:30 Registration

6:30-7:30 Program

7:30-8:30 Networking, including expert corners for getting one-on-one help.

The meeting is now at the Jackson College W.J. Maher Campus, 3000 Blake Rd, Jackson, MI 49201.

Anyone interested in a product review, beginning at 4:30 p.m., needs to contact Tom Grace Email: thomasagrace@aol.com. The fee for a review is $35.00+ JIN membership and needs to be paid by the prior meeting. The reviews are a first come basis, first serve. Don’t wait we are getting requests a month or more in advance. (Can be mailed to 2755 E. Berry Rd., Rives Junction, MI 49277)

JIN Meeting: A personal board of directors

April 28, 2014 in Meetings by Gary Pageau

JIN board member Steve Ward talks about the importance of a personal board of directors.

JIN board member Steve Ward talks about the importance of a personal board of directors.

Jackson Inventors Network board member Steve Ward provided an overview of the importance of having a “personal” board of directors, as well as other types of advisors, at the April 22 JIN Meeting at the Jackson Community College North Campus, April 22.

Ward kicked off the presentation by recommending each member read the classic business book, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.- worth reading. In particular, he recommended the ninth chapter, “The Power of the Master Mind,” as an important  chapter 9, is short but important. Hill writes: “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

“In our inventing endeavors, you feel like you are by yourself,” said Ward. “There are places in product and business development where you can advice from an advisory board. Advisors may be more suitable for earlier efforts than a board of directors. Both have the goal of lifting the inventor.”

He explained an advisory is an informal group, maybe meeting for pizza and beer, with members with a variety of backgrounds. They could be retired executives, vendors, etc. After the advisory board provides feedback, these perspectives allow you to make decisions, he added. Is your idea a business? Does it have commercial value? If so, get a mission statement; after that, look at options like a patent application, a business plan and incorporation. This could  be time to pick a board of directors, maybe using some from from your advisors.

April JIN meeting features making your own personal board of directors

April 7, 2014 in Meetings by Gary Pageau

 

Steve Ward

Steve Ward

“The Mastermind Group – creating your own personal Board of Directors” is the topic of the April 22 meeting of the Jackson Inventors Network (JIN). Steve Ward is an expert in plastics. He founded and ran Micro-Plastics, in Hillsdale for 16 years. A JIN board member, he brings a lot of wisdom to our group, and this presentation is no exception.  Let’s face it – inventing a product and trying to launch it is a daunting task – anyone who has ever tried knows the feeling that they need guidance and direction. No-one can effectively do it all.  The focus of this presentation is on getting the inventor / entrepreneur to recognize and utilize resources within their existing lives that can become valuable trusted advisors necessary to keep them focused, on task and successful.

6:00-6:30 Registration

6:30-7:30 Program

7:30-8:30 Networking, including expert corners for getting one-on-one help.

The meeting is now at the Jackson College W.J. Maher Campus, 3000 Blake Rd, Jackson, MI 49201

We have two openings for a product review next month (May 27th @ 4:30).   Anyone interested needs to contact Tom Grace Email: thomasagrace@aol.com

The fee for a review is $35.00+ JIN membership & needs to be paid by the prior meeting. The reviews are a 1st come basis. Don’t wait we are getting requests a month or more in advance. (Can be mailed to 2755 E. Berry Rd., Rives Junction, MI 49277)

 

Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, SBA to host free financing roundtable

March 28, 2014 in Announcements by Gary Pageau

Jackson District Library – Auditorium
244 West Michigan Ave.
Jackson MI 49201
12 noon to 3:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
Light lunch will be served
Space is limited. Pre- Registration is required
To Register: Call Jackson County Chamber of Commerce: 517.782.8221
(please park behind the library off of Pearl Street)

Program Description:
The roundtable gives current or prospective small business owners insight into the SBA Guaranty Loan Program and the criteria used by loan officers to evaluate a loan request. A team of experts will demystify the lending process, debunk the myths about SBA programs, and share real life examples of successful loan applicants. The roundtable is taught by experienced lenders with expertise in small business and SBA financing. “What’s unique about the roundtable is the access to the SBA and small business lenders,” said Gerald Moore, Michigan SBA District Director. “Every roundtable is different and each is tailored to the needs of the participants. It’s a very interactive process and one of our top rated training events.” Over 2,000 clients have attended the roundtables since 1998. The roundtable is best suited to those seeking financing for their business, have good credit, a solid business idea, and some money to invest in the business.

March JIN meeting to feature local attorney Chad Perrine

March 12, 2014 in Meetings by Gary Pageau

Chad Perrine

Chad Perrine

“Successful Business & Business Law” is the topic of March 25th meeting of the Jackson Inventors Network. Chad Perrine is an attorney with Marcoux, Allen, Bower, Nichols & Kendall, P.C. in downtown Jackson.  His practice consists of helping individuals and businesses in the areas of business, corporate, estate planning, real estate, probate/trust administration and related litigation in those areas.  He routinely advises individuals on which business entity form is appropriate upon start up and enjoys helping business owners in all other stages of business ownership including operations, succession planning, and dissolution.  Chad holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Michigan State University, and received his law degree, cum laude, from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  He was recently named to the 2013 Rising Stars list of Thomson Reuter’s Michigan Super Lawyers magazine.  Chad is active in Jackson County and serves on several non-profit boards.
The meeting schedule is:

6:00-6:30 Registration

6:30-7:30 Program

7:30-8:30 Networking, including expert corners for getting one-on-one help.

The meeting is now at the Jackson College W.J. Maher Campus, 3000 Blake Rd, Jackson, MI 49201

Four steps to invention success, with inventor Kenneth Johnson

February 26, 2014 in Meetings by Gary Pageau

Kenneth Johnson, inventor of the popular "Phase 10" card game, discusses the invention process.

Kenneth Johnson, inventor of the popular “Phase 10″ card game, discusses the invention process.

Ken Johnson, a long-time inventor of card games, described four steps to bring products to market at the Feb. 25 meeting of the Jackson Inventors Network at its new meeting place: the Jackson College north campus. Johnson, who began his career with a business started in his parents’ Detroit basement, began selling to Michigan-based retailers Kmart and Meijer in early 1980s. He hit it big with “Phase 10,” which is today licensed to Mattel and has had numerous spinoffs. There is even a “Phase 10” app.

Johnson’s four recommendations include:

  • Evaluate the product or service, beyond just your own perceptions and those of friends and family. He play-tested “Phase 10″ by asking people to read the instructions, and learn to play it, without any help from Johnson. He also recommended reviewing the industry you are entering, taking note of what the competition is doing
  • Prototype your product to test packaging among potential customers, but don’t spend too much money.
  • Evaluate the prototype and, if necessary, file for a provisional patent application (PPA). In some cases, it may make sense to get the PPA before evaluating the product, but it depends on the situation.
  • Licensing or venturing the product. Johnson produced “Phase 10″ with his own company before licensing it to an established game maker. Once the track record of “Phase 10″ was established, he was able to negotiate favorable licensing terms. He provided many suggestions and tips for avoiding licensing pitfalls.

Johnson is now also supporting inventors with the launch of The Inventors Academy, a provider of education, resources and community for inventors.