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.

 

Interested in crowdfunding? Check out this informative Jackson town hall

February 17, 2014 in Announcements by Gary Pageau

Mike Shirkey

Mike Shirkey

Interested in crowdfunding? Join State Rep. Mike Shirkey Thursday, Feb. 27, from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Jackson Tower Building, 120 W. Michigan Ave., Jackson, Mich., for a town hall meeting on crowd funding, featuring Michigan experts on equity crowdfunding techniques established through a new state law.

The town hall is open to the public. Anyone interested in growing their business or people with an entrepreneurial spirit are encouraged to attend. Reservations are not required.

For more information please contact Rep. Shirkey’s office:

(517) 373-1775 or MikeShirkey@house.mi.gov

February JIN Meeting to feature inventor Ken Johnson

February 8, 2014 in Meetings by Gary Pageau

Ken Johnson, inventor of Phase 10.

Ken Johnson, inventor of Phase 10.

The Jackson Inventors Network kicks off the new year with an exciting presentation and a new location. The keynote speaker at the Feb. 25 meeting will be Ken Johnson, game inventor. In 1979 Ken Johnson started a game manufacturing company in his parents’ basement producing games he invented. He experienced some success with his first games but his big success came in 1982 when he set out to design a new card game. Upon seeing the success of Uno, he wanted to design a card game that could achieve similar success. After just a couple of days sequestered in his apartment, he came up with the Phase 10 card game. His first customers included K-Mart and Meijer stores. In 1987 Johnson licensed the manufacturing and distribution rights of Phase 10 and began receiving royalties from the worldwide sales. Phase 10 is now produced by Mattel, is sold in more than 30 countries, and is the second best-selling card game in the world.

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 Community College North Campus, 3000 Blake Rd, Jackson, MI 49201
Room (TBD) 96 to Elm Rd exit S. to Blake Rd Left (East) to campus, go to parking side of building (South side of the building). Handicap Accessible

UPDATE: January meeting canceled due to cold weather

January 15, 2014 in Announcements by Gary Pageau

Due to the weather-related closure of Jackson College, today’s meeting has been canceled. Jackson Inventors Network will meet as scheduled in February, topic to be be Ken Johnson, game inventor.

Neil Sheridan discusses marketing at JIN meeting

December 2, 2013 in Meetings by Gary Pageau

Neil Sheridan describes the process for determining the market for a new product.

Neil Sheridan describes the process for determining the market for a new product.

The Jackson Inventors Network (JIN) closed out its 2013 JIN meeting schedule with a presentation by Neil Sheridan of SVPI.com, who is a tech entrepreneur, interim CEO and consultant. He has researched innovation and leadership for many years, and provided extensive insight into the steps needed to bring an idea or an invention to market, including asking the tough questions, like “Who cares” about your idea. He challenged the group to look for answers for the big questions, rather than pursue projects for the sake of intellectual curiosity.

Sheridan outlined the necessary traits needed to bring an idea to market, including evaluating yourself, as an inventor. Do you have the technical ability to make your idea real? Do you have the right resources? Do you have a passion for making this idea? Do you have the support of your significant other or your family?

To download Sheridan’s presentation, click here:

The JIN meet again Jan. 28. The meeting location has yet to me announced.

November meeting features Neil Sheridan of Techworks

November 15, 2013 in Meetings by Gary Pageau

Neil Sheridan

Neil Sheridan

The Nov. 26 meeting of the Jackson Inventors Network features “Market research and business insights,” with  Neil Sheridan, international business leader and advisor, will be educating our entrepreneurs on how to lead and to grow successfully. Sheridan is considered the top GLEQ coach and has been honored by Michigan and New Jersey for his work promoting business expansion. His programs, seminars, and workshops have helped thousands of new product development teams get their product to market.

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 at the Justin Whiting Building, Room 158, Jackson College, 2111 Emmons Road, Jackson, MI

October JIN meeting to feature 3D printing and scanning

October 14, 2013 in Meetings by Gary Pageau

Chris Himburg is an applications engineer at CAM Logic, Inc. focusing on 3D printing and 3D scanning, will be the featured speaker at the Sept. 24 meeting of the Jackson Inventors Network (JIN). The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. on the campus of Jackson College.  Himberg operates the 3D printing services department and works on 3D scanning service projects including inspection and reverse engineering.  After graduating from Michigan State University’s College of Engineering with a Bachelor’s degree in Product Design, he spent the next four years running a home theater and IT business serving Michigan, Ohio, and Colorado.  In 2008, he made IT his full-time job at NORMA Group, a global automotive components supplier, overseeing the IT expansion to Monterrey, Mexico.  In 2012 – following his heart back to the engineering field – Chris found CAM Logic and has helped grow the printing and scanning side of the company.  He is a DIY enthusiast who enjoys tinkering and is excited about the future of the maker community.  Chris is based in Oxford, Mich.

The meeting schedule is:

6:00-6:30 Registration

6:30-7:30 Program

7:30-8:30 Networking

The meeting is at the Justin Whiting Building, Room 158, Jackson College, 2111 Emmons Road, Jackson, MI