This is the third installment of a special series, presented by the National Hardware Show, exploring key trends and developments driving the growth of housewares and home goods in the home improvement retail business.
The United Inventors Association (UIA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational resources and opportunities to the independent inventing community, while encouraging honest and ethical business practices among industry service providers.
The UIA’s educational seminars and trade show program brings together inventors to network with companies actively searching for new products and/or offering services to that can help move an invention forward. The UIA and Invention Home co-sponsor the Inventors Spotlight exhibit during the 2019 National Hardware Show, May 7-9 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Warren Tuttle has served as the president of the UIA board of directors since 2009. Tuttle also oversees the “open innovation” outside product programs for leading housewares, hardware and direct-response companies. He interacts with more than 5,000 inventors a year and has initiated more than 100 new product licensing agreements which have collectively generated roughly $1 billion in retail sales.
In the following interview, Tuttle discusses how the UIA helps direct the latest homewares and hardware innovations to the retail marketplace.
What are the most important attributes of marketable new inventions?
Warren Tuttle: Either solving a problem for enough people in a unique and improved way; or enhancing the quality of life.
How does UIA help prepare inventors for the retail marketplace?
WT: Through free education, national speaking engagements, social media, inventor pavilions at industry trade shows and independent inventor clubs around the country… where like-minded inventors can meet locally and share information.
How does UIA connect members/inventors with suppliers and retailers?
WT: We are a 501C3 non-profit teaching inventors how to find their own way and what and who to watch out for.
Tell us about the Inventors Spotlight at the National Hardware Show. What can buyers and other visitors expect?
WT: The Inventors Spotlight at the National Hardware Show is now the largest single inventor booth pavilion in the country. The inventors who attend have developed working prototypes, filed for patents and are ready to show their innovative new products to the hardware world. Some inventors are there to gauge interest in their product and begin the process of building relationships, inventory and begin shipping. Many others are more interested in licensing to a larger established company. Reps from most hardware companies walk the inventor pavilion searching for new innovation to license. Either way, the show provides the platform where they are at ground zero of the US hardware industry. It’s by far the most electric and exciting area of the entire Show.
Click here to learn more about how the National Hardware Show is connecting the homewares industry with home improvement retailers.