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NEW SEARCH! Balloon Time is searching for ideas to help expand their brand of helium kits

magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Balloon Time believes a party is not a party without balloons!

Balloon Time is the first and best-selling portable helium kit in the world. They have been bringing color, lift and fun to celebrations around the globe for more than 30 years with their DIY floating balloon kits. 

Worthington Industries is looking for ideas to create a "wow factor" through the unique use of helium to help extend the Balloon Time brand.

To learn more and share your idea, click here!

Happy Inventing!

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jdowney9000's Avatar

What would make you want one more?

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magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Hey guys!

Need some inspiration for your idea to this search? Look no further than the EN blog!

Enjoy!

Rafael Avila
Mark Bartlett
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keeztan's Avatargold

Interesting article. ".....The first rubber balloon was made by Professor Michael Faraday in 1824, out of two sheet of rubber whose edges were pressed together......" This seems like a precursor to the world famous Whoopee Cushion. Which now has me wondering, if filled with helium would it sound like a chipmunk voice?

Rafael Avila
Kenneth Rainbolt
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Hey!!!! Today's they day!!! I just submitted my idea last night!! (Well ... actually, I had 3 ideas, but didn't have the time to develop the other two. :(  ) So who else is in on this one? And what's the deal with only 3 posts on this thread? C'mon guys!!! It's balloons!!! This has to be one of the FUNNEST search topics ever!!! Bubbles ain't got nothin on balloons! (Ahh ... just kidding. But I really would like to hear from my EN friends on this.) Good luck everyone!!!

Kristina Poindexter
Michelle Sartori
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magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Rafael beat me to the punch! Today is indeed the day! The Balloon Time (and BernzOmatic) search ends tonight at midnight! Despite my balloon-popping fear, I am very excited about this search!

Best of luck to all!

Rafael Avila
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dzakpasu's Avatar

I'm excited too. It's hard to make balloons even better, so I enjoy the challenge. Good luck to all EN inventors.

Michelle Sartori
Rafael Avila
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

I tried really hard to come up with good ideas for this search but my informal focus group (my wife) shot most of them down as either "dumb" or "dangerous". Some of them she thought were actually dumb AND dangerous.

A few made the cut but most of those (sadly) probably don't have "mass market appeal".

I'm still toying with one or two ideas, but at this point there's only about 3.5 hours left before the deadline so we'll see!

Derrick James
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

@Robert Leonard - I agree, helium balloons are so intrinsically cool it's hard to come up with ways to make them better.

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wittyinventor's Avatargold

Hey y'all! Its been awhile, but I'm in with one and just under the wire (Whew!) Good luck everyone!   Here we go!

Michelle Sartori
Robert Pontius
Derrick James
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dljinnovations's Avatargold

Hey Saletta.  All the best to you on this one.

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dljinnovations's Avatargold

So did you come up with anything Robert?   I came up empty for this search as well as the BernzOmatic search.  Finding it difficult these days to carve out enough time to focus on inventing.  Need to find a way to spark my creativity in the midst of the busyness of life.

I'm sure you guys came up with some good stuff on these two searches.  Enjoy the process.

Michelle Sartori
Robert Pontius
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Hey Derrick - I actually ended up getting two ideas in (like Saletta, "under the wire").

Along the way, exploring and researching, I enjoyed these videos:

This one is just cool and makes you hungry (even if the gourmet cake looks a lot like Twinkie):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3k5vJxJ17Q

This one brings pure joy, especially if you are a dog lover:

https://twitter.com/planetepics/status/90627923107...

Michelle Sartori
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dljinnovations's Avatargold

All the best with your two submissions Robert.  You'll be in the 1,000,000 point club before long.

I think I'm going to focus my efforts on ASOTV.  I haven't had much success there, but I just feel like that's where my attention needs to be right now.  Would be a lot of fun to come up with a hit product in that market (or any market for that matter).

Robert Pontius
Michelle Sartori
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Robert Pontius and Saletta! Seems like the good old days all over again to be in a search with you. Good to see you're in it. Best of luck to you! 

Derrick ASOTV all the way! After we finish with my son's science project and my other son's college applications I'll join you in that  search. Cheers!

Robert Pontius
Derrick James
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dljinnovations's Avatargold

Sounds like a plan Rafael.......but wait there's more......:)

Robert Pontius
Rafael Avila
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wittyinventor's Avatargold

Hey Guys!  Thx Derrick and Rafael, fingers crossed. Hoping and prayin'!

WTG Robert! All the best to you. Keep it moving people! :)

Rafael Avila
Robert Pontius
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Hey all - thanks for the well-wishes (and right back at you!).

Derrick - best of luck with ASOTV - I expect that when you "hit" with ASOTV you *really* hit (the process seems to almost ensure this outcome). I have never acquired the knack for coming up with a viable ASOTV product myself - I must just not have the right frame of mind for that particular channel.

I drove to a Michaels store today to buy another Balloon Time helium kit to experiment with but there were 30 foot tall waves off of Lake Superior crashing into shore along the way and 75 mph winds in Marquette and just as I was about to go through the checkout line the store lost power and they couldn't check anybody out. My kids are especially engaged with helping me in this particular search and they insisted we had to have our helium for experiments TODAY. All the stores in Marquette were without power so I had to drive an hour to a Walmart in another town where I bought a "jumbo" kit/tank but without the 50% off coupon I could have used at Michaels. Life (and inventing) is an adventure!

Kristina Poindexter
Michelle Sartori
Mark Bartlett
Rafael Avila
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Robert, that's some effort.  And how great that your kids help! My kids don't have much interest in inventing, since you can't do it with a game controller?. LOL

Robert Pontius
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Rafael:

My kids LOVE balloons - especially helium balloons, so it doesn't take much for them to get interested in these particular inventions. But they are really interested in inventing and are always up for helping. Sometimes I have to hide my inventions from them though, either because prototypes are too fragile or I'm afraid they will blab about them. 

Michelle Sartori
Derrick James
Rafael Avila
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gadgetmanken's Avatargold

I found these interesting helium bubble ideas the other night. 

https://youtu.be/-JJlthv48WM

https://youtu.be/HD3i7xzP4MA

https://youtu.be/1d9iODvvm98

I have access to helium, but I am not sure where to find a whoopee cushion Mark Bartlett. I’d like to try that experiment! lol

Michelle Sartori
Rafael Avila
Robert Pontius
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

We have movement! Ok so G3 isn't such a big deal, but I'm excited about it anyway! Good luck everyone! 

Michelle Sartori
Robert Pontius
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Ok, not sure why everyone seems so silent on the Forums lately. I guess some of us have lost a bit of enthusiasm? Well, NOT ME!!!!!  I'd love to hear from my fellow EN members. Particularly on a search as fun as this one. C'mon it's balloons!! BALLOONS PEOPLE!!!!  And ... I'm also super-excited at reaching G4 a few minutes ago!!!! Woo hooo!!!!!

Michelle Sartori
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

I for one have been busy working on inventions - I'm behind on updating a few already submitted and have about 10 more new ones I'm working up. That with all my Halloween duties for my 3 young kids has been keeping me occupied.

That said, I'm excited about my two submissions for the Balloon Time search, except that these are some of the ones for which I need to add visuals and prototype pics - so I'm still under the gun! It's so much fun playing with prototypes and tinkering - it's hard to quit playing and "freeze" everything into images!

Michelle Sartori
Rafael Avila
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Aww Erin :( So sorry that this search holds no interest for you. When I think of balloons, i think of parties!!! Birthdays, weddings, Christmas, Channukah, etc., etc.. They're all such fun. Balloons are the first things they bring in to decorate and the last things they clear from the party!  I can't help but have fun on such a topic. I remember when i saw balloons as a child, the wonder of seeing big, colorful, floating, bouncing balloons. They're still just as fascinating to me today. So how about if I have enough balloon fun for both of us and share some of that fun with you on this forum? Then we'll chat in the forum of another search. BTW - are you in the Chefman search. That one is also a lot of fun! Cooking rules!!! (Although my wife will kill me if I take apart another toaster oven for parts!! LOL)

Michelle Sartori
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Robert P - I know what you mean. Interestingly, the prototype for this search took me a lot of work to research, but it was unbelievably easy to actually create, once my mind fell upon the right ideas on how to actually get it done. So much fun to do though. 

BTW - I'm a bit depressed about my lack of costume creativity this year. I was way too busy creating the Margaritaville products. I just didn't have time this year. :(  But I'm glad to hear you were able to come through for your kids. They'll be great memories I'm sure. Cheers!

Michelle Sartori
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Rafael:

I too find that the easiest prototypes are the result of the most exhaustive research and also solve the most issues, in part by their very simplicity - a kind of "Occam's Razor" for inventing. Did you see the discussion of "Muntzing" in Inventor's Digest?

The only kind of balloon I don't like lately is the red balloon on a string my 9-yr-old son keeps carrying around pretending he's "Pennywise the Clown," from some horror movie neither of us have seen! (I *hate* horror movies and have no use for them).

My two little daughters were "pirate fairies", my son was Legolas, and I was Gandalf, complete with a sword I got in Scotland and my dramatic interpretation of Gandalf's words at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. My wife was supposed to be Arwen but she was too busy coordinating the kids' costumes to get hers together (or so she claims). Seriously, it's not just Halloween night - the kids dressed up in their costumes on 4 or 5 occasions including going to the dentist! 

Rafael Avila
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dzakpasu's Avatar

One of the things this search is looking for are ideas regarding the actual tank that they use in their kit. My idea involves just balloons. Did anyone come up with ideas for the tank? I'm curious because I found that aspect of the search particularly difficult. You don't have to reveal your idea, I just want to know what direction people are headed in.

Rafael Avila
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Hi Robert P!

Wow! Your family must have looked great! I'd love to see the pics. I think it would be interesting to see what creative minds (those of EN members in particular) come up with. Here are two of my costumes from last year. Yeah the theme was Sausage Party. That's what 14 and 17 year old boys want to be for Halloween. That's my son and wife actually wearing the costumes. Didn't win any contests that year, perhaps because we didn't attend any parties. Interestingly, these costumes were incredibly easy to make, once I figured out how to actually go about it. Occam's Razor for Halloween costumes???? LOL.

Robert Pontius
Michelle Sartori
Kristina Poindexter
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Rafael:

Things were so crazy hectic I don't think we took any pictures. 

It was snowing here Halloween night so the kids actually had their jackets on over their costumes (except for my 6-yr-old daughter who insisted that she couldn't have her costume covered up but also wanted me to carry her coat so it would be handy if she got cold).

Rafael Avila
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keeztan's Avatargold

I guess I should have put more thought into my idea of pumping Helium into a ventriloquist's dummy to change their voice.

Robert Pontius
Rafael Avila
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Well, I find myself in a familiar situation with my two submissions in this search - have to quit "playing" with the prototypes, document with imagery and update my submissions ASAP.

My kids aren't helping - if nothing else this search has reminded me of how intrinsically FUN helium balloons are!

Mark Bartlett
Michelle Sartori
Rafael Avila
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Good luck Robert! 

Robert Pontius
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You too Rafael!

Did you inhale any helium in the course of this search? I did, at my kids' encouragement, but it didn't really give me a "chipmunk voice", probably because I was too conservative/careful with the volume I inhaled. It's not exactly an "on label" approved use and it does displace oxygen.

I tried to convince my wife that I needed to buy some of that helium-infused beer as part of my research but I was completely shot down on that one...

Rafael Avila
Michelle Sartori
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Robert, I didn't inhale any helium on this one. I sound goofy enough without the pitch enhancement!!! I once spent an entire summer day inhaling helium at a Rickell's grand opening. Got such a headache, I've sworn it off ... well moslyl anyway.

Robert Pontius
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magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Hi guys!

If you haven't already seen it on your Dashboards, the presentation date is set for next Monday, 11/20!

Best of luck to all!

Robert Pontius
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Woo hoo! G6!!!

Robert Pontius
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Kudos on the G6 Rafael - a heartbeat away from a G7 - hopefully you're headed straight for the presentation on Monday!

Rafael Avila
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Michelle:

Is the licensing team headed for Columbus, Ohio or even Chilton, Wisconsin for this one? If so, tell them to watch out: we have this thing called "snow" up here in the North and it's already up to a few inches in my area (with more coming).

Rafael Avila
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Robert P - thanks for the encouraging words.  Hopefully you and I both will get our ideas presented. And about the bad weather,  stay warmand dry! EN needs you heathy, if not for great ideas then for encouraging the rest of us the way you always do!

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Don't worry about me Rafael - I *love* winter weather and am generally a lot more comfortable in ice and snow than in the pestilent miasma of summer. It's in my blood: my Mom's family are Finnish - the people who have dozens of words for snow and like to hack a hole in frozen lakes to take a cold dip "for their health" (with sauna to follow).

I have two submissions still alive in this search but I'm WAY behind you (G4's).

Fun, fun search no matter what happens!

Rafael Avila
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Holy cow, Robert! I've heard of Scandinavian ice baths. But in a lake, in ice? That's extreme!!  I'm half Mexican, half English. But when it comes to climate preferences, I got more Mexican genes? While I love skiing, I'm more comfy in soupy summer heat than bitter winter cold. My idea of hell isn't fire and brimstone.  More like North Dakota outdoors in winter, in my underwear!!! Ok I revise my well wishes for you ... stay cool! Cheers!!!

Robert Pontius
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magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Hi Robert!

The team is going to avoid any weather delays will be connecting with the Worthington team (parent company to BernzOmatic and Balloon Time) via video conference.

We'll keep everyone posted and stay warm!

Robert Pontius
Rafael Avila
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

In the immortal words of Willy Wonka, "The suspense is terrible! I hope it will last!"

Michelle Sartori
Robert Pontius
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dzakpasu's Avatar

G7 HEAVEN!!! Congrats to all the finalists!

Michelle Sartori
Robert Pontius
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Congrats Robert! Anyone else with a G7?

I've got 2 still mired at G4 but I *love* them both (and one especially) and still entertain some hope they will make it to presentation.

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vitaminguy's Avatargold

G7! Woo hoo! Ok, now the real suspense begins!

Robert Pontius
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Congrats Rafael - you really seem to effuse festivity and good cheer so a product with Balloon Time would be a natural connection!

Michelle Sartori
Rafael Avila
Rafael Avila
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Thanks Robert P! I'm hoping your entries will be right there with mine come Monday. Good JuJu travels in packs, and you seem like one of the goodest-JuJu people here. But boy does EN know how to maintain suspense!!! Really hoping to hear about your entries moving past the formidable stage 4 soon! Got fingers crossed for you on that!

Robert Pontius
Michelle Sartori
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dzakpasu's Avatar

Congratulations Rafael. I hope we both get picked!

Michelle Sartori
Rafael Avila
Robert Pontius
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dzakpasu's Avatar

Robert P, I wish you the best of luck. Maybe that idea that you especially like we turn out to be something great.

Michelle Sartori
Rafael Avila
Robert Pontius
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Robert Leonard! Thanks so much! Congratulations to you too. I hope we both get picked. Best of luck to you!!!

Michelle Sartori
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Good luck to everyone for the presentation tomorrow!

Rafael Avila
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Robert P, I didn't see whether or not you got G7s. If so, good luck to you!!!

Robert Pontius
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Rafael:

I didn't know myself until about 3AM but I've got 2 G7's going to the presentation today. Best wishes to everyone - including the EN team giving the presentation(s)!

Mark Bartlett
Rafael Avila
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magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Hi guys!

We have 11 concepts going to presentation today!

Best of luck to all!

Robert Pontius
Chris Day
Rafael Avila
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

11 concepts!!! Uh oh, I think my odds have dropped considerably! Ahh ... no matter! It's still fun anyway! Good luck fellow EN Ballooners!!!

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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Are you in this one too Greg?

Rafael - I was guessing there were 20+ concepts going to presentation for Balloon Time. And I don't think the number of concepts really changes the odds - this isn't The Highlander - there can be more than one! In the the search with Apothecary where I got my G8 there were SIX concepts licensed!

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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Robert P - unfortunately I could submit only one concept. I had several others, but I fear that a nefarious secret organization would try to suppress such advanced technologies. Have you heard of the Balluminati? Evidently they've been steering western civilization for centuries, suppressing new balloon technologies as well as those from ancient aliens! Be careful!!! 

Robert Pontius
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It only takes one! Just continue to fight the good fight and eventually you'll find the secret passageway leading to the Balluminati's hidden treasure. With Balloon Time's help we'll get these disruptive technologies out in the open!

Rafael Avila
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Thanks Greg. I'm the same way and I must say, I'm just as excited about the Bernzomatic search (which I'm not in) as I am about this one!

Rafael Avila
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keeztan's Avatargold

Good Luck to all that made it to presentation status!

Rafael Avila
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magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Good morning to all!

The presentation went well with the Worthington team (Worthington is the parent company for Balloon Time).

The team is reviewing all 11 finalists and will be narrowing down their final list early next week following the Thanksgiving holiday.

As soon as Dashboards are updated and we have revised counts, we'll be updating this thread.

Thanks so much!

Rafael Avila
Chris Day
Robert Pontius
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dzakpasu's Avatar

Good luck to all the finalists! I'm so excited! If anticipation were made of water, then I would be drowning! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Robert Pontius
Rafael Avila
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow ballooners and all my friends at EN!!!

Michelle Sartori
Robert Pontius
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sgdromms's Avataren_staff_badge

Good morning EN community -

I just got off a good follow up call with the lead at Worthington and wanted to provide you an update on the presentation. I want to start by sharing a comment that their team lead made in summation of the presentation:

" I want to express how impressed I was with the strategic thinking that went into the ideas that your community members submitted, as you know several of these we have passed on due to being too similar to internal products already in development, so it shows that folks were thinking on the right track, or least we hope they were, since we have these in development"

For some of the items we went through their development pipeline and there were too many similarities and they stated NEXT during the presentation, which is a sponsors code for passing due to similarity/familiarity with on-going development.

As you have often heard us say, innovation and product development and review is a process, and several EN community members will be going into the Worthington process. We have two concepts from Bernzomatic and three concepts from Balloon Time that will be going to their next stage. ALL ideas they look at, even internal move into a Scorecard Stage, this happens montly and leaders from their various cross-functional teams all meet once a month and review/grade innovations. Luckily for all of us, the next monthly meeting is slated for NEXT Tueaday, Dec. 5th. The current plan is these 5 concepts will go through Scorecard Stage and we will get update middle of next week on them potentially moving into a Due Diligence phase.

We will be updating dashboards over the next 24 hours and good luck to the 5 innovators/innovations moving into Scorecard Stage and once we have updates next week we will advise. 

Kristina Poindexter
Chris Day
Rafael Avila
Robert Pontius
Michelle Sartori
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Scott/Michelle:

Could you please let us know once all dashboard updates have been completed?

Rafael Avila
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magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Hi Robert, 

All Balloon Time Dashboards have now been updated.

Thank you!

Rafael Avila
Mark Bartlett
Robert Pontius
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Thanks Michelle - I know you routinely let us know when updates are complete but I couldn't help asking...

Michelle Sartori
Rafael Avila
Mark Bartlett
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

So if our dashboards are still green now, then our submissions will be further evaluated by the search sponsor next week? 

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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Yes Rafael - that's my understanding.

Rafael Avila
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Robert P - That's what I was thinking, but I've let my optimism lead me to the wrong conclusion before, so I thought I'd ask. I'm still showing green ... awesome! I hope you're still green too! Knowing you, you probably have two G8's in the works! Good luck!!!

Robert Pontius
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dzakpasu's Avatar

I didn't make it. But, congrats to the three that did!!!

Rafael Avila
Robert Pontius
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Rafael - I lost one to "pass" but the other one is still green. Good luck to you too - may the scorecard be your friend!

Rafael Avila
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Sorry to hear that Robert Leonard but sounds like you are taking it in stride. I collected dozens of R8's before finally getting my G8, so this is just a waypoint on the journey.

Rafael Avila
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keeztan's Avatargold

Congrats to the Greens!

Robert Pontius
Rafael Avila
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magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Hi guys!

Confirming yes, if your are green on your Dashboard today, you're idea is still being considered.

Best of luck to all!

Robert Pontius
Rafael Avila
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

My remaining submission just received an R8 so I'm out of this search altogether now.

I really loved both of the items I submitted to Balloon Time but they are so specialized to retail helium balloons/tanks I don't if they are worth re-submitting to All Category. I don't know of any other companies that really have a footprint in this market - Balloon Time seems to be the only game in town.

But no matter what, this search was FUN! It was great to have an excuse to play with helium balloons!

Rafael Avila
Rafael Avila
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

Alas, my submission went R8 today. :(  I'm a little sad, but it's just as well. This was a very FUN search. Congratulations to any remaining greenies!!!

I'm thinking I could do a bang up job trying to make/market this one myself. Should be fun to try! Sorry to hear of your R8s Robert L and Robert P. We'll get 'em next time!!!!

Robert Pontius
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magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Hi Robert,

You beat me to the punch - we heard back from the Worthington team and they opted not to pursue the items in this search.

Their note:

Unfortunately, none of the ideas passed our internal metrics and we will not be pursuing. I will continue to work with you in the future as I thought the process was well managed.

This was a very specific search, but the takeaway is that Worthington Industries, as a brand supports our efforts and the efforts of our innovators - we encourage you to review their site for other product ideas and know that we always keep them in consideration for ideas in the Open Search (you can make a notation in your submission as well!).

Thanks to all who participated!

Rafael Avila
Robert Pontius
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Now that I think about it, both of my items could be packaged in a kit along with a Ballon Time helium tank as a value-add or as a separate branded accessory but they could ALSO be standalone products that could be made and sold by companies like Party City, Michael's Crafts, Spencer's Gifts, etc. So maybe I will re-submit to the All Category search after all in hopes that EN can find an interested partner.

I'm guessing the other items in this search are similar and Balloon Time is not their only hope!

Rafael Avila
Michelle Sartori
Mark Bartlett
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Long term, this is a great relationship for us all to have - Worthington does over $3 BILLION in sales each year!

Rafael Avila
Kristina Poindexter
Michelle Sartori
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vitaminguy's Avatargold

I definitely see some places for improvement, based on the feedback I got. I'm going to sharpen my pencil and grind out some improved versions, a new provisional patent, some cool new patent-able details, and have another crack at it. 

Michelle Sartori
Robert Pontius
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