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E-mail: info@grinventors.com

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Schedule and Events

Email GRIN at info@grinventors.com
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NEW Meeting Location:

Grand Rapids Community College

Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, Room 120.

151 Fountain St NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

 

Learn From West Michigan Inventors

We all have great ideas but may not know how to get them to market. This month, hear from a local team about their invention and how they were able to make it retail-ready.

 

This month's guest speakers include Michael and Sherryl Despres, Vice President and President of GCK Products LLC. Joining them will be Matt Panken, GCK Products' VP of Sales and Marketing.

 

In this session, you'll learn:

* About their latest product, the GadgetKlip,

How they differentiated themselves from existing solutions

What they did to prepare for and secure retail opportunities

Tips for marketing your product

Come prepared to learn and ask questions that you can benefit from!

There is limited parking UNDER the Wisner-Bottrall ATC (enter from Ransom St.) available on a first-come basis at no charge. Handicapped parking is located here. Additionally, there is ramp parking available for $6.00 after 5:00 PM, which can be paid by cash, credit/debit at the ramp exit machines.

 

Map of GRCC 

October - Habits of Successful Inventors

Do you ever find yourself in a rut or struggling to be creative? Well, you're not alone. One solution may be more in your control than you realize.

 

Join us at our next meeting to learn how you can harness the power of your habits and become a more successful, engaged and present inventor. GRIN president, Steve Chappell, will be sharing habits of successful people that can positively and dramatically impact your life. From there, you will gain an understanding of how your current patterns may contradict with the habits of successful individuals.

 

Attendees can expect to take away

    • an increased awareness of their current patterns of behavior,

    • tips for establishing (and maintaining!) healthy habits and

    • a list of small daily habits that can increase your chances of inventing successfully

  •  

    Steve Chappell is a habit coach that trains people on forming good habits that are scientifically proven to work. He uses an evidence-based approach to help people to not only form but to also maintain good habits. He draws from the world’s greatest minds in psychology, philosophy, anthropology and behavioral economics.

     

     

    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Will Durant

    Location: The meeting will be at the GVSU Eberhard Center (301 Fulton W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504). Free parking is available at the Fulton Lot, located underneath the 131 overpass. If there is a parking lot attendant, let them know you're with GRIN. Here is a campus map. From the Fulton Lot, cross Fulton Street and the meeting space is on the second floor of the Eberhard Center. The meeting room is 215-A. There will be directional signage to the meeting room inside the building.

    September - The State of Small Business & How You Can Leverage Local Resources

    To further help our members learn more about the business considerations when moving your invention forward, we will be inviting members of the entrepreneurial support organization (ESO) community to our meetings throughout the year. These speakers will also be able to share insights about local resources at your disposal and how to best utilize them.

    This month's guest speaker, Dan Butler, has been a certified SCORE mentor since 2011. In this session, you'll learn:​

  • the status of small business entities,​

  • factors affecting small business success,

  • services offered by SCORE, and

  • how to engage with a SCORE mentor

  • Come prepared to learn and ask questions that will help you launch or further your business!

    Speaker Bio: M. Daniel Butler helps companies find strategic growth through competitiveness assessment, value proposition, and mergers and acquisitions.

    He co-founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of a high-tech start-up in Chicago and as a senior executive. He has over 34 years of experience leading organizations through changes in both their focus and operations.  His experience is in the areas of business acquisition and redefined value proposition, sales and marketing, business development, and general management.

    Dan has been a Certified SCORE mentor since 2011 and holds a BS in Mathematics from Pittsburg State University. He has also completed graduate work in both Mathematics and Business Administration. Dan lives with his wife of 53 years, Carol, and they have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

    Location: The meeting will be at the GVSU Eberhard Center (301 Fulton W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504). Free parking is available at the Fulton Lot, located underneath the 131 overpass. If there is a parking lot attendant, let them know you're with GRIN. Here is a campus map. From the Fulton Lot, cross Fulton Street and the meeting space is on the second floor of the Eberhard Center. The meeting room is 215-A. There will be directional signage to the meeting room inside the building.

    Auguest - GRIN Summer Networking Meeting

    The GRIN is taking the summer off from holding regular meetings. Usually, during the summer months, we see a drop in attendance. Putting on a regular meeting takes a lot of work and the board members wanted to be able to spend more time with their families and have more time to work on their own inventions.  

    In lieu of our standard monthly meeting, we wanted to give everyone a chance to mix, mingle at our GRIN Networking meeting. Join other local inventors to talk about the challenges of inventing.  There will be plenty of napkins to sketch your invention on or bring it in and get some feedback. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, August 13th  and meet us from 6:30pm - 8:00 PM at BrickYard Tavern

    940 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

    July GRIN Summer Networking Meeting

    The GRIN is taking the summer off from holding regular meetings. Usually, during the summer months, we see a drop in attendance. Putting on a regular meeting takes a lot of work and the board members wanted to be able to spend more time with their families and have more time to work on their own inventions.  

    In lieu of our standard monthly meeting, we wanted to give everyone a chance to mix, mingle at our GRIN Networking meeting. Join other local inventors to talk about the challenges of inventing.  There will be plenty of napkins to sketch your invention on or bring it in and get some feedback. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, July 9th and meet us from 6:30pm - 8:00 PM at Rezervoir Lounge 

    1418 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505

    GRIN Summer Networking Meeting

    Just in case you missed the announcement at the last GRIN meeting, the GRIN is taking the summer off from holding regular meetings. Usually, during the summer months, we see a drop in attendance. Putting on a regular meeting takes a lot of work and the board members wanted to be able to spend more time with their families and have more time to work on their own inventions.  

    In lieu of our standard monthly meeting, we wanted to give everyone a chance to mix, mingle at our GRIN Networking meeting. Join other local inventors to talk about the challenges of inventing.  There will be plenty of napkins to sketch your invention on or bring it in and get some feedback. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, June 11th and meet us from 6:30pm - 8:00 PM at The Knickerbocker - New Holland Brewing

    Best Strategies for Licensing Your Invention

    David Fedewa president at Think Tank Innovation knows a thing or two about both commercializing and licensing products, having pursued them both on many occasions over the years. If you’re considering licensing your invention to a company, this is the meeting for you. David will go over the benefits and disadvantages of licens­ing and what you need to know to pitch your idea like a Pro.

    David Fedewa, negotiations coach and licensing specialist has coached over 100 students to successfully license their own products. He has been featured in Inc. and Entrepreneur’s online publications on licensing and negotiation strategy. He has licensed five of his own products, with one being featured on Time magazine, CHIVE, and CNET Father’s Day Product of The Year list. David and his team built the world’s largest actively managed database of companies that license new innovative products. His strengths lie where business and psychology meet. While coaching students through multi-million dollar negotiations, he not only looks at the present deal at hand but teaches strategies that can be used in constructing deals with a win-win scenario throughout life.

    Location: The meeting will be at the GVSU Eberhard Center (301 Fulton W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504). Free parking is available at the Fulton Lot, located underneath the 131 overpass. If there is a parking lot attendant, let them know you're with GRIN. Here is a campus map. From the Fulton Lot, cross Fulton Street and the meeting space is on the second floor of the Eberhard Center. The meeting room is 215-A. There will be directional signage to the meeting room inside the building.

    Best Strategies for Taking Your Product to Retail Market

    Do you have a retail product but you're struggling to get it noticed on store shelves? Come to April's GRIN meeting prepared to learn packaging tips that will help your product stand out!

     

    Fresh from the 2019 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago (the largest in the world!), founding GRIN member, Joe Finkler will be sharing his takeaways from the event and samples highlighting the latest in packaging! As marketing trends change, the packaging is one of the most important aspects of the product. You have less than a second to catch the eye of the buyer. Your packaging is what sells your product.

     

    Speaker Bio: Joe got his start as the co-owner of the "As Seen on TV" stores in Muskegon and Grand Rapids. He has bought and sold over 4,500 products for both retail and internet sales. Joe has been working with inventors and entrepreneurs for over 19 years. During this time, he helped found the Grand Rapids Inventors Network. He has also served as the president of GRIN, Muskegon Inventors Network and, most recently, the Michigan Inventors Coalition. Joe is currently serving on the advisory board for the Inventors Groups of America (IGA)

     

    Location: The meeting will be at the GVSU Eberhard Center (301 Fulton W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504). Free parking is available at the Fulton Lot, located underneath the 131 overpass. If there is a parking lot attendant, let them know you're with GRIN. Here is a campus map. From the Fulton Lot, cross Fulton Street and the meeting space is on the second floor of the Eberhard Center. The meeting room is 215-A. There will be directional signage to the meeting room inside the building.

    March - GRIN Product Review Meeting

    Do you have an idea that you'd like to get feedback on? Have you hit a roadblock with your invention? This month, GRIN is hosting a Product Review meeting and opportunity for you to get YOUR questions answered! Bring your idea, prototype, invention or anything in between. Fellow members and GRIN board members will be on hand to give you feedback and answer your pressing questions 1-on-1. This is your opportunity to get connected and walk away with valuable feedback.

     

     

    Location: The meeting will be at the GVSU Eberhard Center (301 Fulton W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504). Free parking is available at the Fulton Lot, located underneath the 131 overpass. If there is a parking lot attendant, let them know you're with GRIN. Here is a campus map. From the Fulton Lot, cross Fulton Street and the meeting space is on the second floor of the Eberhard Center. The meeting room is 215-A. There will be directional signage to the meeting room inside the building

    How can the GRPL help you with your invention?

    Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you need to gather to get your idea to the next level? Sometimes, do you feel like you have too many options at your disposal and you end up getting confused and burnt out? Join GRIN at our next meeting to learn about the resources and 1-on-1 assistance available through the Grand Rapids Public Library.

     

    Our speaker, Steven Assarian, is the GRPL's Business Librarian. In this session, you'll learn:

    * how research can build your business brain

    * tactics to make your research more effective

    * library research tools that can save you time and money

    * how the library can help you build new skills

     

    Speaker Bio: Steven has worked with the Grand Rapids Public Library as their business librarian for seven years. In this role, he's helped entrepreneurs, job-seekers, and nonprofit grant-seekers fulfill their goals and reach their potential. Previously, he served as a Public Services Librarian at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. He has published a variety of different writing, including short stories and humor articles, and is in the process of being certified as a Certified Career Services Provider through the National Career Development Association.

     

    Location: The meeting will be at the GVSU Eberhard Center (301 Fulton W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504). Free parking is available at the Fulton Lot, located underneath the 131 overpass. If there is a parking lot attendant, let them know you're with GRIN. Here is a campus map. From the Fulton Lot, cross Fulton Street and the meeting space is on the second floor of the Eberhard Center. The meeting room is 215-A. There will be directional signage to the meeting room inside the building.

    December GRIN End of the Year Mixer.

    This is the perfect time of year to refocus and regroup. Do you have an idea that you'd like to get feedback on? Have you hit a roadblock with your invention? This month, GRIN is hosting a year-end mixer and opportunity for you to get YOUR questions answered! Bring your idea, prototype, invention or anything in between. Fellow members and GRIN board members will be on hand to give you feedback and answer your pressing questions 1-on-1. This is your opportunity to get connected and walk away with valuable feedback to help you kick off the new year right!

     

     

    Location: The meeting will be at the GVSU Eberhard Center (301 Fulton W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504). Free parking is available at the Fulton Lot, located underneath the 131 overpass. If there is a parking lot attendant, let them know you're with GRIN. Here is a campus map. From the Fulton Lot, cross Fulton Street and the meeting space is on the second floor of the Eberhard Center. The meeting room is 215-A. There will be directional signage to the meeting room inside the building

    November - Habits of Successful Inventors

    Do you ever find yourself in a rut or struggling to be creative? Well, you're not alone. One solution may be more in your control than you realize.

    Join us at our next meeting to learn how you can harness the power of your habits and become a more successful, engaged and present inventor. GRIN president, Steve Chappell, will be sharing habits of successful people that can positively and dramatically impact your life. From there, you will gain an understanding of how your current patterns may contradict with the habits of successful individuals.

    Attendees can expect to take away -an increased awareness of their current patterns of behaviour,
    tips for establishing (and maintaining!) healthy habits and a list of small daily habits that can increase your chances of inventing successfully Steve Chappell is a habit coach that trains people on forming good habits that are scientifically proven to work. He uses an evidence-based approach to help people to not only form but to also maintain good habits. He draws from the world’s greatest minds in psychology, philosophy, anthropology and behavioural economics.

    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Will Durant

    An Overview of Global Sourcing — How to get your invention made in China

    The presentation will cover the process to import and custom manufacture from China, including a brief history of container shipping, US customs classifications and the harmonized tariff schedule, free trade zone, along with examples of what can go right and what can go wrong. You should have a good sense of how the import process works after the presentation. 

    Mary Ann Ferris-Young is a West Michigan native and lives in Comstock Park. She has 20 plus years of experience in corporate America in sales, marketing and product development. She used these attributes to start Michigan Global Trade, LLC, an import company specializing in sourcing high-quality products worldwide. Personally, she is a mom to a seven old, wife and all-in, women-owned business 

    September Part 2: Let’s talk Amazon.com, the worlds biggest online store

    GR Inventors is pleased to have member, Andy Ong, as this month's presenter! Andy is an inventor and business owner who has been able to leverage the power of the Internet to increase sales. He will be sharing tips for listing and selling products online. If you want to know how to use online tools and platforms, such as Amazon, to help you market your product, sell profitable existing products and gain a better understanding of your competitive landscape, you won't want to miss this meeting!

    August - Inventor Networking Event

    Join GRIN this month for a networking event! In lieu of our standard monthly meeting, we wanted to give everyone a chance to mix, mingle and enjoy the end of summer. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, August 14th and meet us from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at Rezervoir Lounge. Take advantage of this opportunity to engage with and learn from one another!

    Click here for directions. Ample parking is available.

     

    Rezervoir Lounge

    1418 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505

    July Start Garden 100 Ideas Demo Day

    Attention GRIN members! We will not be having a meeting this month. Instead, in the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, GRIN highly encourages everyone to attend Start Garden's 100 Ideas Demo Day on Tuesday evening. In case you haven't heard, Start Garden launched their 100 Ideas competition earlier this year, in hopes of providing more people with the opportunity to become an entrepreneur and access funding, while avoiding some of the traditional hurdles and risk. Learn more about 100 Ideas and the community organizations that are helping support it.

    Are you curious to see how many inventors will be a part of this event? Then you have to attend! At least 10 ideas will walk away from Demo Day with an additional $20,000 to continue pursuing their business. The event is tomorrow, Tuesday, July 10th from 4:00 - 8:00 PM at 20 Monroe Live. It's free to attend but registration is requested. Sign up here and support your fellow GRIN members and inventors!

    June - Sumer Product Reivew

    Over the next three months, GRIN is mixing up its normal meeting format and trying something different! Over the summer months, instead of holding Product Reviews before the normal meeting, GRIN is going to turn the whole meeting into a Product Review.

    For those that aren't familiar, a Product Review is where members, typically in a confidential setting, give a 5-minute 'elevator talk' about their invention and then get 10 minutes of feedback from board members and other professionals. These professionals have experience and expertise in product development, marketing, manufacturing, legal options, and as entrepreneurs themselves. And now, we're turning it over to you!

    The next meeting will have three Product Reviews by local inventors. This will give you the opportunity to sit in on a Product Review and learn from their struggles. Because this will be open to the public we will not be signing an NDA at this meeting. Come prepared to ask questions and engage with your fellow members. Your ideas and advice will be welcomed and necessary. The goal of these meetings is to provide presenters with brutally honest feedback and advice on how to launch their invention.

    Please note: This meeting will be held at The BOB’s Brewery. Seating will be limited, so please register for this event by using this link. This meeting will be free for current GRIN members and free for people that have not attended a GRIN meeting before. For all others, the cost of this meeting is only $5. If you have any questions about this meeting or would like to sign up for a future Summer Product Review, please email me at info@grinventors.com.

    May - Adventures in Crowdfunding

    Rick Smith has over 20 years growing high-technology companies from startup to thriving enterprises. With various executive positions in advanced optics, photonic sensors, and semiconductors, Rick has strategically sold sophisticated technology into medical imaging, homeland security, defense, and aerospace markets throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In 2016, Rick co-founded HyVIDA Brands, a hydrogen infused beverage company where he invented a method for infusing hydrogen in sparkling beverages. Early in 2018, HyVIDA exceeded a Series A Equity Capital goal of $500K using Crowdfunding. This has enabled HyVIDA’s launch of its flagship products in Spring 2018.  Rick has successfully raised millions in capital from government grants to equity capital including taking a company public on the London Stock Exchange.  Rick holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and MBA from Michigan State University, and he resides in Muskegon, MI with his wife and twin boys. 

    Rick Smith

    HyVIDA Brands Inc

    Co-Founder, President & CEO

    rick.smith@hyvida.com

     

    April - Intellectual Property for Inventors

    Mikhail Murshak will be discussing intellectual property for inventors and entrepreneurs. He will be talking about the legal protections that are important for inventors to know about.

    • A quick guide to the difference between Patent, Trademark, and Copyright
    • Understanding the value of provisional patent applications and how they differ from regular utility patent applications.
    • Important considerations with regard to Confidentiality Agreements, Trade Secrets, and Licensing.

    Mikhail Murshak is experienced in all aspects of intellectual property law specializing in patent and trademark acquisition.  His background includes preparation and prosecution of patents in the area of consumer products, computer technology, automotive aerospace, chemical engineering, nanotechnology, sleep technology, and much more.  Working with start-up technology-based businesses is Mr. Murshak’s primary area of interest.  This includes assisting his clients with negotiating terms, reviewing agreements, and due diligence.

     

    March - Thinking Outside The Box

    This event will challenge you to think about design and creativity in a whole new way. Thinking outside the box means to take a unique approach to an old or new problem that has never been thought of. In order to continue to be cutting edge companies more and more are becoming open innovation companies because they understand that in order to continue to compete domestically and globally they need to reach outside their box of talent. We will challenge your way of thinking with new and exciting concepts.

    Please join GRIN in welcoming Dan Fisher. Dan is an engineer, composer, business consultant and product developer who holds 12 patents and who has also composed compositions played by the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and others. His compositions include Stealing the Night, Elyse's Lullaby and Silk Stone Heart.

     

    February - Fastest Metal 3D Printing System in the World


    For the First Time, Affordable, Safe and Precise Metal 3D Printing for Both 
    Prototyping and Mass Production Will Be a Reality Across Industries - at Speeds 100x Faster

    Desktop Metal, the company committed to making metal 3D printing accessible to global manufacturers and engineers, launched two systems covering the full product lifecycle -- from prototyping to mass production -- which mark a fundamental shift in how products will be developed and brought to market. The DM Studio and DM Production systems change the rules of traditional metal manufacturing solutions with the advent of first-of-its-kind innovative approaches that reduce costs and significantly increase speed, safety, and print quality.
    The first office-friendly metal 3D printing system for rapid prototyping, the Desktop Metal Studio System is 10 times less expensive than existing technology today. The system is a complete platform, including both a printer, starting at $49,900, and microwave-enhanced sintering furnace that, together, deliver complex and even impossible geometries of metal 3D printed parts right in an engineer’s office or on the shop floor. 

    Company details
    Website: http://www.desktopmetal.com/
    Headquarters: Burlington, MA
    Year founded: 2015

    Tim Ruffner is the Commercial Sales Channel Manager for Desktop Metal and will share his 10+ years experience in prototyping & manufacturing.
    Mid-West Region | 847.313.0808
    tim@desktopmetal.com | desktopmetal.com
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/timruffner/

    Tim's experience includes the following specialties:
    Specialties: 
    ♦ Rapid Prototype and Additive Manufacturing
    ♦ CNC Machining and Injection Molding
    ♦ Die Casting and Urethane Castings
    ♦ Speaking and Workshops
     

    Special Meeting location

    Start Garden 

    40 Pearl St NW #200, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

    January - Tools for Prototyping & Product Development

    Jeff Malec is the President of Link2Launch Product Development & Technical Director for RMS Inc.  He has over 32 years of Engineering, Product Development, and Program Management experience. For the past 4 years, Jeff has been the Technical Director for RMS Inc.   They are a sales portal for a unique group of technology and product development companies whose customers span from “Entrepreneur to OEM”  Leveraging the power of RMS and a growing connection of innovative companies, Link2Launch provides the “End to End” support for customers with concepts wanting to move them forward>>>>>
    Jeff is also the president of the Muskegon Inventors network, Jeff enjoys the opportunity to head up a growing organization dedicated to supporting the entrepreneur and startups looking for help and direction. 

     

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