by Cynthia Kirkeby, startupmanship
There are remarkable free or mostly free resources available in Southern California, and elsewhere in California and the U.S., for startups, businesses (especially small businesses), inventors, product developers, and just curious individuals. One of the most amazing resources that I’ve come across in Orange County, California is The Inventors Forum. Although this is a strange item to have under tools, the set of member assistance meetings that take place at the end of each month, is an extremely valuable tool for anyone inventing… pretty much anything.The Inventors Forum is a remarkable organization of individuals devoted to educating and assisting inventors and product developers learn about intellectual property, licensing, prototyping, manufacturing, marketing, and all things startup. Amazingly, this organization has been in Orange County for approximately 20 years! I say amazingly, because I only discovered it about a year ago, and it was love at first meeting!
The members cover the gambit, and the group is growing and diversifying now that it has moved to Chapman University for its twice a month meetings. If you have any sort of draw towards tinkering and inventing, then you should be coming to these meetings.
The Inventors Forum meets at Chapman University twice a month on:
- the second Friday of the month
- open meeting, anyone can come
- $10 at the door
- presentations on intellectual properties, prototyping, licensing, and other cool things for inventors and businesses
- the last Friday of the month (not necessarily the 4th Friday)
- closed meeting for members only
- $50 per year, but only $5 per meeting
- all members must have a nondisclosure agreement on file
- inventors present ideas they are working on, and receive feedback and improvement ideas from the inventor community members (more fun than you can imagine)
We regularly have a number of patent attorneys, patent agents, prototypers, 3-D modeling specialists, and branding specialists (like me) who attend the meeting and will give you a bit of time to mentor you on a specific issue. Please don’t abuse the mentors, however. Most of them are more than happy to help, but they also are professionals who get paid for their expertise outside of the meetings.
To learn more, or to grab your parking permit (The permit lets you park on Chapman University Campus without additional payment. Don’t forget to bring it.), visit their website.