Fall 2014 Competition Winner Announced!

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We are excited to announce David McCutcheon from Maryland as the winner of our Fall 2014 Competition for his innovative product idea in the Fitness Category!

The WayFounder team is looking forward to working with David in bringing his idea to market. Big thanks to all of the contestants and judges. We saw so many great ideas and look forward to seeing you all again for our next competition – stay tuned for launch dates, new categories and new guest celebrity judges!

A Lesson Learned for Nontrepreneurs: Ideas are Worthless

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Guest post by Mary Juetten, Founder & CEO Traklight

(Image Courtesy of Gratisography)

Ideas that are left undeveloped and kept secret are completely devoid of value. In fact, ideas themselves are not even intellectual property (IP). There is a reason that investors look for team, team, team (no, that’s not a typo), and lastly ideas. When they invest with your company, they know that their best chance at winning is to bet on the jockey (the inventor), not the horse (the idea) because it’s all in the execution. But what if you do not have the time, knowledge, or drive to execute your ideas?

Nontrepreneur

When I was in my early twenties—this was sadly almost thirty years ago—I was driving late at night on a country road in Ontario, Canada. Oncoming traffic was sparse but suddenly someone came around the corner with their blinding high beams on, causing me to nearly drive off the road.

Later, I described to my friend a device I thought should be on a car’s rear view mirror that, when detecting oncoming traffic, would turn your high beams off until opposing traffic passed. Neither an engineer nor an inventor at the time, I had no clue what to do with my idea. I also was majoring in accounting and had no time to start a business.

Today, my idea exists on cars, along with many other safety features. Of course, someone else thought of the idea and had the time to do something about it.

The idea of a nontrepreneur did not exist thirty years ago and is a relatively new concept that I think is brilliant. Nontrepreneurs are entrepreneurs that have great ideas, but no time to execute them. Starting and running a company is an incredibly challenging job and not for everyone.

My current company helps inventors and business owners discover and manage their intellectual property as well as ensure they have all the proper contracts and agreements in place to grow without any business or IP issues. As a result, I have spoken to over a thousand entrepreneurs (and likely many nontrepreneurs) over the last four years.

Below are my tips for nontrepreneurs applying to the WayFounder contest:

 

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone

There is this misplaced notion that you must toil away on your idea on your own and in private, for if you tell anyone your idea they will steal it. Secrets are very important but you will never get anywhere without the advice and support of others. Be smart and do not reveal anything that will be a trade secret, and simply tell people enough to get the help you need. Of course, when in doubt, always consult a professional first.

5% of zero is zero

If you are a nontrepreneur and you are applying to the contest, then I am talking to the converted; you understand that you are never going to develop this idea on your own. If you are still thinking that “only” being left with 5% of your idea is not worth sharing it, just remember my high beams story: if you keep it to yourself and do nothing, you will end up with nothing.

To patent, or not to patent

Whether or not to patent before applying for a contest or funding is a common question. While I cannot give legal advice, I can say that if you have an invention, it is prudent to patent before pitching or fundraising. Check out this recent article where a crowdfunding campaign was taken down because of concerns that the intellectual property was disclosed.

Have an answer

“How have you protected your IP?” and “What are the barriers to entry?” are common questions when pitching investors or applying to contests. While the fallback answer may be, “I don’t know but I will find out,” it’s much better to be prepared. If it is a public pitch, make sure you have protected your IP before you put it out there.

Best of luck Nontrepreneurs!

WayFounder Enlists Top Talent for Second Quarterly Competition Judging Panel

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Read the press release on Yahoo! Finance by clicking here.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 15, 2014

WayFounder Launches Fall 2014 Competition

WayFounder Enlists Top Talent for Second Quarterly Competition Judging Panel

 

BEVERLY HILLS, OCTOBER 15, 2014 – WayFounder launched its second quarterly online competition today, which targets “Nontrepreneurs,” those who have great ideas but are unable to assume the financial or lifestyle risks involved with founding a company. The second competition features a new panel of celebrity judges seeking ideas for consumer product and mobile applications in three new categories of education, fitness and toys.  WayFounder will also bring back categories of its spring 2014 competition in baby and parent, pets, and home and garden.  Consumers with ideas outside of the six main areas may enter the Wild Card category.

WayFounder has added eight new guest judges to the lineup, whose expertise encompasses the new education, toy and fitness categories in addition to an expert in tech and apps.

New judges for fall competition:

 

Judges returning from spring competition:

“Our team is honored to have these guest judges donating time and expertise to empower our users on their path to success.  For most folks with big dreams but no experience in building a business it would be extremely difficult to have their ideas vetted and reviewed by industry leaders with this much experience,” said Founder and CEO Damon D’Amore.

The competition began today at 12:01am PST and will run through midnight PDT December 31, 2014. WayFounder will select one or more competition winners, rewarding them with a cash prize of $10,000, a commitment to spend up to $50,000 to bring the product idea to market, royalties on sales and the potential to earn equity if WayFounder invests an additional $250,000 to launch a new company based on the idea. Users can submit up to seven ideas – one per category – for a single entry fee on www.WayFounder.com.

The Spring 2014 competition resulted in three winning ideas submitted by four women across the nation, two individual submissions for product ideas and one team entry for a mobile application idea.

The WayFounder business model was inspired by D’Amore’s years in two start-up ventures he co-founded in the consumer product and web/mobile spaces. The hybrid venture fund/incubator model was created to provide a de-risked opportunity for ideas to flourish that would likely never funnel through the traditional incubator or venture ecosystems, as the idea-generators are not prepared to assume the lifestyle risk necessary to commit full-time to building their product idea. D’Amore has spent decades in finance, producing and marketing as a former Wall Street trader and broadcast producer for “The Apprentice” and “Undercover Boss.”

 

ABOUT WAYFOUNDER

WayFounder is built on the premise that great ideas come from everywhere. People from all walks of life have ideas for solutions to problems that aren’t currently offered by existing products in the market. They work full-time jobs; are students; or may simply lack the time, resources, experience, or capital to realize their vision. Consequently, many of these “Idea Generators” are left with just that, an idea.

WayFounder provides a platform and the resources for those ideas with the potential to become a business to succeed and grow into something scalable, sustainable, and lasting. WayFounder will contribute the team, capital, and resources to turn ideas into viable products.

Entrepreneurship, competition, idea generation, product development, startup financing, and distribution are constantly evolving. The founding process also needs to evolve. WayFounder aims to provide opportunity for a new breed of founders.  The WayFounder Team and its Advisory Board, with decades of combined experience launching, funding, scaling, and running successful entrepreneurial businesses in consumer categories, ensure that winning ideas have the best chance of success.

 

MEDIA CONTACT

Damon D’Amore

WayFounder

(424) 253-1724

damon@wayfounder.com

WayFounder Announces Fall 2014 Competition

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Second Online Competition Will Feature Education, Fitness and Toy Categories

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Oct. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — WayFounder has announced details around the launch of their second quarterly online competition, which targets “Nontrepreneurs,” those who have great ideas but are unable to assume the financial or lifestyle risks involved with founding a company. The second competition will seek ideas for consumer product and mobile applications in three new categories of education, fitness and toys.  WayFounder will also bring back categories of its spring 2014 competition in baby and parent, pet and home and garden.  Consumers with ideas outside of the six main areas may enter the Wild Card category.

“Last spring, our team, board and investors were thrilled with the results of our launch.  The number of entries from all corners of the country, engagement metrics, quality of ideas and depth of detail in submissions all exceeded the expectations of our team and guest judges.” said Founder and CEO Damon D’Amore. The spring competition resulted in three winning ideas submitted by four women across the nation, two individual submissions for product ideas and one team entry for a mobile application idea.

The second competition will launch October 15, 2014 at WayFounder.com and run through December 31, 2014. Joining the judging panel will be “celebrity” guest judges for the newly added categories including CEOs, industry leaders and successful entrepreneurs. WayFounder will select one or more competition winners, rewarding them with a cash prize of $10,000, a commitment to spend up to $50,000 to bring the product idea to market, and royalties on sales and the potential to earn equity if WayFounder invests an additional $250,000 to launch a new company based on the idea.

The WayFounder business model was inspired by D’Amore’s years in two start-up ventures he co-founded in the consumer product and web/mobile spaces. The hybrid venture fund/incubator model was created to provide a de-risked opportunity for ideas to flourish that would likely never funnel through the traditional incubator or venture ecosystems, as the idea-generators are not prepared to assume the lifestyle risk necessary to commit full-time to building their product idea. D’Amore has spent decades in finance, producing and marketing as a former Wall Street trader and broadcast producer for “The Apprentice” and “Undercover Boss.”

ABOUT WAYFOUNDER

WayFounder is built on the premise that great ideas come from everywhere. People from all walks of life have ideas for solutions to problems that aren’t currently offered by existing products in the market. They work full-time jobs; are students; or may simply lack the time, resources, experience, or capital to realize their vision. Consequently, many of these “Idea Generators” are left with just that, an idea.

WayFounder provides a platform and the resources for those ideas with the potential to become a business to succeed and grow into something scalable, sustainable, and lasting. WayFounder will contribute the team, capital, and resources to turn ideas into viable products.

Entrepreneurship, competition, idea generation, product development, startup financing, and distribution are constantly evolving. The founding process also needs to evolve. WayFounder aims to provide opportunity for a new breed of founders.  The WayFounder Team and its Advisory Board, with decades of combined experience launching, funding, scaling, and running successful entrepreneurial businesses in consumer categories, ensure that winning ideas have the best chance of success.

Spring 2014 Winner Photos

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It was such a pleasure to meet three of the winners from our Spring 2014 competition!  They all have so many great ideas WayFounder will be tapping into as our team begins developing their winning concepts into reality over the coming months.  The press release announcing the Spring 2014 winners can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

HG winner spring 2014

Home  & Garden category winner Mary Ellen Simonsen (above)

 

Spring 2014 WC winner

Wild Card category winners Lacy Pool and Jessica Epstein (above)

Looking ahead to our Fall 2014 competition, will you be the next WayFounder?!  Join our mail list on the Contact Us page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the start date and new categories.

From the Corporate World to the Entrepreneurial World

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From the Corporate World to the Entrepreneurial World
By Jeffrey Hayzlett
Since I was a kid, I’ve had an entrepreneurial streak. From the time I was young and throughout college I’ve started and owned many companies. I’ve also worked in Fortune 500 companies. While the rewards and challenges of operating a business are often similar, the demands of the start-up can be more daunting and isn’t for everyone. Many times it’s not pretty – and it’s hard work. Read More

Connecting the Dots: Identifying those skills and assets in your corporate job that translate into real value as an entrepreneur.

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zigzag
This post was originally published on TheSelfEmployed.com.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”― Steve Jobs
Entrepreneurship and the pursuit of success in one’s own business require a number of unique personal traits and skills that many corporate executives consider to be “outside of the box.” My experience over the past two decades on both sides of the table, as an executive at top firms in multiple categories and as an entrepreneur and startup founder, has been that all corporate jobs contain lessons and skill sets that are either transferable or add real value to a founder regardless of industry.  By viewing a resume from new perspectives one can create a compelling and logical narrative of how their experience has prepared them for the challenges of entrepreneurship.

Read More