Parts!

We (the interns) went on a field trip this monday, to ADR Hydro-Cut. They do water jetting, and while we were there they cut out sheet metal parts according to our drawings.

IMG_20130724_150521IMG_20130724_150548 (1)

The parts arrived yesterday, so we grinded the tangs of and threw them in the washer for a couple of hours to smoothen out some sharp edges, and then they were pretty much ready to go.

IMG_20130724_151524 (1)IMG_20130724_151820

Spent a couple minutes putting it together, and it looks and feels great! I might make some minor adjustments to the drawings, adjusting the angle of the paracord braiding, and I also have to figure out how the braiding itself is done in the best possible way.

Apart from that though, they’ll be ready for anodizing/powdercoating. And with that, we’ll have a product!

/ Robin

Ball dispenser sent off for prototyping

Hey!

So the belt clip ball dispenser is finally coming together. After testing more mock-up models the decision was taken not to use any plate or similar to separate the balls from the magnet, as more than one kept falling off when trying to pull only one off. Instead the magnet will be coated with a durable finish and the balls will be in direct contact with it. This simplified the design significantly, but put increased the demand on the aesthetic form of the back plate, as this now became the mail feature of the whole product. A simple plate can have many different forms:

assembly

One option was to add a top bumber to create a feeling of better encapsulating the balls, as well as giving more depth to the product. Unfortunately, the manufacturing complexity of adding this feature was greater than expected. As this would drive up the cost of the product a lot the decision was taken to put this feature on hold for now.

As for the final design the initial round magnet was kept and the plate form includes some curved lines to follow the magnet while still keeping some edges to go with the rectangular belt clip. After quite a bit of struggle finding a good form, this one actually feels pretty obvious I would say! Let’s just hope the prototype will look just as good!

Have a good weekend!

/Richard Boden

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Dispeser, round, belt.210 copy

Join Us at the 2009 RTP Product Design Street Faire on Saturday, 12 Sept!

Scene from the 2008 Street FaireThe RTP Product Development Guild – a local group of engineers and designers working together to improve the regional economy – is hosting its third annual RTP Product Design Street Faire Saturday, Sept. 12  from 3:00 – 6:30 pm at 400 Dominion Drive in Morrisville. This fun, outdoor networking and educational event will feature exhibits and demonstrations by leading Triangle-area product designers and affiliated professionals showcasing the technological innovation that makes North Carolina a hotbed of state-of-the-art manufacturing design and production talent.

Admission to the Street Faire is free but requires pre-registration online at RTPStreetFaire.com.

Barbeque, drinks, popcorn, snacks and other treats will be served throughout this family friendly event which will include an inflatable kids’ play area and plenty of shaded space for business networking among peers.

“The Street Faire is a great way for area businesses and manufacturers to get to know product design and prototyping professionals right here in RTP,” Montie Roland, president of the RTP Product Development Guild, said, adding, “Why spend hours on conference calls or travel overseas to work with vendors when you can find the resources you need right down the street? I think people will be surprised at how competitive the region has become in the global marketplace.”

According to Roland, each year has seen increased attendance and vendor participation at the Street Faire, with well over 200 attendees representing a diverse range of business professions and 26 vendors last year. Vendor spaces are still available for this year’s event; pricing and information is available at RTPStreetFaire.com.

Sponsors of the 2009 Product Design Street Faire include Montie Design, the RTP Product Development Guild, Studio Hagler and Trimech, with Gilmore Global as a contributor.

The annual Street Faire is one of many educational and business development programs conducted by the Guild, which also hosts networking meetings, lunch-and-learn seminars, and other events at member locations throughout the year.

“We love our craft and do a lot of different things to promote it, share leads and resources, and build essential working relationships,” Roland said.

For more information visit RTPStreetFaire.com or call 919-481-1845.

About the RTP Product Development Guild
The RTP Product Development Guild seeks to improve the regional economy in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, N.C. by providing a framework for product developers and startups to work together on products in a collaborative environment. This helps entrepreneurs move products to market that might otherwise languish due to a lack of funding and professional guidance. The Guild accepts applications for products, services or concepts from entrepreneurs, early stage start-ups and corporate spin-offs. More information is available online at www.rtpproductguild.com.

Customer Feedback – Up-Close and Personal

Product reviews (especially online) are increasingly important in helping customers make purchasing decisions. A study by CompUSA and iPerections discovered 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. According to a Forrester study, 71% of online shoppers read reviews, making it the most widely read consumer-generated content.

The beauty of the internet is that even small companies can integrate online reviews into their website. Companies such as RatePoint (www.ratepoint.com) provided neutral, third party management of online reviews. They also provide tools (called Widgets) that simplify the integration of the collection and display of customer reviews into the seller’s website. We use RatePoint as a way to give our clients an outlet to rate the services and products from Montie Design.

Customer reviews are a great way to encourage sales, especially of a new product. However, you have to have sales to have customers who can write the reviews. Strategic users are the early adopters (often cultivated by the product manufacturer) who test the product and write a review. These reviews help drive customer sales and they also help encourage resellers and distributors to carry the product.

Strategic users can include writers and product evaluators for magazines and blogs. Thought leaders in the industry are also candidates for strategic users. Anyone who is in a position to influence the opinion of the marketspace is a possible strategic user. Carefully selecting the strategic users and getting product in their hands is an effective to way to begin to shaping the opinion of the marketspace as early as possible. The reviews generated by the strategic users should be a planned part of your public relations strategy. Excerpts from the reviews can also be used in your advertising campaign. The links from published reviews also help drive traffic to your website. A potentially bigger benefit occurs as the links drive up the PageRank of your website and help potential customers find the product through search engine results.

Earlier this year we launched a product called the X-Rest. Part of our launch strategy for the X-Rest shooting rest involved identifying strategic users to evaluate the product and help form a positive opinion of the X-Rest within the shooting community.

Here are some rules for soliciting reviews from strategic users:

* don’t interfere with the review process, it has to be honest and genuine
* stay open to criticism, not all reviews are 100% positive, bad reviews can lead to great product improvements
* look for new ways that users interpret how they should use the product and find new markets
* have faith in your customers, they have a perspective that can help you create even better products

The following is an example of a review from one of our strategic users:

FIELD-TESTING THE X-REST
By: Peter J. Kolovos

INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND:
Peter J. Kolovos, was a Deputy Sheriff with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department in Illinois, before retiring.  He has been involved in the shooting sports for well over 40 years.  He is currently the Secretary-Treasurer and Director of Training for the North Suburban Police Pistol League, Inc.  With over 200 members, the NSPPL, is probably one the largest police shooting clubs in the country.

His credentials are many but my most noteworthy are the following: Pete is a highly competitive rifle and pistol shooter.  He is Certified as a Rifle Coach (Level-2) and a Pistol Coach (Level-3) with the National Rifle Association.  He is a NRA Training Counselor and Certified Instructor in several shooting disciplines.  Pete has been certified as a Police Firearms & Sub-Machinegun Instructor with the State of Illinois.  He attended the FBI’s Sniper/Observer School in 1994, and shot a perfect score during the final qualification course.  He has hunted extensively in 15 states including Alaska, and has hunted in Canada.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
The first thing I noticed when I received my sample of the X-Rest, was how compact and light weight the unit was.  Made of Aluminum, it came nicely tucked into a 14.5” x 4.5” digital Camo carrying bag with a draw string closure.  The disassembled unit was approximately one-inch thick.

Each of the unit’s three legs measured out at  9” x 1.5”.  The legs join together through a rectangular slot in two of the sections and are held in place by the third leg which has a half-round section with a hole in it, and a pin which is attached to the main section via a split ring affixed to a short length of plastic coated wire cable.  This system virtually guarantees that you’ll never lose the joining pin even in rough conditions.  I also liked the fact that it was made in the USA.

Once the three sections are assembled, the rest seemed extremely steady.  The cross sections, where you’d lay your rifle measured out at approximately six-inches high, making it best suited for either Bench or Prone work.  Both of the cross-sections that actually formed the cradle seemed to have an ample amount of a protective rubber coating applied them to keep the rifle steady and to aid in protecting the rifle stock from being damaged during recoil.

INITIAL RANGE SESSION:
On Sunday, May 31, 2009, I took the “X-Rest” to the Racine County Line Rifle Club which is located in Racine, Wisconsin.  My club was holding it’s monthly F-Class rifle match, so I would be able to better evaluate the rest at distance from the Prone position.  The weather was overcast as we had a lot of precipitation during the last week.  The ground was still somewhat soft from all the rain we had, so these conditions would prove interesting for the “X-Rest”.

RANGE SESSION EVALUATION:
Being that I would personally use a this rest for Predator hunting, I chose a Remington Model 700 Varmint, bolt-action rifle chambered in .223 Remington for the evaluation.  This particular rifle was equipped with a 6.5 x 20 power Leupold target scope.

I set up the “X-Rest” at the 300 yard line, placed a small sand bag near the toe of the stock, took careful aim and fired.  Since I wanted to be totally impartial from the get-go, I decided that if I muffed a particular shot I would not consider it as part of the evaluation.  I would only consider the shots that I felt I broke cleanly.

I fired twenty (20) rounds at this distance and put all of the called shots just under a minute of angle (three-inch group at 300 yards), which is exactly what I was hoping for.  I only muffed two of the rounds.  Several other members then gave the rest a try and we also quite impressed with it’s construction and how steady the rest was.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS:
This neat little rest is simple, well made, and quite solid when assembled.  I feel it definitely has some law enforcement and military applications, as well as the civilian market.  This is a nice item for someone who’d like to have a portable rest available but not necessarily have a Bi-pod constantly attached to their rifles.  This would be a most excellent tool for a Rancher, or a Predator hunter.  It is also a very nice item for the casual shooter who’d like to have a solid rest to sight in their rifles but don’t necessarily want to pay several hundred dollars to do so.

If I were a school teacher I’d give the X-Rest a solid “B+” for it’s innovation, light weight, ease transport and of assembly.  My only recommendation would be to dip the lower part of the legs in some type of non-slip coating to resist scratching a vehicle’s paint-job if it were placed on top of the roof or hood.

Submitted by:
Peter J. Kolovos

——— End of Review ———–

Reviewers can connect with potential customers in a very intimate way through an honest evaluation of the product.  Reviews build trust in your product.  Small flaws in grammar or composition in the review help convince that the reader that the review was not a corporate fabrication from a paid talking head, but rather an honest evaluation from someone they can trust.  Less than stellar reviews are often more believable that glowing reviews.  Customers understand that no product is perfect and can be suspicious when reviews are overly flattering.

Product reviews are part of the precious dialog between you and your customers.  Embracing user reviews can give you an advantage over your competition.  Finding strategic users is the first step in encouraging the creation of third party reviews.  The next step is to get your product in their hands for them to test and evaluate.  Trust them to take it from there, using their reviews they create as a part of your website, public relations and marketing campaigns.  After all,  you worked so hard to get that product out to the market, now is the time to let the strategic users tell potential customers what a great product you’ve created.

Give me a call, or send me an email, if this was helpful or if you have topics that you would like to see in future updates.  Don’t forget to call when you are ready for us to contribute to the success of your project!

Cheers,
Montie Roland
President -Montie Design
montie@montie.com
800-722-7987

About Montie Design

Montie Design is a collaborative product design and  development firm with core competencies in industrial design,  mechanical design and fuzzy front end services. Implementing  a client-centric approach in taking products from concept to  marketplace, Montie Design balances vision with usability in  realizing products that are economical to manufacture, elegant and robust. The firm operates out of the Research Triangle  Park region of North Carolina with access to industry-leading  technology, resources and innovative thought. For more  information, visit www.montie.com.

New Portable Shooting Rest Released by Montie Design

Xrest Testing(Morrisville, N.C.) Collaborative product design and development firm Montie Design announces the availability of its unique portable shooting rest, the second original product conceived, designed, and distributed by the RTP-based company in the last nine months. Designed to meet the needs of all shooters as well as most firearms, the easy-to-carry rest weighs less than two pounds and disassembles easily in three pieces, fitting neatly into a small carrying case. Unlike conventional bench rests, which are heavy and complex, the novel Montie Design model — made of sturdy yet lightweight aluminum — provides steady support for different sized long guns ranging from semi-automatic and bolt action rifles to shotguns, carbines and pistols.

“There’s nothing like this on the market,” said Montie Roland, president of Montie Design and active shooting enthusiast. Roland, who used to shoot competitively and has a daughter on a local junior rifle team, said he got the idea for the product after tiring of carrying around a conventional combination of a heavy rest and sand bags for recreational shooting.

“I realized that a lighter weight version would serve the recreational shooter better,” he said.

Karl Frank, business development manager at Montie Design, received positive feedback on the portable shooting rest at a recent Special Operations trade show in Fayetteville, N.C. “It’s clear this product has military or police applications as a training tool for the long gunners in the squad, and for sighting in and maintenance operations,” Frank, whose background includes development of tactical equipment for military applications, said.

Roland said the idea for the product came not only from personal experience but also from what he saw as the market prospects for such a product. Nationally, approximately 200 companies are actively involved in the U.S. firearms industry, combining for an annual revenue of $2 billion. In the Triangle region of North Carolina there are more than five shooting ranges and multiple firearms retailers, not to mention major chains selling guns and ammo to hunters and competitive shooters.

The design and distribution of the shooting rest comes on the heels of Montie Design’s innovative radio frequency identification (RFID) detector card which was released in January and is now being sold throughout the U.S. and seven foreign countries.

“Sometimes there is no better way for a design firm to find the next client than to show off a simple, well-designed product to a potential client and say, ‘we did this in our spare time, imagine what we could do for your product line,’” Roland said, adding that concrete examples like the RFID detector and portable shooting rest show initiative, leadership and capability to his clients

Both the RFID detector and the shooting rest are produced in the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina, using local manufacturers.

“The Triangle is full of not only thousands of ideas for great products, but many innovative, quality firms with talented professionals who can produce, market, and distribute those products throughout the world,” Roland said. ADR Hydrocut, a Morrisville company that waterjets the parts for the portable shooting rest was instrumental in the development of the product.

According to Frank, ADR Hydrocut provided prototypes and extremely valuable input. “Having the manufacturer literally just down the street made the development process much easier and convenient. We call this approach ‘Made Right Here,’” he said.

Future plans for the portable shooting rest include releasing drawings and design specs as open source in addition to designing an adjustable, pistol-oriented version of the product.

To learn more, or purchase the new shooting rest or RFID Detector, visit www.montie.com.


About Montie Design

Montie Design is a collaborative product design and development firm with core competencies in
industrial design, mechanical design and fuzzy front end services. Implementing a client-centric approach in taking products from
concept to marketplace, Montie Design balances vision with usability in realizing products that are economical to manufacture, elegant and
robust. The firm operates out of the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina with access to industry-leading technology, resources
and innovative thought. For more information, visit www.montie.com.

Media Contact:

Montie Roland
montie@montie.com
800-722-7987
919-412-0559 [cell]

NC Product Design Co-Op Lunch & Learn #3

This event is sponsored by the RTP Product Development Guild.

Date: Wednesday, 4 Mar 09

Time: Noon until 1:30

Location: Montie Design / Studio Hagler, 400 Dominion Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560

Purpose of Meeting: Get to know other, potential co-op members in a relaxed environment.  Six attendees will have five minutes each in front of the group to explain their business.  This is an excellent opportunity for us to get to know each other on a professional and personal basis.  If you would like to have your five minutes of fame, please purchase the ticket above with the time slot that you would like to have.

Purpose of Co-Op: Develop a standards-based community that presents a unified public face to the greater business community, both locally and nationally.  Potential clients see the Co-Op and understand that here is a group of design / prototyping-related businesses that already know each other and work together well.

Who Should Come: Local product design, development and prototyping vendors who are interested in working together in a constructiveand substantial way to bring more business to local design community.

This is a great way for entrepreneurs, engineers, managers, and purchasing agents to find local vendors.  If you have a need for engineering, design, or prototyping help this is a great place to not only find new vendors but personally meet the individuals running those companies.

Questions: If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Montie Roland at montie@montie.com, or by phone at 919-481-1845.

Pre-registration is Required:  Register at http://ncproductdesign3.eventbrite.com/

NC Product Design & Prototyping Co-Op Lunch and Learn #2

NC Product Design and Prototyping Co-Op Schedules Second Lunch and Learn

(Morrisville, N.C.) The NC Product Design and Prototyping Co-Op, a project of the RTP Product Development Guild, has scheduled its second lunch and learn session for Wednesday, February 18 from Noon – 1:30 p.m. at Fineline Prototyping in Raleigh.

Co-Op members specializing in areas such as software development, engineering, design and prototyping, marketing, and project management work together in a collaborative environment to focus local resources on creating products with regional, national, and international applications instead of having local companies look elsewhere for assistance.

According to Montie Roland, president of the RTP Guild and advisor to the Co-Op, momentum is building within the local product design community to pool resources in order to bring new, cutting-edge product ideas from concept to reality.

“The talent, ideas, and resources are right here in Raleigh, Durham, Morrisville, Cary, Apex – the Co-Op is the missing piece of the puzzle to bring everyone together,” he said. Eighteen industry professionals attended the first lunch-and-learn event with over two dozen expected for the FineLine event, Roland said.

According to Roland, the lunch and learn events provide a great way for Co-Op members (and potential members) to get to know each other better.  Each attendee has the opportunity to introduce himself and his company to the group, and local engineers and managers are able to meet local design and prototyping vendors, Roland said. Each lunch and learn is free to attend.

Roland said Fineline Prototyping is the perfect example of the type of company which could utilize the Co-Op to enhance its network of peer professionals. FineLine was founded with the singular mission to provide the highest quality high-resolution prototypes for customers and deliver them with worry-free service. FineLine was the first in the industry to implement high-resolution stereolithography, initially for the medical device development market.

In addition to FineLine’s core offering of high-res stereolithography, they also offer state-of-the-art selective laser sintering, and a high-strength material that they call SLArmor — a nickel-plated ceramic-filled stereolithography part that can stand in for diecast or machined aluminum in many cases.

To register to attend the event, visit the NC Product Design and Prototyping Co-Op page at www.rtpproductguild.com.

About the RTP Product Development Guild
The RTP Product Development Guild seeks to improve the regional economy in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, N.C. by providing a framework for product developers and startups to work together on products in a collaborative environment. This helps entrepreneurs move products to market that might otherwise languish due to a lack of funding and professional guidance. The Guild accepts applications for products, services or concepts from entrepreneurs, early stage start-ups and corporate spin-offs. More information is available online at www.rtpproductguild.com.

About the NC Design and Prototyping Co-Op
The NC Design and Prototyping Co-Op is a project of the RTP Product Development Guild.  The goal of the Co-Op is to provide prospective clients with the capabilities that they need to design and prototype their next product with local resources.  The Co-Op is made up of professionals who personally know each other and who are used to working together in a trusted network.  Whether you are an RTP company, or a company far from RTP, the Co-Op can provide the resources you need including mechanical engineering, electrical engineer, industrial design, software development, business development, rapid prototyping, prototype manufacturing and project management.

— 30 —

Media Contact:
Montie Roland
(800) 722-7987
(919) 412-0559 [cell] montie@rtpproductguild.com

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NC Product Design & Prototyping Co-Op Forms

I thought this might interest you.  The RTP Product Development Guild is working with local design and prototyping companies to form the NC Product Design & Prototyping Co-Op.   Here are a couple of pictures from the event:

Here is the press release:

The RTP Guild Launches New Initiative with Local Companies

Lunch and learn outlines elements of forming product design and prototyping co-op

(Cary, N.C.) The recently launched RTP Product Development Guild – a local group of engineers and designers working together to improve the regional economy – held its first organizational meeting January 29 to discuss the creation of a product design and prototyping co-op.

Eighteen technology-oriented industry professionals gathered for the 90 minute lunch-and-learn presentation and discussion which led to setting co-op organizational goals, objectives, and timelines, in addition to the first membership commitments from local companies.

“Clients sometimes have a hard time identifying local product design resources. On top of that they don’t know exactly who to trust. We want to promote local design talent who have worked together to build economic momentum in conceptualizing RTP as a product design and development hub,” said Montie Roland, president of the RTP Product Development Guild.

In providing a framework for product developers and startups to work together on products in a collaborative environment, Roland said the Guild, through the product design and development co-op, is intended to focus local resources on creating products with regional, national, and international applications instead of having local companies look elsewhere for assistance.

Al Ely of ADR Hydro-Cut, Inc. is a member of the product development community attending the January 29 luncheon who decided to join the co-op. “It is my hope that we can convince customers that we have the talent and facilities here to handle the entire product design and development process from idea to prototype then we can keep as much business as we can here in the Triangle,” he said, adding, “If we can pull it together, we can all keep each other busy with a lot of quality work.”

According to Roland, part of the driving force behind forming the co-op as a group within the RTP Product Development Guild comes from peer professionals like Ely.

“This is shaping up to be a difficult year within the design industry. Working together allows us to reach a broader market space than we could individually,” Roland said, adding, “A parallel to what we’re trying to do is a volunteer fire department, which is contracted with the community to protect the public interest. We are in essence contracting with the RTP business community to improve the regional economy through launching product-driven companies and helping existing companies launch new products.”

The co-op – a part of the Guild – is currently accepting queries from prospective new members and is holding a series of get-to-know each other meetings at area businesses over the next six weeks. For more information contact Montie Roland at (919) 481-1845 or montie@montie.com.

About the RTP Product Development Guild
The RTP Product Development Guild seeks to improve the regional economy in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, N.C. by providing a framework for product developers and startups to work together on products in a collaborative environment. This helps entrepreneurs move products to market that might otherwise languish due to a lack of funding and professional guidance. The Guild accepts applications for products, services or concepts from entrepreneurs, early stage start-ups and corporate spin-offs. More information is available online at www.rtpproductguild.com.

All You Ever Wanted to Know about Rapid Prototyping (Educational Video)

The RTP Product Development Guild, working the Rob Connelly at Fineline Prototyping; has released a five part video series on rapid prototyping. It is a great way to learn about the science and art of rapid prototyping. Much thanks to Jaime Vodvarka (Guild Intern) for putting this together. Please note that there are five parts to the video. The Youtube video screen has an interface at the bottom that allows you to select which part you would like to watch.

Bill Seil’s Thoughts on the 2008 RTP Product Design Street Faire

This past September, the folks at Montie Design hosted their annual Product Design Street Fair. It had the flavor of a tradeshow as it brought professionals together in an interactive environment, but by it?s design it was a little different. It offered the same unique advantage any typical street fair or block party would have, giving companies in the area an opportunity to interact on the local level. Newcomers got the chance to meet companies that were right down the street. The folks who returned from previous street fairs, found a chance to stay current with the local product development community and get acquainted with new contacts.

Montie Design works with the attending companies in one way or another, the intent of the street fair is to bring them together in an interactive environment (Download Event Guide / Program or Watch Video). This benefits the design and development community by strengthening communication in a fun and easily accessible way.

Bill Seil
Industrial Designer
info@seil.us

Preview of the 2008 RTP Product Design Street Faire

2008 RTP Product Design Street Faire

RTP Product Development Guild?s Second Annual Product Design Street Faire set for Sept. 13

MORRISVILLE, NC ? The RTP Product Development Guild?s second annual RTP Product Design Street Faire will be held Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008 from 3 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. The faire will be held outside of the Guild?s office, which is located off of Aviation Parkway at 400 Dominion Drive in Morrisville, N.C.

?Our street faire is intended to build a stronger product design community by providing a relaxed, family-friendly environment in which vendors, clients and potential clients can get to know each other,? says Montie Roland, president of the RTP Product Development Guild. ?In addition, the event allows attendees to celebrate the product design and manufacturing profession in the Research Triangle region.?

?Last year?s event saw 140 attendees and 16 exhibitors come out,? Roland added. ?We hope to build on last year?s success by increasing both vendor participation and the number of attendees at this year?s event.? We currently have 26 vendors showing off a wide variety of products and services.

There is no cost to attend the event, but pre-registration is required. You can pre-register for the event at: http://productdesignguild.eventbrite.com.

In addition to the RTP Product Development Guild, the 2008 RTP Product Design Street Faire is being sponsored by Montie Design, 101Machine, Trimech, Torque Transmission and Incodema .

The RTP Product Development Guild is a private, for-profit corporation located in Morrisville, N.C. The Guild?s mission is to improve the regional economy by providing a structured environment for product developers and vendors to work together on products in a collaborative environment. This type of open collaboration helps entrepreneurs, early-stage start-ups and corporate spin offs get products to market that might otherwise languish due to a lack of funding or professional guidance. Guild membership and project submission information is available at: www.rtpproductguild.com.

RTP Guild Proclaims October as RTP Product Development Month

by Tom Vass, Vice-President, RTP Product Development Guild

The RTP regional economy has a unique set of economic strengths in technology innovation. The basic platform for all the strengths comes from the population of scientists and engineers who live in the region. Raleigh tops America for PhDs per capita for a metro city.

The RTP is geographically the largest research park in the world and is home to more than 130 R&D companies, employing nearly 40,000 workers. The RTP is home to IBM, GSK, Cisco Systems, DuPont and Sony Ericsson.

The high number of PhDs, and the location of large high tech corporations sets the stage for technology commercialization in distinct product areas. Our focus at the Guild is on product development because that leads to new venture creation which leads to new markets.

New markets are essential for wealth creation because persistence in the status quo distribution from current markets of wealth tends to lead to economic stasis. We suspect there is a mutually reinforcing relationship between wealth creation and new product creation, meaning that the more of one leads to the more of the other.

However, this relationship is perfectly symmetrical, which means that the longer the status quo of current markets remains constant the longer the existing distribution of wealth will stay the same. The result will be lower rates of innovation and new product development.

New products do not get created without a lot of effort, and our basic business model addresses how to help entrepreneurs commercialize their ideas. Our approach to new product development is different than the existing players in the region.

We focus attention on independent entrepreneurs who are not affiliated with the tech transfer programs at the local universities. We also target small engineering and manufacturing firms, and spin-offs from the R&D efforts of the larger corporations. We suspect that many of the 40,000 workers in the RTP have great ideas that could turn into great products if they follow the business development model of the RTP Product Development Guild.

During the month of October, we are going to target product development in the 4 areas we think will be most beneficial to regional economic growth. Each product area shares a common technological platform in both design and production, even though the end market users of the products are different.

On each Wednesday evening of October, we will host an educational seminar at our facilities in Morrisville, N. C., to introduce our model to budding entrepreneurs in each product area.

Our selection of product areas are:

1. October 10. Consumer technology products for the mass retail market.

2. October 17. Health monitoring and home health care products.

3. October 24. Sports and recreational equipment.

4. October 31. Homeland defense products.

We will charge a small admission fee, and our seating is limited to the first 20 entrepreneurs who register to attend. We are soliciting the participation of individuals and small companies who are curious about our business model of advice for commercializing technology.

We think that participants will gain benefits from meeting each other, and listening to how others are going about the process of commercializing their product ideas. If the RTP Guild model seems attractive, then the next step would be to apply as a project candidate for one of the Guilds product development teams.

While commercializing technology is a great objective, we think that the bigger goal for each entrepreneur is to win the Guilds prestigious annual award for the RTPs Most Disruptive Product Technology, presented in March of each year. But, you cant win the prize unless you get in the game.

Registration for the October events is at: www.rtpproductguild.com