RTP Design Resources Map is Now Live!

RTP Product Design Resources Map(Morrisville, N.C.) The RTP Product Development Guild and NC Product Design & Prototyping Co-Op have launched a new interactive map to connect out-of-state business professionals with quality Research Triangle Park-area manufacturing design and production talent.

The RTP Design & Prototyping Resources Map, accessible via www.rtpdesignmap.com, enables visitors to click on business locations highlighted on a visual map of the RTP area or filter product design resources by 34 categories. The results include details on each participating business’ specialty, physical location, contact information and website URL.

“RTP is one of those unique tech-heavy areas throughout the U.S. where you can literally get off a plane, rent a car, and in five minutes be at the front door of any number of companies to support the development, manufacturing, and marketing of a new innovative product,” Montie Roland, president of the RTP Product Development Guild, said.

According to Roland, the map’s development comes from the queries he has been receiving over the past year from entrepreneurs and innovators looking to tap into the RTP area’s well-trained workforce and rich business development resources.

“People contact the Co-Op and the Guild looking for info on professionals who might be able to support their product development needs, but they don’t know who is here and whereabouts they are located,” he said, adding, “When they find out how many are located within a stone’s throw of RDU airport it blows them away.

“The physical representation of the sheer number of sought-after companies on the map helps drive that point home for those unfamiliar with the area,” he said.  “It also shows seasoned engineers where they can find vendors that are often right down the street.”

According to Roland, the map is the only one if its kind in North Carolina.

Launched in late December 2009, the RTP Product Design Resources Map currently has 63 companies listed, representing industry sectors such as product design, rapid prototyping and manufacturers providing much needed parts for products designed by startups. Members of the Guild and Co-Op can get listed for free; non-members can submit listings for a fee of $49 per year.

Founded in 2007, the RTP Product Development Guild is a community of designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, inventors and other professionals devoted to helping the RTP regional economy, clients, members and businesses prosper through technological product innovation. Together with the NC Product Design & Prototyping Co-Op, the Guild has hosted numerous educational and networking events throughout 2009, in addition to an annual Street Faire in September bringing hundreds of attendees and exhibitors together in a relaxing, family friendly atmosphere.

For more information about the Guild or Co-Op visit www.rtpproductguild.com or contact Montie Roland at 919-481-1845.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Product Development: Do Try This At Home

By Montie Roland, RTP Product Development Guild

Morrisville — Our firm receives inquiries from inventors and early stage entrepreneurs fairly frequently. We tend to break down incoming inquiries into four groups. The first group is inventors. Inventors are everyday people with an idea, but no organization to backup the idea. Entrepreneurs are individuals, or a group of individuals, with an idea for a product and a plan for an organization to develop, produce, and distribute that product. Start-ups are groups that are actively working on a daily basis developing the product and the organization necessary to make that product a success. Corporate clients are those in the process of adding another product to their suite of products.

Most design firms are not very interested in spending a lot of time talking with inventors that show up at the door. Many of these folks have great product ideas, however, most inventors are lacking two necessary elements for product success. The first is financial support and the second is the lack of ambition and vision. Product development is expensive. Once the product is developed, it is even more expensive to produce, stock, distribute, market and sell the product. Most inventors do not have access to this level of funding and support.

My impression, after talking with numerous inventors, is that most inventors simply give up, lacking the drive and ambition to make their product concept into a reality. They struggle with making the transition from being an inventor with an idea to an entrepreneur with a plan and a vision.

One possibility for failure is that the inventor has a pre-conception that all they need is an idea and a contact with a major corporation. That corporation will see that product concept and write them a huge check for the inventors idea. This myth is promoted by the ?invention submission? companies. The reality is that most corporations will not even talk to inventors about product concepts that have not been patented.

Another possibility is that many inventors dont know what steps they need to take to get a product to market, so are overwhelmed and give up. There is very little in the way of support structure for inventors and entrepreneurs. High-flying startups get lots of attention and funding, but that doesnt help the inventors, entrepreneurs and early stage startups.

Many design firms are hesitant to even provide proposals to inventors and entrepreneurs because so few of those proposals turn into billable hours. Startups are another example of organizations that often arent in a position to purchase professional services. Most early-stage startups dont have any product sales, and are not in a position to attract venture capital, so they dont have the funds to pay a consultant, or design firm, for needed services. Few consultants, and design firms, are in a financial position to accept the risk of receiving equity (or stock options) from a start up in lieu of fees.

The RTP Product Development Guild is designed to help drive new products to market. This is accomplished by creating teams of consultants to help in the early stages of the product design. These six member teams are made of local professionals in the product design community from various disciplines. Depending on the product, or service, these teams may include disciplines such as engineering, industrial design, software, business, legal, sales and marketing. This structure allows team members to share the risk of working on these projects while giving the product champion (inventor or entrepreneur) the needed product development support.

Guild projects last six months and follow a structured format. The product champion (individual inventor or entrepreneur) meets with Guild team members every two weeks to define, and refine, the product concept into a viable product. Participation in this structured method helps the product champion overcome many of the pitfalls that haunt entrepreneurs trying to develop a product without professional support.

Information about the Guild is available at: http://www.rtpproductguild.com.

Montie Roland is president of the Carolinas Chapter of the Product Development Management Association. Roland is also president of Montie Design, a product development and prototyping firm in Morrisville.

The RTP Product Development Guilds purpose is to provide consultancy services to startups and small companies across a wide variety of specialties. Guidance will focus on commercializing product ideas and technology.

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