Today, many companies have embraced “open innovation.” There’s simply no reason for them not to. Companies that want to stay competitive understand that great ideas can come from anywhere—and anyone. They’ve realized they can’t hire every creative person out there. Open innovation is thriving worldwide because it makes good business sense: At the same time that companies are able to lower their internal R&D costs, they increase their chances of finding that next great idea. As a result, some companies have established procedures in place for reviewing outside product submissions. Submitting your ideas to these companies should be a straightforward experience. Other companies may have less experience reviewing outside product submissions, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t open to it. You’ll find them in all industries, but especially toys, hardware, kitchen and household, novelty gifts, back-to-school, music, as seen on TV, among others.
These companies want and need your product idea submissions and finding them is fairly straightforward. Visit stores to examine the products being sold there. Find the aisle where your product idea would be sold. What companies are producing these products? These are your potential licensees. You can use the internet in the same way. But make sure to reach out to them and ask them about their policies regarding outside products omissions. Always read the fine print. There will be many companies that have not really embraced open innovation. That’s perfectly fine, because you can just go to the ones which have. You only need to do your homework on any company you work with: Type in their names into the google search bar, and then type in “complaints” to learn more.