4 min read

Create and License "WOW" Solutions - Invention Accelerator

The Invention Accelerator helps people with new product ideas to avoid the expensive, time-consuming, and anxiety-ridden "trial and error" process to CUT the learning curve and invent WOW products, protect them properly and get them in front of the right people at the right companies.
Create and License "WOW" Solutions - Invention Accelerator

Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lisa Lloyd, Founder of Invention Accelerator, located in Phoenix, AZ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

The Invention Accelerator helps people with new product ideas to avoid the expensive, time-consuming, and anxiety-ridden "trial and error" process to CUT the learning curve and invent WOW products, protect them properly and get them in front of the right people at the right companies to pitch like a pro for license.

Tell us about yourself

When I was 23, I invented and licensed the French Twister to Scunci and changed how the industry packaged and branded hair accessories. Following that success, I went on to license six more products generating more than $30M in sales. That led to a successful career consulting inventors, start-ups, and large companies with their front-end innovation.

I still get goosebumps when I realize a new idea, mine or those of my clients! I am convinced I was born to create and am so grateful to live in the "maker" age. My father always told me, "do what you love, and the money will follow," and heeding his advice has helped shape a life that I am honored and often surprised to have.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I think it is a close tie between 2 things, my first invention and my last. Yes, I've had many successes in between, but I learned the most from these two. The French Twister laid the groundwork for what would become an incredible life. There were so many times I could have, and in the eyes of others, probably should have quit. I am so glad I just focused on each step, one step at a time, and found the best people I could to help me along the way. A lifelong motto was birthed from that first product... "No doesn't mean no, just not that way!" That motto was a constant reminder with every product to come!

The last item was the line of toys called TC Pets that I appeared on Shark Tank with. I won a deal with Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran. I was able to get into over 400 stores and sold over 30,000 units, but in the end, we hemorrhaged out during the bad economy from shrinking margins. It was devastating, and I lost everything I had accumulated from all the other successes. So, you may be wondering, how is this on the list of "biggest accomplishments?" Well, I learned more from that failure than everything every other product I succeeded with. I didn't know it at the time... I was too busy licking my wounds to see it, but I grew into the woman I am today and have more confidence and am more competent than ever. So, for that, I am very proud and eternally grateful.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

For me, it is finding the right employees. It seems that I struggle with the common trait of most entrepreneurs, hiring good people. That was actually one of the mistakes I made with TC Pets. Even when I spent a LOT of money, I still hired the wrong people in the end. Maybe I will figure it out someday, but for now, I just continue to work on business models that don't require me to build a team of full-time employees, just contractors when I need them.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do your homework! Every great idea starts with a passionate entrepreneur. Don't give up your passion, but don't let it blind you from the truth either. Validate all your ideas and fail fast so that you can adapt and pivot or even walk away and move on to your next great idea. Watch out for confirmation bias (get The Mom Test to learn more).
  2. Don't do it alone. Get into a start-up accelerator or hire a coach with verifiable expertise to help you avoid the costly learning curves.
  3. Remember, it will take longer and cost more than whatever you expect. So, make sure you are realistic with how you will live while you are building. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to maintain a positive attitude and build a company when you are worried about money. I find that treating it like an expensive hobby makes it more fun and keeps me responsible in the process. Once it starts paying for itself and begins to scale, then it's a business :)

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If you are someone with a lot of great ideas for new products, invention licensing is probably a better business model than trying to manufacture and sell, especially if they are all in different categories. Talk with people who can help you understand the pros and cons of both models before you invest a ton of time and money learning the hard way.

Where can people find you and your business?

Website: https://www.theinventionaccelerator.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lmgservices
Twitter: https://twitter.com/icaninvent
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisavlloyd/

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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