Many inventors run out of money – and their friends’ money – before a prototype is built.
Yet their ideas are often quite valuable. As CEO of SkyBuilt Power, a renewable-energy company, I see potentially great ideas nearly every week.
They include wind turbines without blades or gears, heat pumps that cut air-conditioning
costs in half, and solar-power systems that eliminate fuel costs.
The green Grand Canyon
Sadly, many inventors behind these innovations eventually give up for lack of time and money. This is the “green Grand Canyon” – the big gap from new technology prototypes to commercialization and profitability. We can bridge this gap, but only if we address three basic problems:
1. There is no central clearinghouse for information. Inventors need funding, advice, and other support. Ironically, there may be government agencies willing to fund such inventions and private companies wanting them. But the information and parties are scattered and don’t connect.
We could solve this problem by creating a “tBay,” an inventor’s eBay. This would be a virtual information meeting place for all parties interested in a specific technology. Buyers, sellers, inventors, grantors, venture capital firms, and patent lawyers all could meet in a virtual marketplace for any specific subject area, such as “mobile solar tracking systems.” It takes all of these to go from an idea to commercialization.