As director of the Northwest Innovation Resource Council, Diane Kamionka helps inventors turn their idea into a reality. That can mean connecting budding inventors with industry-specific mentors, finding funding, or providing access to educational opportunities and other services that help inventors build their ideas and start businesses.
But time after time, Kamionka has seen inventors get hung up on marketing their creations.
“Inventors shy away from marketing. Their comfort level is in coming up with the product and making the product,” Kamionka said. “Rather than seeing all their work get lost or be dormant or put on some shelf, we thought, let’s find a way to get their product to market.”
So the NWIRC is raising money to start a new marketing arm, to be called Slingshot. Through Slingshot, the NWIRC would hire at least one more staff member to work on marketing local inventors’ creations.
The NWIRC launched a crowdfunding campaign, called #GiveIdeasLife, on Oct. 22 and had raised $5,020 as of Oct. 30. That’s 11 percent of the group’s goal to raise $45,000 by November 23.
The fundraising campaign offers incentives for donors, such as a tour of Century Link Field, and products made by local inventors with the help of the NWIRC.
The NWIRC is also hosting several events this week to raise awareness for the fundraising effort. On Tuesday, Nov. 3, former Starbucks president Howard Behar will discuss leadership at the Weyerhauser Room at the Everett Transit Station. The group is asking for a $50 donation to attend, which will go toward the crowdfunding campaign.
On Wednesday, Nov. 4, NWIRC will host “Don’t Go Broke Building Your Business” a talk by Stephanie Artino of Bellingham-based Artino Advisory Group.
The free presentation goes from 12-1:30 p.m. in room 106 at 2211 Rimland Drive.
To learn more, go to www.nwirc.com.