Get to Know Nashville’s Ideashares, an Inventor’s Best Friend
By Justin Stokes
On the notion of working out a great idea, we’re going for sort of a hat trick. We’ve chatted with both the folks at IDEAcon – which massaged the brains of attendees eager to make their idea a reality – as well as maker of things physical and digital, Arciplex.
But what about testing your great idea? What if there was a more objective way to provide data that showed you just where your idea was in the grand scheme of things? Intrigued by IDEAcon, we reached out to Les Stouder, co-founder of Ideashares, to get further details about his organization, which vets concepts through a rigorous series of cross-tests.
Forward Beat: What is Ideashares? How would you describe it in your own words?
Les Stouder: The short version: Ideashares is virtual idea incubator for inventors, entrepreneurs and innovators. Our system is designed to provide a safe haven for product and project development; free to our users and we always intend it to be.
Forward Beat: How did you meet Brian Church (co-founder of Ideashares)? What is your relationship to him, and how would you describe him as a collaborator?
LS: We actually met at church (no pun intended). Brian is a master communicator, motivator and CEO. He is also one of my closest friends, as well as co-founder and partner. What we do as partners works largely due to the fact that our strengths are in many different areas. Brian can, with relative and impressive ease, do things I could only dream of, and I think he would agree that the opposite is also true.
— TheStartup.com (@thestartupus) March 5, 2016
Forward Beat: How does Ideashares protect intellectual property (IP)?
LS: We do not require or retain any information, descriptions or details pertaining to ideas, products, projects or systems. The Ideasphere, which contains our four proprietary assessment platforms (tests) is designed to not require/retain any form of information or details on the test subject. There is never any information specific to an idea or project provided by the user. This is the first of three layers of absolute IP protection our system provides.
The second layer of protection is provided by the fact that there is no sensitive information to retain or database. This means even if the site is hacked, the only thing the hacker will get for their troubles are usernames, emails and whatever number of review analyses they may have generated resulting from however many tests they have taken. Not a shred of information regarding their idea or project. There are literally no user submissions, beyond test scores, to exploit, as designed.
We call the first two layers of IP protection Dual Anonymity, which is, in fact, one of the claims in our patent filing. It’s a virtual IP vault.
The third layer of IP protection is our one-of-a-kind IdeaShield, which enables a user to take a pre-populated SB-16 form (provisional patent application) using the information they input, directly to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and file for immediate IP protection. Obviously, this decision must be made with diligent consideration, as a patent is not always the best strategy.
Additionally, a provisional patent starts the 12-month clock, counting down to filing for a full, utility patent, or abandoning the filing. Preparing a utility patent requires expertise and can be expensive. Therefore, we do not recommend filing for a provisional patent, if the funds to pursue a utility patent within the 12 month period will not be available.
Forward Beat: Ideashares works to “compress time, costs and risks.” What are these non-compressed obstacles ideators would encounter going a different route?
LS: The Ideashares system provides evaluation, education and vetted service provider components. There are so many variables in the product development industry. The number of companies that work in this field, whether in a full spectrum capacity or as a specialty provider are voluminous.
It is incredibly easy to waste an enormous amount of time chasing down non-productive leads and relationships. Our system is designed for maximum efficiency, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve and condense the tasks and requirements needed to arrive at a successful result.
We have negotiated special pricing for our users through the ISN service providers network to reduce costs and our multi-layered IP protection system (IP vault) dramatically reduces risk, especially in the post-America Invents Act (AIA) era, adapted in 2011.
We prepare our users to make intelligent decisions by being informed and competent. Considering the primary element that most investors invest in is a strong team or individual, we believe our system is the only one that concentrates on the preparing the individual for success.
Product development is multi-faceted and can be complicated, but it isn’t rocket science. The only way to accomplish something really new and significant on a viral basis, is to do something new, and focus on the human element, not the commercial element.
Forward Beat: What business success stories can you share thus far?
LS: As I mentioned, we have had numerous projects funded for our users. Our ultimate goal for all users is to take them from napkin sketch to the marketplace. The gateway for success is, as it is in nearly all commercial pursuits, securing adequate capital to reach the finish line. Also, providing connections, introductions and networking opportunities absolutely must be included in the “success stories” category, as this is the vehicle one must use to achieve their goals. We thrive in that arena!
Forward Beat: What team members/partners would you like to discuss through Forward Beat?
LS: Brian Church and I are co-founders, but we also have an incredibly talented team and board members and advisors. Our immediate staff also includes Bill Rawnsley, a successful CEO in manufacturing. Bill heads up our ISN department.
Forward Beat: What other items would you like to discuss?
LS: Just to promote our radio show. Middle Tennesseans can catch Ideashares Radio on Supertalk 99.7 WTN, Sundays at 4 p.m. The show can also be heard through the iHeart Radio app or the WTN website.
We also archive all of our shows on the website under the IS Radio link, as well as the Events page. We are planning on syndicating the show into more markets in 2016 and beyond (hopefully).
Curious about Ideashares? Be sure to check out their website and be sure to take the test.