Invent Me: Owen Wizzle
Wearing the term 'super product nerds' as a badge of honour, a career in product design paved the way for helping make 'awesome inventions'
Name: Owen Wizzle
Company Name: Invent Me
Founders: Owen Wizzle and Ollie Yates
Location: Yorkshire and the Humber
Date Launched: 21/04/16
Twitter handle: @goinventme
Tell us what your business does:
Invent me is a collaborative innovation platform that takes the ideas of everyday people to market using the power of crowd sourcing.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
You can call us dreamers, or even super product nerds if you’d like. The fact is, we believe that by collaborating with talented individuals, funding bodies and other companies we can make sure that best, most exceptional products, will be developed without unnecessary barriers getting in the way.
We’ve managed to do this while also ensuring that these products have an even better chance of succeeding.
We don’t just have a passion for superb inventions and original ideas. We’re also driven by our enthusiasm for harnessing the power of the crowd so that everyone can contribute to the products they believe in.
With a dedicated community behind us that pitches in time, specialist skills, and resources, we have the ability to create innovations that really have an impact.
How did you know there was a market for it?
Having run a small product design consultancy for couple of years, we noticed that people would repeatedly come to us with great product ideas, but often had no budget or time to fulfil their product’s full potential.
Our agency could only do so much to help them materialize their ideas on limited budgets, before having to turn them away.
What were you doing before starting up?
Running a product and graphic design consultancy called Attacking Design.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Hell yeah! But not for the profit margins. We’re in it for journey and the freedom of being self-employed.
We want to shape the way the UK portrays ‘Invention’ and creating a company to deliver that message just made sense.
How did you raise the money?
A combination of savings and profits from our graphic design agency ‘Doodle Me’. Oh, and borrowing money from close friends and family.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
Using years of experience in start-to-finish development, the Invent Me community help manage your product journey for a percentage of its future earnings.
If your invention is awesome and is chosen to be developed, you’ll take a cut every time the product is sold.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Cashflow. We’ve managed to self-fund the platform up until now, but we’re now seeking funding from various investment bodies.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Receiving over 20+ invention submissions two weeks after launch, signing up over 30 community members and adding two full time members to the team.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Life is like a theme park, no-one really cares about how much money you make, as long as you fill it with colourful rides
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
To expand the company nationally. (An office in Wales would be incredible…)