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Companies are constantly looking for the next big idea that will revitalize or completely transform the current consumer market. Often, these ideas come from independent inventors or creators. However, if you have a new idea that you feel has the potential to be successful, you might have considered selling this innovative idea to a developer or manufacturer.
Listed here are many companies that are willing to pay for new, innovative product ideas. We’ll also cover factors you need to consider when embarking on selling your creative idea and some frequently asked questions to help you enter into any agreement with the most knowledge and awareness possible.
Companies That Pay for Ideas and Inventions
This list of companies that pay for ideas represents a wide range of industries and various products. Click on any of the links to learn more about submitting your ideas.
1. Idea Buyer
Idea Buyer is a product development company that will help you bring your idea to the market. Idea Buyer accepts product ideas in any category. If they feel the idea has potential, they will assist you in developing the concept and presenting it to producers and possible partner stores.
Sharper Image produces and sells various items such as toys, electronics, gadgets, and technology. They have a team dedicated to sourcing new ideas and will pay for those they feel fit their brand.
Dewalt is a leading hardware tool producer, and the company’s online submissions system is always open for new product ideas and inventions.
Cal-Van Tools regularly works with independent inventors when developing new automotive products and tool ideas. You’ll find the idea submission form on the company website, and they offer competitive royalty rates to inventors.
Avery has recently teamed up with Evergreen Innovation Partners to make it easier for inventors to present their product ideas to the company. Avery specializes in the production of office supplies, so if you have an idea in this area, this could be an excellent place to submit it for consideration.
If you have an idea for a review that you feel would fit in with the famous Mattel brand, you can submit this through the company website. Ideas for new toys, games, and baby gear are all accepted.
Unilever is a huge corporation and one of the most extensive product developers in the world. This company specializes mainly in food and hygiene products, and they’re always looking to partner with new inventors with practical innovations. You can submit ideas through the company website.
High-quality fitness equipment is the focus of Nautilus. They operate worldwide, so if they pick up your idea, a global market may have access to your product. Submit your ideas through the Nautilus website.
Wilson produces sporting goods and equipment and accepts new product ideas through its website. They regularly review submissions and will be in touch if they feel yours fits their brand.
Fila receive a vast number of new product ideas and designs every day. However, many of these go unchecked or unused. Fila states explicitly on its website that they only consider patented ideas. They do this to prevent any confusion around compensation, and it also serves to protect the creator further. If you have a patented idea, you can send this to Fila via mail.
11. New Balance
New Balance has adopted a similar ethos due to the high volume of unsolicited ideas they receive daily. The company accepts patented ideas for new products through its online submissions form.
12. Knight & Hale
Knight & Hale are hunting equipment manufacturers and always looking for new, inventive product ideas. To submit your ideas to Knight & Hale, fill out their online form and wait to hear back to see if they want to move forward with a design.
13. New Soda
Sending your product ideas to New Soda couldn’t be easier. Simply send the product details off to them through their website’s submission form. They look for products in a range of different categories, although currently, they specialize predominantly in kitchenware and kitchen gadgets.
If you have an excellent idea for a new health or hygiene-related product, sending this to RB might result in your product being manufactured and sold in various countries worldwide. Submit your ideas through the RB website.
Escalade is another sporting goods producer and welcomes new ideas from independent inventors. You can send your idea to them through their website, or you could give them a call.
16. Spectrum Brands
Spectrum Brands is a consumer goods company that owns several high-profile global brands. They accept new product ideas in many categories such as home and garden, hardware tools, and pet care.
WillowWood works alongside clinicians and amputees to develop high-quality equipment and medical products. You can submit ideas for new products or developments on their current products to the company through an online form.
Products designed to aid post-surgical rehabilitation and orthopedic care are the focus of DJO Global. If you have an idea that could revolutionize this industry or make a difference in someone’s life, these can be sent to DJO using their submissions form.
Medtronic also develops products within the medical field. If you have a product idea that falls within this category, you can send this to Medtronic via email or mail.
20. Applied Medical
Applied Medical is also committed to developing new, innovative products that can positively impact the work of healthcare professionals and, in turn, the lives and wellbeing of their patients. They welcome new product or enhancement ideas for their current product range. You can submit your ideas through the company website.
Hershey’s accepts new ideas for food products, although it is unclear from their website how their payment process works. In addition, their terms and conditions state that they do not pay for all ideas. Bear this in mind and perhaps consider contacting Hershey’s directly to request an NDA agreement before sending your creative ideas.
As one of the world’s largest multinational companies, people around the globe recognize the Coca-Cola brand. If you have an excellent idea for a new food or drink product or ideas on how they could reduce plastic waste or revolutionize their products, get in touch with them through the company website.
Lear specializes in automotive technologies and develops new, innovative initiatives in this field. If you have an idea for Lear, they ask that inventors send these through their website.
Fastcap is a successful product developer and retailer, providing woodwork, cabinetry, equipment, and tools. They receive a high volume of idea submissions and estimate that one in a hundred proves successful. To submit your idea, you’ll need to record a video outlining your invention and upload this through their website.
Play with a Purpose produces children’s toys that help with developmental learning and the refinement of motor skills, balance, and physical ability. If you think an idea could be valuable, send it through the Play with a Purpose website.
BD accepts product ideas for new medical devices or equipment. Send your submissions to BD by mail. You’ll need to print out their suggestions form and send it to them. If they’re interested in your idea, they’ll get back to you within four to six weeks.
Philip Morris International creates more sustainable and safer alternatives to cigarettes. They accept new product or initiative ideas through their online submissions form.
28. C.R. Bard
Another provider of healthcare and medical equipment, C.R. Bard welcomes ideas for new products from independent inventors. Simply submit your idea through their online portal.
Plaid is an arts and crafts company that supplies products to stores across the globe. They often work with external developers and inventors, so if you have a new product idea, send it over to them through their website.
Henkel offers several options when it comes to developing your product ideas. If your idea is in its early stages and you don’t yet hold a patent, they can provide mentorship and investment in exchange for a percentage ownership of the concept (usually 20%). Alternatively, if you do hold a patent, you can submit your idea via the company website, and they will be in touch.
Coghlan’s can only accept new ideas that are patent protected or patent-pending. They look for ideas in the outdoor recreation and camping categories. If you have a new product idea in this field, it can be submitted using their online form.
32. ShurTech Brands
ShurTech Brands owns Shurtape and several specialist tape brands such as Duck Tape and Frog Tape. They welcome outside ideas for new products or innovative uses for existing products. You can make relevant submissions through the company’s website.
33. Mustang Survival
Mustang Survival specializes in water rescue and survival equipment. They welcome new product ideas, which you can submit via the company website.
If you have a product idea that falls within the pet-care or animal-care categories, you might consider submitting this for consideration to Miller Manufacturing. This large-scale company provides high-quality products in its field. You can submit product ideas via email.
35. Eco Products
As you can tell from the company name, Eco Products specializes in environmentally friendly products, generally related to food and drink items. If you have a product idea that you feel might change the way consumers view single-use or environmentally harmful materials, send it over to Eco Products.
Coastal Pet Products always accept ideas for new and innovative pet products. You can submit your idea through their website, and if they feel it has good potential, they will be in touch.
Jokari is always on the lookout for the next big idea. With such a wide range of products developed by the company, yours could be exactly what they want. So give them a call or head to their website to submit your idea.
38. Dorman Products
If you have an invention idea that falls within the automotive category, Dorman Products might be interested in hearing from you. Simply fill out the idea form on the Dorman Products website, and a team member will review your submission.
39. Ford Foundation
Ford Foundation is an organization committed to tackling global inequality and facilitating new initiatives that will serve to reduce poverty. They accept ideas for new initiatives or programs that fit their mission. You can submit suggestions through their website.
Turn Your Ideas Into an App
Maybe your million-dollar idea involves an app rather than a physical product. Here are some companies that might make it possible for you to turn your app idea into money.
IdeaPros specializes in helping inventors to develop their ideas into fully functioning apps and promoting them with an aggressive marketing strategy. From idea building and app development to your app’s launch and distribution, IdeaPros will assist throughout the entire process. They’ve built a business model around helping people like you.
41. Mobile App Fund
Like IdeaPros, Mobile App Fund helps creators to develop their apps. They will pay for your innovative app idea and then work on the app’s development, distribution, and marketing. If the app is successful, you’ll also get a percentage of the profits.
42. Google Play
The Google Play Store allows app developers to sell their apps to consumers. While Google will not buy your app idea from you, this is a great platform, with millions of consumers using the service daily. If you have an especially groundbreaking or innovative app idea, you can also approach Google to see if they’re willing to invest in its development.
Similarly, the Apple App Store allows you to use the platform to sell your app. Again, you’ll have a vast potential audience reach, but the app will need to be pre-developed. However, like Google Play, Apple might consider investing in developing some apps, but these will need to be especially promising. In most cases, you would create your app and sell it through their marketplace.
King has made some of the most popular gaming apps on the market, most notably the Candy Crush saga. They’re consistently looking for new app ideas and might pay for yours if they feel it has good potential. You’ll need to contact the company directly to enquire about submitting your idea.
Clash of Clans is one of the most popular gaming apps produced in recent years, with millions of worldwide users. The app, amongst other popular games, was developed by Supercell. Supercell welcomes new app ideas; to enquire about sending yours, contact them through their website or email.
Gungho has also produced several popular apps, such as Teppen. They’re always looking for new app ideas and will pay for those they feel are good enough. Unfortunately, they don’t have an official submissions channel, so you will need to contact the company directly to enquire.
Sell Your App
If you’ve already developed your idea into an app, some platforms allow you to sell that existing app.
Flippa is the largest global company that facilitates the sale of apps, websites, and companies. If you have fully-developed business ideas that you wish to sell, Flippa has a massive range of potential buyers on its platform. Apps sell on the site anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to upwards of $100,000, so this could be a great place to sell your app or small business.
Fliptopia operates similarly. The sale prices tend to be pretty similar to those on Flippa.
Protecting Your Ideas
Patent vs. No Patent?
Having your idea patent-protected means that the invention cannot be made, used, distributed, imported, or sold commercially by any parties without your formal consent. Once your idea is patent-protected, you are its sole owner and have exclusive rights to any developments.
Whether or not you need a patent depends on the agreement you are entering. For example, the company you’re looking to sell your idea to might already have measures to protect you and your rights. Alternatively, they might only accept patent-protected ideas to prevent any confusion in the future.
Suppose the company you are approaching with your idea does not give any details about their specific protection measures. In that case, patenting your idea to protect yourself and reduce the risk of having your idea stolen is always best.
To start the process, speak to patent lawyers and see which one seems the best fit.
The Patent Application Process and Cost
That said, patent protection can be expensive, which could be off-putting to many inventors. To have a patent attorney process your patent application, you might be looking at tens of thousands of dollars. The cost isn’t doable for many people, but there are other options. For example, it can be much cheaper to process the patent yourself.
To do this, you’ll need to research to ensure that this is an original idea and has not already been created. Then you will need to prepare your application, send it off to a patent provider, and have them complete all of the necessary searches and examinations before finding out whether your application is successful. Of course, you will still need to pay to have your idea patented, but it’s likely to be significantly cheaper to do it this way than with a lawyer or solicitor.
Alternatively, if you don’t wish to have your idea patent-protected, you could ask that the company you hope to work with sign a non-disclosure agreement. This agreement essentially ties them into a contract that restricts them from sharing or using your idea without your consent.
Not all companies will be willing to do this, but it is worth asking if you feel your rights are not adequately protected.
Other Factors to Consider
Not All Ideas Are Successful – And You’re Going to Need a Lot of Them!
Of all the ideas in the world, an incredibly tiny proportion end up being developed into real products, and an even smaller proportion will prove successful and sell to consumers. This shouldn’t put you off, but it should encourage you to maintain a realistic outlook regarding your ideas and their potential for success.
Not all of your ideas are likely to be successful, and it might take fifty failed attempts or pitches before you finally stumble across the one that works out. So don’t be discouraged if it takes a little longer than you had hoped to have your first real breakthrough and gain interest from potential investors and developers.
Research is Vital
With such an over-saturated consumer market, you must conduct adequate market research before approaching companies with your creative ideas. This means there will be less time wasted for both you and them on ideas that have potentially already been developed and used.
It’s also essential to research the company you’re looking to work with on the intensive development of your idea and business plan. Ensure that they’re reputable and can meet your needs or goals while developing the product.
Finally, Always Read the Fine Print!
Arguably the most crucial point for any inventor: always read the fine print!
Before agreeing to anything or signing a contract with companies that pay for ideas, make sure you know exactly what you’re agreeing to and ensure that you are happy and comfortable with every aspect of the contract with the company responsible for developing your idea.
Your ideas are precious, and producers know this, so they might try to take advantage and include clauses that diminish your rights to compensation or ownership. The only way to prevent this is by reading the small print and flagging any issues.
Once you have considered each of these points, you should be well-prepared to approach companies or developers with your innovative ideas while maintaining a realistic outlook and adequately protecting yourself and your ideas.
Frequently Asked Questions
The consumer market is highly competitive, and companies are constantly looking for ways to outsmart their competitors and produce products that will draw in new audiences.
They recognize that often the best ideas can come from outside their internal teams, so they often encourage independent inventors to share their ideas with them. The competitive philosophy is that if you don’t take it to them, you might take your innovation elsewhere and make a competing company huge profits.
Your ideas are valuable and could prove to be highly profitable, so it makes sense that many companies are more than willing to receive new ideas from external sources and either buy them or create a licensing deal. The submission process may vary from company to company, but they all have an interest in good ideas.
In most cases, royalties are the most lucrative aspect of idea selling and can earn inventors a substantial amount of money with a licensing agreement.
The amount you will make on royalties depends on a few things: the company that buys your idea, how many units you sell, and the percentage you receive as part of your contract. For example, if you have 2% royalties on your invention and the product costs $20, you will earn $0.40 for every unit sold.
Many inventors choose to sell their ideas to companies for royalties rather than a one-off payment, especially if the concept is especially promising, as royalties can often end up allowing them to earn much more over a longer period (passive income). As a result, many companies offer this as an option to inventors.
It’s a common misconception that you need to have money to make money. Some of the most popular products have been developed with no initial investment from the inventor. More often than not, all you need is a great idea for consideration and a solid pitch.
None of the companies listed above will ask for any money upfront from the inventor, meaning anyone with a great idea can submit their invention for consideration and possibly have it developed with no cost incurred to them.
This is where things can become a little more complicated. Unfortunately, some companies might accept ideas for great new products, design them, and then pass them off as their own and provide no compensation or payment to the original creator. For this reason, you must protect your intellectual property fully before handing over your ideas to developers or investors.
You have a few options here, each of which we will go into more detail about below. Essentially, you can ask that the company signs a Non-Disclosure Agreement (but this isn’t always an option). Alternatively, you can have your idea patent-protected. In the following section, you can learn more about these options for protecting your intellectual properties.
If you have an excellent idea for a new product, you can make extra cash by selling your idea or agreeing to a licensing deal. Finding a buyer can be challenging, but we’ve provided an extensive list of companies that pay for ideas to get you started. Good luck!