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Postby Ben Tex » Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:48 am

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Location: San Antonio, TX
Anything to draw attention, I guess. I just got back home (San Antonio) from the Houston auditions today. I was in the back-of-the-line group that went through this morning. It was a "NO" for me, but I'm not disappointed. I even feel more energized to pursue this on my own.

Postby R Douglas » Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:21 pm

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Hi Ben,

Can you give us any info to help us advance?

I am in Tampa this saturday. I caught a break for I live in Tampa.

I have a great invention and a great presentation planned but any advice you can give I am sure would help.

Thanks in advance

Postby Ben Tex » Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:33 pm

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I'll try. It was kind of a blurr. I didn't make it through the first filter, and I don't know why. they just told me NO (nicely) and thanked me. I didn't ask why, but I have an idea. I was in a hurry to get back home, so I just said thanks and left. One thing I kept hearing is that some people were being told NO because their inventions are too far along in the development process...nothing to develop or improve upon. Another thing, you're told to develop a two-minute presentation, but the first sept is more of an interview, so for that step I would recommend you develop a description of your invention that is one sentene, two tops. A prototype is nice, but make sure it's easily explainable. I had a piece of mine pop off, and I immediately had to go into explaining that the design flaw had been improved but a NEW prototype had not ben put together. I'm sure that didn't help me. They asked me if I had talked to a manufacturer about producing it, and I said Yes, but that we weren't very far along in our discussions. I don't think that hurt me. So if I had to guess, I'd say the piece popping off hurt me. My invention is useful and innovative, but not dazzling. I'm a nice guy and not bad looking, but by no means electric. Anyway, for what it's worth. Best of luck to you.

Postby sspds » Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:27 pm

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Well, I was posting under "The Next AI" untill I quickly was eliminated in the first round (if you want to call it a round). I too was very shocked by the quickness of the "NO". All the anticipation, hard work getting ready, waiting in line all day, and then this:

They walk you in a small curtained off area (about 10'x10') one judge/person and one camera man, you look into the camera and state your name and the invention name, turn to the judge and she gives you a few seconds to briefly describe your invention and then asks what you do for a living and before you know it, you have been told "NO" and hear "NEXT". I am still trying to figure it all out. The judge ohhed and awhed over my invention idea and even commented that she wanted one and in the next breath told me that it was good but it was "Not what the show is looking for". The waiting room where they called you in to see the judge was filled with people and I waited in there for about an hour. They had four different rooom/spaces with these judges and they were seeing a combined 8 people every two or three minutes and all during the time I sat there watching, I only saw just a few people that made it past them. It was crazy! It also seemed that they were only picking the weird or wacky things that could easily be made fun of to go to the next round. Good for TV I heard.

Anyways, if you are going to Tampa, be prepared for a let down and a "NO" unless you have something really weird or stupid that can make people laugh. It was very obvious that was what they were looking for. The camera crews were surrounding anything and anyone that was being made fun of.

I'm glad I went and I had a good time talking to the inventors around me in line, but I would never do this again.

Postby R Douglas » Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:42 pm

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Thank you for the information.

I knew it would be very tough getting through the first 2 rounds.

I have spent a lot of time getting ready for this.

At least i know what to expect.

Thanks again for all your advice

Postby Average Inventor » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:18 pm

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Yeah it's tough. It's best to keep your expectation low and if you make it past the first round you can feel pretty good and if you pass the second (you must be good for TV) and I think once you get to the judges they actually look at your invention and that's where you can get the real honest opinion as to what they feel your invention has to offer.

Houston Auditions, Feedback not Failure!

Postby grouptri » Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:44 am

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Hello all,

Well I had to wait a few days to give you an untainted viewpoint of my AI experience. I arrived at the site at 4:40 and i was the second wave of inventors to arrive at the front gate, they had already made the previous inventors move because the lines were overflowing into the streets. So I was one of the first cars parked at the gate. Once they let us in there was a mad rush to our parking spots in parking lot A and B, it was like a start your engines moment at NASCAR when the lot attendant approached the gate.

I maneuvered my way to a parking spot and hurried into the line and had about 50 people in front t of me. One of the Ai staff members told us to put our applications in this order: Top sheet, participant app, Invention submission forms and release forms. If there was some one with you had to have them sign another release form and put it on the bottom of your app.

I went through security, and then they asked me if i needed audio visual support, I said yes so they had me wait in a different line. I cleared check in and then proceeded to my holding area A. The areas were set up A-B-C-D etc.

While i was waiting i saw some of the inventors that made it through to the next round, they had them come out and hold up their invention beside their number. It seemed that every invention was small and simple, and it was something that would only take about $5-$10 to produce in mass quantities.

I got called in and as previously stated by previous auditioners there was a young mid twenties judge/producer, a camera with operator and a lady behind a computer. He asked me a lot about my invention, contrary to previous reports, along with what inspired me and if i got the $50, 000 what would i do with it. I was forewarned that i needed to be a personality so I came in with that mindset, and having done standup i had them in stitches laughing. I must inject here that I gave them my top sheet before they did anything and they do not even see the rest of your application. I noticed that all the questions he asked earlier were prior to getting a signal from the computer person, that they didn't know I caught. After that signal, everything went down hill from there. He said its not you we like you but we are going to have to pass on your invention. It seems that they submit you information into a systems that gives the probability of your product being a mass production hit.

So I left and said thank you and they were both professional and kind wanting to say yes but I didn't meet the benchmarking criteria that they had to go by, which was produced by the data they entered into the computer. Of course they didn't tell me this but I figured it out after I went through a second time. I filled out two applications in case they lost one, so feeling like i had another chance I came back a few hours later and changed my top sheet and adding my other idea to my app.

After submitting my app, I was told that they would be finishing up the auditions the next morning at 8:30 am. I arrived to a much tamer environment and things moved briskly. I got in and was asked do i need audio support? This Time I said no because i didn't want the same judges and I was right, the judges were assigned the same letters, the previous day i had A, this day I had room B. I walked in and it was the same set up, with different faces. I pitched my first idea again which is my patented golf ball marker www.trimarkgolf.com and then I gave them my other idea that I had thrown together over night. It was the same deal she listened intently until she looked over to the person on the computer and they gave a signal, after that I could tell she wanted me to say what i had to say so she could hand me that little piece of paper, stating that airline tag line “I was free to move about the country", with my invention. The second invention was what I was pitching when I got the blank stare, the second invention was something simple that I don't think they paid much attention to since they figured I was pitching my first invention because I thought it was the best. The judge did say I have a solid invention and that it would appeal to a high end golf, which i already knew but like everybody else I wanted the exposure.

The judges that said no to me the previous say were next to me and they said yes to a gentle man that was from a country in Africa. This dispelled my belief that they didn't choose me the prior day because I am a clean cut professional and I don't fit the rags to riches profile they are looking for. Although this may be true this gentleman had a suit on and a heavy accent, I guess Janus from last year has influenced them to continue the trend of immigrants from other countries as a good story line.

I have to say that I am thankful to the show for giving me a reason to push myself and get to point where I realized I don't need them to make my product a success. All of the information that i have learned in putting together a top notch business plan with detailed financials has given me the knowledge to launch my product to the world. So it wasn't failure only feedback , and I hop you take the same attitude if you decide to audition.
We

Postby R Douglas » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:31 am

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Grouptri,

That was great information.

You are very perceptive to pick up what was going on with the computer girl. That makes alot of sense on what AI is doing.

I read so many different post on this and I did not know what was going on. One person say be prepaired for a no the next person says the first 2 rounds are easy.

This will help me with my planning

Thanks again for your help

Postby DaddyMathis » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:30 am

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Allright, I admit it...you guys were right- I was wrong. I SEVERELY overestimated the importance of having a good invention for my chances of getting on this show. I wasn't even nervous about the first "interview" because I was sure I'd make it through that part. Ten months of getting ready and practicing my demo and my pitch...and I didn't even get to show them. I had enough time to give a brief description of my invention and a quick story about what inspired it, then I also got the "that's neat" response followed by a quick "it's just not what we're looking for". There was no setup time (I needed about 15 minutes) to demonstrate.

I guess I'll be doing it the hard way now. I thought about renting a booth at INPEX in June...any thoughts?

Postby Ben Tex » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:59 am

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Location: San Antonio, TX
I'm looking into Inpex as well, and would also be interested in hearing anyone's take on that. I hear good things thus far, but especially given their association with Invent Help (about which I hear nothing good on this site) I'm a little skeptical. Please, anyone with any inside knowledge or experience?
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