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 â€œI 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.