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Product Startup

Product Startup

Author: Kevin Mako of Mako Design + Invent

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The product development industry's #1 podcast. From invention idea to getting onto store shelves, and everything in between. Hear how inventors, product startups, & small manufacturers created their inventions and launched their physical product businesses. Learn from the industry's top industrial designers, mechanical engineers, PCB designers, consumer product managers, manufacturers, patent attorneys, hardware investors, and more. Learn about industrial design / product design, prototyping, 3d printing, additive manufacturing, product manufacturing, marketing, selling, patenting, logistics, and product business scaling. Now hosted by Kevin Mako, one of the keynote leaders of the startup product development industry in North America, founder of Mako Design + Invent, and Masters of Engineering lecturer.

65 Episodes
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Jefferey is the Founder and President of The Open People Network, an organization that invests in early stage companies, including many hardware startups. OPN simultaneously runs pitch nights, entrepreneurship communities, and expert panels for startup funding education. Jeffery also has been an Angel Investor for many years. Today he is going to share some valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers can fund the growth of their product business - From invention development all the way to raising millions of dollars of growth capital, and all the funding stages in between. Today you will hear us talk about: Pre-Seed and Seed Financing for hardware startups Best practices for considering outside or professional funding Professional Angel Funding for Consumer Product Startups Venture Funding, Series A, Series B, and Series C Funding Episode Links The Product Startup Podcast Links: Website: https://www.ProductStartup.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ProductStartup/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ProductStartup/ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProductStartup/ Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProductStartup/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ProductStartup/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductStartup YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent   Jeffery Potvin / Open People Network Links: Company Website: https://opn.ninja/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jefferypotvin/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Opeoplenetwork/   Mako Design Links: Website: https://www.makodesign.com/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MakoInvent/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MakoDesign/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakoInvent/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MakoInvent/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakoInvent/   Kevin Mako’s Links: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Entrepreneurs/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KevMako/ Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Kevin-Mako Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevMakoPage/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevMako/   Thanks for tuning in! See you next time.
Mike ran a design firm in Hong Kong back in the 90s, then was A Senior Design Lead at Sunbeam, then a manager at Hewlett Packard, and then spent 10 years with Dell running their entire business desktops design division.  He has made over 50 trips to China for manufacturing sourcing, and has consulted dozens of hardware startups on overseas production.  He is also a mentor at Techstars and Capital Factory.  Today, Mike is going to share some valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers can best plan for and best execute on their first overseas manufacturing run. Today you will hear us talk about: Great manufacturing starts with great design. Don’t try and do it all as a hardware startup. Have a boots-on-the-ground relationship with your factory overseas. You may be able to work with good factories when you have strong connections. What to think about in regards to financing your product development and manufacturing. Episode Links The Product Startup Podcast Links: Website: https://www.ProductStartup.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ProductStartup/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ProductStartup/ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProductStartup/ Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProductStartup/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ProductStartup/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductStartup YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent   Mike Morton Links: Company Website: https://www.mortoncg.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-morton-design/   Mako Design Links: Website: https://www.makodesign.com/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MakoInvent/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MakoDesign/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakoInvent/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MakoInvent/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakoInvent/   Kevin Mako’s Links: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Entrepreneurs/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KevMako/ Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Kevin-Mako Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevMakoPage/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevMako/   Thanks for tuning in! See you next time.
Michael spent 22 years with Apple from 1988 to 2010. He is the author of Live from Cupertino, a book about how Apple created their winning messaging. Michael also was the Managing Director of LittleBits, a great hardware startup success story. He is now the Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Indian River State College. Today Michael is going to share some valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers can learn from the best practices of Apple - Lessons you can apply to your product business, from one of the biggest product companies of all time. Today you will hear us talk about: How Apple used strong product focus, even to sell to literally everyone. How to create messaging around your product like Apple did What the future for the startup hardware industry looks like over the next 20 years. Episode Links The Product Startup Podcast Links: Website: https://www.ProductStartup.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ProductStartup/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ProductStartup/ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProductStartup/ Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProductStartup/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ProductStartup/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductStartup YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent   Michael Hagelo Links: Book: https://www.amazon.com/Live-Cupertino-Performance-Worlds-Machine/dp/1642931705 LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelhageloh/ Website: https://hageloh.com/   Mako Design Links: Website: https://www.makodesign.com/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MakoInvent/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MakoDesign/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakoInvent/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MakoInvent/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakoInvent/   Kevin Mako’s Links: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Entrepreneurs/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KevMako/ Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Kevin-Mako Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevMakoPage/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevMako/   Thanks for tuning in! See you next time.
Eric is the President of The Five Echelon Group, a full-stack marketing agency.  He is also the host of the Virtual CMO Podcast which educates businesses on how to maximize their marketing and messaging efforts.  With 30 years as a marketing executive, Eric today is going to tell us how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers should market their new product, and how to cut out all potential resistance points along your potential customer’s buying process. You’ll hear Kevin and Eric talk about: How to market your new product in the modern world. How to perfect your product's marketing message. Best practices for smoothing out the buying process for product purchasers. And more. Episode Links The Product Startup Podcast Links: Website: https://www.ProductStartup.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ProductStartup/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ProductStartup/ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProductStartup/ Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProductStartup/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ProductStartup/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductStartup YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent   Eric Dickmann / Virtual CMO Podcast / Five Echelon Links: Company: https://fiveechelon.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/edickmann/ Podcast: https://fiveechelon.com/the-virtual-cmo-podcast/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/FiveEchelon Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/virtualcmopodcast/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi1Sd6Wf5JEtLJN0kaEVA1Q Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FiveEchelon/   Mako Design Links: Website: https://www.makodesign.com/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MakoInvent/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MakoDesign/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakoInvent/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MakoInvent/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakoInvent/   Kevin Mako’s Links: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Entrepreneurs/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KevMako/ Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Kevin-Mako Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevMakoPage/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevMako/   Thanks for tuning in! See you next time.
Alison is the inventor and founder of Clasp Magic, a consumer product to help users with putting on bracelets one-handed. Alison came up with the invention idea, got it developed, and then hit the ground running by using 5 different product sales channels and strategies to really make sure her product succeeded.  We explore what those channels were, and how to win in them.  Clasp Magic is now sold all over the world.  Today’s episode is about how to succeed in launching your new product, from the perspective of a home inventor, loving wife, and mother of 4. You’ll hear Kevin and Alison talk about: Being your brand - Take your product everywhere. The 5 sales channels Alison used to ensure her product invention launch was a big success. Best practices for successfully executing in each of those 5 sales channels. Crowdfunding through platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Episode Links The Product Startup Podcast Links: Website: https://www.ProductStartup.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ProductStartup/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ProductStartup/ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProductStartup/ Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProductStartup/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ProductStartup/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductStartup YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent   Alison Brett / Clasp Magic Links: Company: https://www.claspmagic.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/claspmagic Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/clasp_magic/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi1Sd6Wf5JEtLJN0kaEVA1Q LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alison-brett-5699bb5b/   Mako Design Links: Website: https://www.makodesign.com/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MakoInvent/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MakoDesign/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakoInvent/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MakoInvent/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakoInvent/   Kevin Mako’s Links: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Entrepreneurs/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KevMako/ Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Kevin-Mako Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevMakoPage/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevMako/   Thanks for tuning in! See you next time.
Tom shares valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers can licence their inventions and products to get into the market - How licencing is actually done properly and professionally to get into the distributors, retailers, or big product brands with your product. You’ll hear Kevin and Tom talk about: How far do you need to develop your product in order to start talking to potential licencing partners and brands? Protecting your intellectual property, and when to do it in the licencing cycle. Which partners, manufacturers, and brands to first reach out to with a new product. The best product tradeshows to showcase your product. Tom is the Founder and Executive Producer of the Make48 TV Show, a show where contestants have 48 hours to come up with an invention idea and build a prototype to showcase it to the judges. The show is on PBS, Amazon Prime, and many other networks around the world. Tom also is the President of Handy Camel, a company that distributes client products all over the world. Simply put, he is one of the big names in the North American product startup space. Episode Links The Product Startup Podcast Links: Website: https://www.ProductStartup.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ProductStartup/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ProductStartup/ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProductStartup/ Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProductStartup/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ProductStartup/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductStartup YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent   Tom Gray’s Links: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tom-gray-a0948a77 Company: https://make48.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/gomake48 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gomake48/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/Make48   Mako Design Links: Website: https://www.makodesign.com/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MakoInvent/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MakoDesign/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakoInvent/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MakoInvent/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakoInvent/   Kevin Mako’s Links: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Entrepreneurs/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KevMako/ Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Kevin-Mako Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevMakoPage/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevMako/   Thanks for tuning in! See you next time.
Today Sajag Agarwal talks about how he went from $0 to $2 Million in eCommerce sales for his products, then back down to $0, all because of failed quality control in manufacturing. Now, Sajag runs a quality control company that ensures overseas production runs smoothly from raw materials all the way through to final product loaded onto a container. Sajag joins Kevin Mako to share valuable insights about how inventors, product startups, small manufacturers, and product developers can ensure their products are manufactured overseas without defects. You’ll hear them talk about: The different stages in a production run where quality control is required. How costly failed product quality can be. Tips for ensuring your quality control personnel will do a good job. How to ensure quality control matches your interests as the buyer. Episode Links The Product Startup Podcast Links: Website: https://www.ProductStartup.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ProductStartup/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ProductStartup/ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProductStartup/ Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProductStartup/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ProductStartup/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductStartup YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent Mako Design Links: Website: https://www.makodesign.com/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MakoInvent/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MakoDesign/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakoInvent/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MakoInvent/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakoInvent/ Kevin Mako Links: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Entrepreneurs/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KevMako/ Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Kevin-Mako Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevMakoPage/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevMako/ Sajag Agarwal Links: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sajagagarwal/ Company: https://movley.com/ Thanks for tuning in! See you next time.
Today’s guest on the Product Startup Podcast is Mark Shanahan, a top expert in consumer product distribution and retailers. Previously, Mark had a successful 25 year career at Staples, where he started as a junior product buyer, moved up to running entire product categories, eventually becoming a Vice President. Mark joins Kevin Mako to share valuable insights about how inventors, product startups, and manufacturers can get in the door with buyers at major retail stores, and how they can sell their product once they’ve crossed that threshold. You’ll hear them talk about: What entrepreneurs can do with their physical products to get the best chance of success with major retailers. Mark shares tips and tricks from an insider’s view as a long-time Staples buyer. Questions that buyers often ask entrepreneurs. They will want to know your target market, what your value proposition is, and why you’re legitimate.  The components of a well-done pitch. Always remember to be concise, clear, and transparent. The importance of being honest with a potential retailer. The buyer needs to know that you are reliable and can be trusted. Things to consider when meeting buyers: maintain eye contact, don’t get too personal, take notes, and be as brief as possible.   Resources Mark Shanahan on LinkedIn | Twitter Kevin Mako on LinkedIn | Twitter MakoDesign.com
Kevin sits down with Jonathan Schloo, the Founder and Inventor of the Car Generator. An ingenious device, Schloo created the first ever car generator when in need of hydro while camping with his family. Soon after, he recognized that there was an opportunity to build a successful business by helping people power their homes during stormy nights with the cars parked right in their driveway. Throughout the episode, the two discuss how Schloo took his initial invention to a product selling on Amazon and in big box retailers, and all the lessons he learned along the way. First time product founders - this one’s for you.
In this episode, we’re changing things up a bit. Phillip introduces you to your new host and sponsor of the show, Kevin Mako, Founder and President of Mako Design + Invent. The two discuss Kevin’s journey into the startup world and his vision for the future of the Product Startup podcast. They also mention the biggest mistakes that early stage product founders can make when building their businesses, how to spot opportunities, and the need for user feedback.
This episode is based on the following article: 6 Methods To Generate New Product Ideas and And Kick-Start Your Creativity Many people assume that they aren’t good at coming up with new or creative ideas. They say,
We also get into telling a story with your product to increase engagement with consumers.
Today we will focus on manufacturing and quality assurance - answering some of the most popular questions that we get asked. Also, how to know when to call it quits, and how much money or time to invest...
Competing with companies much larger than her small business and why success isn't straight line.
Testing their product with their target market and finding the right suppliers and co-packers for their product.
We talk about going from prototype to manufacturing and validating the market and also cover Tim's tips for launching on Kickstarter.
The application process for startup companies to get funded and what investors look for in companies.
What direct response television (DRTV) marketers look for in consumer inventions and how an at-home inventor can get a product to market without breaking the bank.
We talk about the top reasons why owners typically want to sell their business. Also - accounting issues that business owners may be blindsided by during a sale: reoccuring expenses and perishable inventory calculations
We get into solving that unmet need, validating their idea and creating the initial prototype. We talk about creating a refined prototype, sourcing manufacturers in the US and abroad and placing their first order.
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