Linking inventors to industry

Buddies toothbrush

Case Study: Buddies toothbrush
Client: Sian Ellingworth
Product Twitter name:
Buddies toothbrush is a children’s re-chargeable electric toothbrush that dispenses exactly the right amount of paste directly to the bristles of the brush

The Project 
Sian had her “light bulb” moment when surfing the net trying to find a flavour of toothpaste that would appeal to her eldest son. Convinced, she could not be the only mother to struggle to get their child to brush their teeth properly, she decided to take action. Her product needed to solve three problems:

Established interest from a high street retailer (Boots). The buyer she’ d developed a relationship with changed just before they planned to launch. However, it later turned out to be a positive thing as the product wouldn’t have been ready for that original launch date. They have continued to support the concept & she still hopes to launch with them
Secured further funding (bank loan)
Sought expert development advice
Visited China to establish direct relationship
Ensured appropriate accreditation in place
Sian’s tips to anyone else about to embark on developing their idea are:
“Ensure you have a really robust business plan & be prepared for it to change as things progress. Exploit all the contacts you have who may be able to offer free or cheap expertise. It’s all about how you do it – most people are really keen to help if they can.
Funding is critical. Explore all the different options open to you, especially crowd funding. I have continued to work part time to fund my living expenses to avoid being a drain on my business funds
Before you start, really make sure you have the passion and belief in your product to see yourself through the difficult times. “ Sian Ellingworth

The Process
After finding Innovate and conducting a worldwide patent search, Sian  and the Innovate team were able to create, design and CAD models her idea. This resulted in photo-realistic images that showed what the final product would look like and how it would work. An international  patent was filed very early in the process.After finishing the process with Innovate Product Design, Sian started work developing the product with a manufacturer in China, employing someone who speaks Chinese, with global NPD (New Product Development) experience to help lead the project.Sian decided to self-manufacture and had to take several steps to get her product off the production line:

What Next
There are plans to launch the product in China and other countries. Sian has another toothpaste and Buddies character in development, which she is really excited about &  also developing other products to extend the Buddies range.

Testimonials“It was a huge relief to meet a company that was able to translate my ideas into reality, in a practical and cost-effective way. The process felt quite low risk, I gained some sound business advice and it was great to have our initial meeting surrounded by examples of their previous clients successes” Sian Ellingworth

For more information on the self manufacturing process click here

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The material in this website is commercially focused and generalized information and opinion about successfully working within the existing legal framework of Intellectual Property, patents and patent law; and should in no way be viewed or construed as legal advice. Advisors at Innovate are not and will not be lawyers unless this is specifically stated.