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TIA: Tennessee Inventors Association in Knoxville Tenn and Oak Ridge TN
Oak Ridge and Knoxville, TN  

August 2008 Opportunities for Innovation in East Tennessee

Meeting Date: 
August 16, 2008

The Tennessee Inventors Association (TIA) presented a Seminar for Inventors on August 16, 2008. The Seminar, Opportunities for Innovation in East Tennessee, was held at the Tech2020 building in Oak Ridge, TN (see the map for directions).

The registration fee is $20 for the full day, and the fee includes a box lunch and beverage. TIA members pay a registration fee of $10 for the full day and lunch. Download the Brochure and send in your registration today!

The Seminar will offer workshops and presentations throughout the day. Many local inventors will have prototypes of their inventions on display. Local vendors who provide services of interest to inventors and entreprenours.

Information on the Schedule, Presentation Description, Speakers, Vendors, and Inventors is provided below.

Lunch will be provided for those who pre-register for the full day seminar. Walk-ins are welcome.


8:30-9:00 am Registration with coffee, danish
9:00-9:05 Welcome
9:05-10:10 One Successful Inventor, featuring our keynote speaker, Ralph Gonzales
10:10-10:30 Break, more coffee, mingle
10:30-11:40 Marketing Workshop, presented by Joe Martin
11:40-1:00 pm Lunch break, mingle, vendors, exhibits, etc.
Lunch is provided for those who pre-register for the full day seminar.
1:00-2:10 Business Planning Workshop, presented by Richard Jenkins of SCORE, which has a local Knoxville office and website.
2:10-2:30 Break, mingle, vendors, exhibits, etc
2:30-3:40 Patents for Inventors, Jake Horton of Pitts & Brittian, PC
3:40 Closing comments

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TIA Seminar Session Descriptions:

One Successful Inventor: A successful inventor and businessman, Ralph Gonzales, discussed his experiences in bringing his invention to market.

Marketing Workshop: Joe Martin focused the workshop on what an inventor can do to market an invention. Different forms of marketing were explored, including magazine promotions, trade shows, and the Internet.

Business Planning Workshop: Bruce Hayes' workshop focused on the steps that should be taken by an inventor in order to profit from the invention. Preparing a Business Plan was explored.

Patents for Inventors: Jake Horton, a local patent attorney, discussed patent protection. A patent protects the invention. A patent is a business asset. And, a patent is a marketing tool. This session explored the benefits and disadvantages of seeking a patent.

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TIA Seminar Faculty:

The speakers for the TIA Seminar are local East Tennessee people who have extensive experience. The speakers are listed below.

Ralph Gonzalez is a successful local inventor. Ralph founded Perceptics Corporation in 1982 and was its president until 1992. The company was acquired by Westinghouse Corporation in 1989. From 1994-1997 he was a Distinguished Professor and Head of Electrical Engineering at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at UTK, and is also a consultant and investor in high-technology enterprises.

Joe Martin is the current President of the TIA. Joe is the inventor of the TransJak, which has been featured nationwide in enthusiast publications and magazines. Joe is very familiar with marketing. He has recently started a new venture where he is part of team offering marketing assistance to entrepreneurs and established busineses.

Bruce Hayes represents the Tennessee Small Business Development Centers (TSBDC) in the Knoxville and Maryville area. Bruce is an engaging speaker who has addressed the TIA previously.

Jake Horton is a Knoxville patent attorney. He is a graduate of The University of Tennessee College of Law.

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TIA Seminar Vendors:

Along with the presentations listed above, various vendors and local organizations will have tables set up with information for inventors. The vendors include companies that offer services of benefit to inventors, such as prototying, manufacturing, and patenting. The organizations include both government sponsored and volunteer organizations that provide business information and assistance to inventors.

Avid Rapid Prototyping Services will have information about its 3D printing, 3D modeling, and drafting services company.

Knox Patents, a local patent law firm, will have patent information available, including a brochure from the United States Patent and Trademark Office on avoiding scams from invention submision companies.

Dale Newman, a local artist, will have a table set up.

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TIA Seminar Inventors:

Bonnie Baldwin will be showing some of her inventive ideas, including her lap tray. She will also be displaying Martin Skinner's Koil Kaddy.

Terry Carpenter will be showing his Bible Brain Bookcase study aid.

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