Touting a direct pipeline to Amazon’s Launchpad program and sporting $50 million in commitments to help finance the businesses of young inventors, Edison Nation is preparing to embark on a nationwide tour to find the country’s next great tech invention.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based company, whose business model is akin to the faltering Quirky, took in $50 million from a group of undisclosed backers to finance businesses that show up to its Amazon Inventions Tour, beginning in Atlanta on September 25.
Edison Nation, with backing for the tour from Philips and Anheuser-Busch, is taking 1,000 applicants who are willing to hawk their wares in front of the company’s panel of experts to see if they’re worth some Edison money to further develop the product or take the idea to market.
If inventors have a product — and a supply chain in place — then they can skip Edison and go straight to the source at Amazon, the company said.
According to Edison Nation founder and chief executive Louis Foreman, financing for inventors’ ideas and companies will come in one of two ways. One is commercial factoring whereby the company will receive a loan to manufacture their product and repay Edison Nation with the money coming in from sales.
The other option is for Edison Nation to take an equity stake in a company.
At the event in Atlanta, the company said it will look for consumer product innovations like consumer goods and electronics, consumer health technologies, wearables, and products that cater to the burgeoning market of the so-called Internet of Things.
There’s a $25 registration fee to pitch at the event.