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

May 2011 Inventor resources

Meeting Date: 
May 21, 2011

The May meeting of the TIA featured a discussion on resources available for inventors. Those resources include on-line resources and local organizations that offer support and advice to inventors. There was also a round-table type discussion of issues facing the TIA, including member participation, collaboration with the Entrepreneurs of Knoxville, and future meeting topics.

Tom Kulaga presented information on resources available to inventors. If an inventor wishes to profit from his ideas, they must do more than invent. The inventor must do many things, such as

  • write a business plan,
  • perform a market analysis,
  • determine who the customer is,
  • figure out how to build the invention,
  • protect the idea/invention,
  • etc.

Tom handed out a list of Resources for Inventors. For each of the resources, he showed the group the website related to that source. Tom also pointed out highlights on the websites. The list of inventor resources included the following:

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) is a state organization offering free educational assistance to help business owners start, grow, and develop successful, thriving businesses.
Contact Larry Rossini or Bruce Hayes: 865-246-2663 in the Knoxville area, Chip Bailey: 423-578-6235 at the Holston Business Development Center in Kingsport.

The Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE) has a Knoxville office with volunteers available to assist small business owners in developing their business. The SCORE-Knox website has a page listing upcoming seminars and training sessions. It also has a page listing various business related resources, such as business plans and marketing plans. The national website has good resources for start-up companies.
Call 865-692-0716 between 8:30am and 1:30pm weekdays except Wednesday

The Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (TTDC) is a state organization tasked with fostering and developing technology-based companies. 

The Tennessee Inventors Association (TIA) website has a News Ticker feature on the home page that identifies upcoming events. The TIA also has an Inventor's Calendar that lists upcoming events. The TIA links page has links for the various pages discussed at the meeting and more.

Entrepreneurs of Knoxville (EoK) is an organization of local businesspersons and entrepreneurs that meets every Wednesday morning at various locations in Knoxville. The EoK has a community website and offers great networking opportunities for those wanting to build a business or looking for assistance.

The Knoxville Public Library, downtown branch, has several research librarians that are available for researching and looking up useful information. Such information includes manufacturers and distributors of various types of products, market data, industry trends, and other business reference information. If you need to find out about something, this is a good place to start.
Reference Department: 865-215-8700
Business Reference: 865-215-8722

Tom told those at the meeting that he had been contacted by someone at the Mississippi Small Business Development Center (MSBDC), which is Mississippi's group like the Tennessee Small Business Developement Center. Tom showed everyone the MSBDC video resource page. He also handed out CD copies of a MSBDC video for inventors: Idea to Market.

There are many other resources available on-line if one were to look. For example, the IPWatchdog is a blog by a patent attorney who often posts information helpful to inventors. For example, a recent post titled $25 Million Available for Inventors told about a new program that every inventor should be aware of. Louis For