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Harrington hopes to find next big invention

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  • | 9:58 p.m. March 18, 2010
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Since appearing on ABC's “Shark Tank,” St. Petersburg's Kevin Harrington says he's been inundated with “hundreds of thousands” of pitches for new products. With his latest project, he hopes to be able to respond to a few.

Late last month, Harrington announced the opening of the Inventor's Business Center (IBC), a “one-stop shop” for inventors in any stage of product development. Since his previous experience in product sales focused largely on infomercials, which require a finished product, the change could significantly expand the scope of his work.

Harrington estimates that he'll be able to meet with about 1,000 inventors over the course of a year. From his past work with product concepts, he figures roughly 5% of ideas make it to development; by those numbers, expect Harrington to take 100 products to market in the next year.

Product development can be a cash-intensive process, he admits. As an example, Harrington says the Snuggie, America's favorite bathrobe-turned-blanket, required $10 million in cash for its rollout. (Don't worry — they made their money back, selling roughly 24 million units to date.)

But given the connections he's developed over more than two decades of selling products, Harrington says he's prepared for anything. In his world, he says, “There's never a shortage of money.” A fortunate circumstance, to be sure.


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