Appliance maker Whirlpool announced its second annual Mothers of Invention Grant, a search for moms with brilliant ideas.
According to the company, the 2006 Whirlpool Brand Mother of Invention Grant helps moms realize their potential by providing necessary business resources including seed money and expert advice. One grand-prize winner will receive a package featuring a U.S. $20,000 grant, a new home office and a 2-day business boot camp to leverage Whirlpool expertise, including product development and marketing. An additional $24,000 in grants will be distributed to four runners-up.
The call for entries opens on Mother's Day, May 14, and ends July 30, 2006. Submissions will be judged based on weighted scores of the following: creating a solution to an unmet need; uniqueness in the current marketplace; offering a viable business solution; and the story behind the creation. Whirlpool brand based the grant's judging criteria on its own product/innovation guidelines.
"As a brand, we rely upon the insights of today's busy moms for ideas on how to help ease their very active lives," said Audrey Reed-Granger, director of consumer insight for the Whirlpool brand. "The Mother of Invention Grant was created to acknowledge the inventive ways American mothers create solutions to their own challenges every day. We recognize moms to be the most coveted consumers on the planet, and as such shouldn't they have an opportunity to bring a product or service to market?"
Serving as guest judges for the program are Baby Einstein creator Julie Aigner-Clark, who also judged last year's competition, and Tastefully Simple founder and CEO Jill Blashack. Whirlpool brand experts from product development, business strategy, innovation, technology, and marketing will also review entries.
In addition to the grant, the winner also will receive either a Whirlpool Duet(R) or Cabrio(TM) washer and dryer and a Whirlpool(R) Fabric Freshener. Runners-up will receive grant money and sponsor-selected laundry and/or dishwasher product.
The ideas submitted in this contest remain the sole property of the contestant. The judges and the sponsors do not claim ownership of any ideas submitted. Whirlpool will maintain a cloak of confidentiality around submissions, allowing winners time to seek patent protection. Appliance and appliance component submissions will not be accepted and will be disqualified.
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