What exactly is Slingshot?

Slingshot-NW, Inc. (Slingshot) is a marketing company created to be the initial marketplace for new products from inventors and entrepreneurs that come through the NW Innovation Resource Center (NWIRC) program.  Slingshot was created to work in partnership with the NWIRC and to be the final piece of bringing ideas to life.  Inventors and entrepreneurs are not required to use Slingshot to sell their products.   It is simply another tool in the toolbox that can be used to start selling your product.

Can anyone sell their products on Slingshot?

If you are interesting in selling a product on Slingshot, you will need to contact the NWIRC first.  The NWIRC will take the time to understand your product and make sure your product is ready for market.  Once it is ready, they will work with you to get it onto the Slingshot platform.

Do I have to live in the Pacific Northwest to be a part of Slingshot and the NWIRC?

The NWIRC is regionally focused and currently only works with inventors and entrepreneurs from the five northwest counties of Washington state: Snohomish, Skagit, Island, San Juan and Whatcom.  Slingshot will only deal with products that come out of the NWIRC programs but Slingshot is focused on selling your products all over the world and not just the Northwest.

How will Slingshot sell my particular product?

Great question!  Because each product is different and unique, a specific strategy will be applied to each product.  That being said, most products will fall into one of three different paths: 

  • Direct Response Television (DRTV) –  Some products may fit the market approach provided by those companies who advertise and sell products with mass appeal through TV commercials.  DRTV is also know as "As Seen On TV." Slingshot has developed a relationship with the reputable companies with expertise to engage in this form of marketing. 
  • Sub-licensing – For products that are a good match for an established industry, Slingshot identifies the industry, researches the best companies, identifies the decision makers in those companies and builds a relationship with the objective of the company adding the product to their product line.  In many cases, this will mean that the company will manufacture the product and sell it through their own market or distribution channel.
  • E-commerce – Some products require proof of market demand before an industry partner will gain interest.  Slingshot will have an e-commerce capacity to develop such a market.  After the demand is proven, the product will likely move to a sub-licensing opportunity.

How do I, as the inventor or entrepreneur, make money from my product?

When your product is ready for market, you will sign a license agreement with Slingshot in which you will negotiate your royalty payments.  We will walk you through this entire process to make sure there are no surprises.

This sounds fantastic!  Who do I contact to get started with my product or idea?

We are excited to work with you!  Please contact Lara Merriam-Smith at lsmith@nwirc.com to get started today!