Frequently Asked Questions
We're a contract manufacturer with no proprietary products, but wish to take advantage of our excess capacity with products of our own. Can you help?
We can help you on your way by coaching you through our product development process. We can also tap the expertise of a statewide, university-based network of consultants and partners. Contact your local SBDC for more information.
We're a design firm or manufacturer with a proprietary product. How can you help us?
With our rapid prototyping capabilities, engineering software, research laboratories, machine shop, and access to university faculty experts, we are well positioned to help you explore new technologies, solve processing problems, and improve your manufacturing operations.
I have an idea for a new product, what do I do first?
Submit a "request for consulting" to your local SBDC. You will start with educational program such as the "First Step" Workshop, or you may meet one-on-one with a business advisor for an overall assessment of your business development needs. They have access to a variety of specialty resources to assist you in your effort to bring your product idea to market, including Engineering Development Services.
Will you build a prototype for me and what will it cost?
If we do build a prototype, you pay for materials, but our specialty technical assistance, like any other SBDC consulting services, is provided free of charge to clients. Keep in mind, however, that building a prototype is never the first place to start product development.
If building a prototype is not the first place to start, then what is?
Start with this overview of the product development process. While shortcuts may at times be prudent and the system is intended to be flexible, always be sure to make informed decisions. One shortcut that should never be made is to focus only on the invention, while neglecting "who will buy it" and "how will they get it".