The United Inventors Association (UIA) is a non-profit organization that provides resources to inventors and entrepreneurs. Focused on providing ethical and honest business practices across a range of industries, the UIA values innovation. As the annual New York Toy Fair approaches, the UIA is reaching out to toy designers who have a great concept for a plaything but are unsure about how to protect, market, and sell their product. The UIA has the ability to offer insights, tips, and valuable leads that help inventors find their way.

Matt Nuccio of the UIA Board of Directors recently discussed this organization and its mission via an exclusive interview.

Inventors, creations, and membership

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially get involved with the United Inventors Association (UIA) and have you ever invented anything?

Matt Nuccio (MN): Before working with the United Inventors Association, I was the co-chairman of the Toy Associations Associate Board representing all designers and inventors in the toy industry. My company, Design Edge, is a product development company that specializes in toys. We have invented and licensed hundreds of inventions, both our own and inventors and also ones we present to companies such as Mattel, Hasbro, Spin Master, Jakks Pacific, and Goliath to name only a few. I was introduced to the UIA at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair, and soon after, I asked to come aboard and help them within the toy industry.

MM: How many inventors are currently part of the organization and what sorts of items have they created?

MN: There are currently over 15,000 members nationwide. The United Inventors Association roster of inventors is very broad. Our members work on everything from jet proposition to toilet paper. We are here to help every inventor along their path.

MM: How many toy and game inventors do you have on your roster?

MN: It is difficult to say since many of our inventors are not necessarily industry specific, while they may have toy ideas, they may also be looking to create new products in other industries such as housewares and automotive. The United Inventors Association welcomes all types of inventors.

MM: What does the organization offer to members and how do they spread the word about cool new inventions?

MN: It offers guidance to inventors. The invention world is very difficult to navigate. There are many scammers out there. We advise inventors on everything from how to get a prototype built to what to expect with royalty rates in their specific industries. We offer education programs and connections to keep inventors aware of the process of inventing a product and working to get that invention to market.

MM: What is the process of becoming a member and what fees are involved?

MN: It is a non-profit 501C3. To join the United Inventors Association, visit our website. Membership is free. There are inventor groups holding meetings throughout the country, and the United Inventors Association is on-site at conferences and conventions nationwide with inventor spotlight or pavilions at such large trade shows as the National Hardware Show, The Performance-Driven Marketing Institute, PGA Merchandise Show, among others.

Toys, community, and goals

MM: Which inventions have gone on to be most successful and have any amazed you?

MN: It is difficult to say as inventors aren’t required to tell us what their invention are. With the United Inventors Association, we are there solely to help them through the process. At my company, Design Edge, for example, we are currently excited about our Think & Learn Roll, Roll & Count Math Bug™ with Fisher Price. It is currently available at Walmart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and Buy Buy Baby to name only a few retailers.

MM: Where will the UIA be during the big toy fair in New York?

MN: We have teamed up with the Toy Association to host the first ever Creative Factor Inventor Summit taking place on Friday, February 15th at the Javits Center in New York City.

In addition, members of the UIA Board of Directors will be conducting meetings with inventors and marketers during the show.

MM: How do you envision the organization evolving throughout the coming ten years?

MN: The United Inventors Association is already the country's largest independent inventor community. Our goal is to continue to grow and learn and to continue educating our members. In 10 years, we’ll likely be doing what we’ve always done, but we will find a way to take it to the next level.

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