Here are answers to commonly asked questions about TinkerTini:
What is TinkerTini?
TinkerTini is an Innovation Management Agency and responsible for our client global inventor outreaches & university programs. Our role is essentially the same as any established internal Inventor Relations department in the Toy Industry. We work closely with client decision makers and leadership teams to guide them though everything inventor/external innovation related, as well as, guide the review, management and contract administration of inventor concepts. In summary, we oversee and support our clients from submission to contract with exceptional efficiency, and results inventors have come to know and trust.
What is Tinkerly?
Tinkerly is TinkerTini's proprietary innovation management platform. It supports inventors, clients, and TinkerTini in the Inventor Relations role. It's how inventors review client wishlists, catalogues, and stay in the know with needs as they evolve. Tinkerly is also how inventors submit concepts for review with our clients and receive updates as concepts progress. Tinkerly is how TinkerTini prepares, hosts, and documents our regular client concept review meetings and also how clients access concept assets, provide updates, and communicate internally within their own teams to reach consensus and make decisions (that's a good thing)! Tinkerly is our Inventor, Client, and TinkerTini rally space, record keeping genius, and archival firewall between your concepts and clients when a concept is not under active evaluation (that's best practices for everyone). Stay tuned for the launch of Tinkerly 2.0 featuring a new UI and added functionality to even better support inventors and our clients!
How is TinkerTini compensated?
TinkerTini is compensated by our clients: Toy & Game Manufacturers and Entertainment Licensors/Studios. Our fees do not come from inventors. We are not an agent. Working with TinkerTini and submitting concepts to our clients through Tinkerly does not obligate inventors to TinkerTini in any way. It is common practice for inventors to simultaneously submit concepts in the Toy & Game Industry, Tinkerly just brings some much needed efficiency to this process that ultimately benefits our clients and inventors. We want inventors inventing, not managing redundant submission processes across various submission portals in the industry.
Am I eligible to join TinkerTini's inventing network?
If you can prototype/breadboard and can make sizzles of your concepts, yes! Please know you can’t become a registered inventor with us if you are an employee of another toy/game manufacturer. That is a conflict of interest for all of us.
Are video sizzles a submission requirement?
Yes, this is the expected format by most in the toy industry and by our client leadership teams. Companies license the execution of ideas, not just the idea itself. You must be prepared to provide proof of concept. Here’s a helpful TinkerToon about Sizzles (Episode 4). We appreciate that modeling and breadboarding can be costly and time consuming which is why inventors must complete their due diligence to ensure their concepts are unique before investing. It's not easy to invent and you have to ground yourself in market research. We also appreciate there are many services charging inventors for access or to generate sell- sheets or 3D renderings of concepts but the reality is: if a company has interest in a concept, the typical next step is to call in the model for evaluation, costing, and play testing. You'll need something in the 3D and quickly if there is expressed interest or everyone's time has been wasted. We've tried to accept other formats in the past but they only frustrate clients as the inventors are typically not capable of providing timely proof of concept that can progress the decision making process. We do occasionally accept sell-sheets and other formats from proven inventors and also from students as part of our university programs.
Can I onboard for multiple clients?
Yes, and we encourage you to do so! You may engage with and submit concepts to the client(s) of your choosing. Our job is to provide inventors with easy access and support throughout the process of working with our clients. Note that each client’s outreach and Tinkerly submission records are managed separately for legal reasons, so each concept submission will have a unique record for every concept submitted to each client.
What about my relationships with your clients? Are you taking this away from me?
Nope! If you have an established relationship with a client, please maintain that, but all concept submissions must route through Tinkerly for proper documentation, record keeping, follow-up, and management. This is also true for any other Inventor Relations Department in the industry. We must maintain order to what can quickly become chaos when it comes to global inventor outreach management, which then results in unresponsiveness (top inventor complaint) so please use submission etiquette for TinkerTini (and any company out there). Not sure? Ask. Please don't just submit concepts to executives over LinkedIn or email without asking, "how can I submit my concept"? TinkerTini is known for results and creating working relationships for inventors and our clients. That has come with diligent structure and process.
Welcome to Tinkerly
Once you sign our client ISAs, we'll create your Tinkerly account and will email your log-in credentials. Tinkerly is how you will review wishlists, learn about urgent needs, submit concepts and receive ongoing updates as we review and manage your concepts with clients. Tinkerly is our community legal database, rally space and keeps your concepts well-documented and behind our firewall if they are not being actively evaluated by our client PD teams.
Can I pitch concepts to your clients myself?
Sure! We focus 1:1 pitch time to industry events if clients choose to participate. This is to protect client time as we always want them focused on their business and creating great products, including getting inventor concepts to the finish line, not hosting one-off inventor meetings that may not be on target. Our process is about focusing our client's time on concepts with identified interest and immediate application to their business and brands. If you have a close, established, working relationship with a client, ask us to request 1:1 pitch time and we'll try to make it happen. If you pitch at an industry event, we'll give you an offline pitch event form to capture notes we can follow-up on for you and clients if we're not there to join your meeting. Please remember that you can always submit concepts to clients year round, anytime via Tinkerly. The concept review gears are turning year round with TinkerTini's clients.
When will more companies be on Tinkerly?
We love this question the most because we're also excited to keep growing and opening doors for inventors, but we can't take on any new clients in 2023 given our focus is on launching Tinkerly 2.0. We only take on what we can manage responsibly to best serve our current clients and inventors (and your concepts). This is something we're always mindful about. As fast as we'd like to grow and expand, as tempting as it is, we will not compromise the results and care we are well known for in the industry.