RobotShop Accelerator FAQ

1. What is the accelerator?

The RobotShop Technology Accelerator Program 'R.T.A.' is intended to help inventors bring their creation(s) to market without going through the complicated and often costly stages of setting up a company, sourcing parts, marketing and building up inventory. The RTA is intended to tap into the creative minds of inventors and let their creations flow easily from prototype to production. The inventor licenses the product to RobotShop, and RobotShop both produces and distributes the product and provides the inventor with a royalty.

2. Who is it for?

The RTA is not for everyone. If you are new to robotics and just have a concept or idea for a product, and don’t yet have a working prototype, then you have quite a few steps to go before you even know if it will work. If you are simply using commercially available parts and did not create anything new, then your creation is not something that can be licensed. However, if you have created a functional prototype of a device or product which you cannot find anywhere else and are ready to bring it to market, then the RTA is right for you. Types of inventions can include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Simple / complex stationary / mobile robots
  • A new part or component used to bring together already commercially available products
  • Open source hardware and software
  • A simple or complex machine used to help manufacture robots or associated parts
  • New type of sensor, actuator or other general part used in robotics
  • A new product which increases the functionality of an existing product
  • A new domestic / professional robot

3. What is a 'license'?

A license is essentially an agreement between an inventor and a company which allows that company to develop / manufacture / market your invention for a period of time in exchange for a percentage of every sale (royalty). The person who came up with the invention is called the 'licensor' and the company providing the royalties is the 'licensee'.

4. What is a 'royalty'?

A royalty is a percentage of every sale paid to the licensor. The following steps in the supply chain must be taken into account when considering a royalty:

  • Inventor licenses the product to the manufacturer
  • Manufacturer produces the product
  • Manufacturer sells the product to wholesalers
  • Wholesalers sell the product to distributors / retailers
  • Distributors / retailers sell it to end users

The way the RTA is setup is quite different and ensures you deal with one company only. RobotShop assumes the role of the manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor and retailer and sells directly to customers. This far more simplified structure is very efficient and removes many 'middle men' to ensure that at the end of the day, you leave with more money in your pocket.

5. How does it work?

RobotShop is an established and well known distributor of domestic robots, professional robots, robot parts, and more. The key to a product’s success is distribution and visibility, which is why so many manufacturers have chosen to partner with RobotShop.

  • Contact RobotShop via the Support Center (accelerator / inventors) providing: description of what you created; pictures / video(s); website and any other relevant information. Clearly indicate if you have a patent or have protected your invention. Do not send any sensitive / proprietary information about the invention at this stage.
  • RobotShop engineers will review the information you provided and send you a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to sign if they would like to know more about the invention to better understand its commercial potential.
  • If the decision is taken to pursue the idea, then a licensing agreement will be drafted and signed by both parties. You would then provide RobotShop with all information and documentation about your invention.
  • RobotShop will work with you to refine and optimize the prototype and target the greatest potential market. RobotShop will take care of manufacturing and sourcing all parts as well as any additional prototypes. RobotShop will then add the product to our websites and take care marketing it, selling it, maintaining stock levels, etc.
  • You will receive a percentage of every sale.

6. What information should you provide in the initial e-mail?

The more information you can provide the better. Information can include:

  • Description of the product and what it does
  • Images / videos of the prototype(s)
  • Target market (children, teens, schools, hobbyists etc)
  • Patents / Intellectual Property obtained / pending
  • Projected retail price
  • Basic specifications (dimensions etc)
  • Any conflicts of interest with other parties (investors, teammates etc)
  • Any other information you deem relevant in order to help us take a decision

Once the project is approved for the next step, RobotShop sends a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). This will allow you to provide details about the project (components used, design files, IP etc).

7. Manufacture or License?

Now that you understand the steps in licensing, consider the alternative of bringing your invention to the market on your own:

  • Find sources for all parts for your product
  • Finance initial quantities to increase margins
  • Do market research to try to ensure demand and pricing
  • Fund and produce pre-production prototypes
  • Create a company and website
  • Either manufacture custom parts yourself or outsource them to another company
  • Take care of all packaging, assembly, quality control etc.
  • Negotiate with potential sales channels / distributors
  • Process orders and take sales calls
  • Handle all accounting / invoicing / salaries
  • Take care of all returns / exchanges
  • Reply to all customer questions and troubleshoot
  • Setup a location to stock, package and ship every sale

It becomes apparent that the process of bringing a product to the market on your own can be difficult and time consuming, involving many steps which most inventors do not want to deal with. The logical choice is therefore to license your products just like the vast majority of other inventors, but you need to be sure you choose the right partner. If you are in robotics, then RobotShop is the best partner out there. Try us.

8. Investors

If you are an investor and are interested in investing in the Accelerator program in general or one of its projects, please contact us via our online Support Center by selecting the 'Accelerator' category.

Submit your Project

As the inventor, you collect royalties on all sales and can focus on enjoying life and inventing new things. RobotShop is here for you and expedites what used to take years and thousands of dollars to make happen.

Submit your Project