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Testing Your Wings

Will your idea fly? Our expert tests the experts.

This story appears in the June 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Family and friends have probably always been there to lend you moral support and encouragement. But when you have an idea for a product you want to put on the market, their kind words can sometimes lead you astray. What you really need to know is whether your product will sell.

There are two independent nonprofit organizations that can help evaluate the marketability of your idea: The Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (WISC) in Whitewater, Wisconsin, and the Washington Innovation Assessment Center (WIAC) in Pullman, Washington. I heard their evaluations were sound, so I decided to test their appraisals myself. I sent both organizations a product I invented and asked them to assess its marketability. The results were enlightening.

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