One of These Nifty Inventions Could Soon Land on Staples' Shelves
What sort of out-of-the-box thinking does it take to get on the shelves of a big-box store? The 25 product makers chosen as finalists in the Crowd2Shelf Contest are about to find out.
Launched in August, the contest invited inventors to crowdfund their way onto Staples shelves and Staples.com. The contest was created through a partnership between the office-supply giant and crowdfunding site Fundable.
The 25 finalists announced today -- whose products span everything from remote-controlled LED lightbulbs to wireless earbuds -- will be judged based on a combination of the amount of money raised through crowdfunding, the number of votes they received on the contest platform and a recommendation from a panel of judges.
From this group of 25, three companies will be dubbed “The Crowdfunding Hero,” “The People’s Product,” and “The Judges’ Favorite.” Staples will give between one and three of these finalists the opportunity to pitch the Staples merchandising team.
Here’s a snapshot of the top five companies in the running right now. To see all 25 finalists, take a look here.
Headquarters: Wilmington, Del.
Product: Remote-controlled LED light bulbs for recessed corners of the home. Consumers can change the brightness and tone of the light from the remote.
Company: Get nHand
Headquarters: Tulsa, Ok.
Product: The patent-pending device attaches to the back of a tablet to make it comfortable to hold with one hand. The device also serves as a stand for the tablet when it is placed on a surface.
Headquarters: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Product: These quarter-sized bluetooth stickers affix to keys, remote, tablet, laptop or anything else you can easily lose. The free StickNFind app geolocates items with the sticker on them.
Headquarters: San Francisco
Product: The company’s earbuds are completely wire-free.
Company: You-Noticed Bulletin Boards
Headquarters: Syracuse, N.Y.
Product: A display board with clear, plastic sleeves for pieces of paper to slip behind. There are no pins, clips or fasteners required to display announcements with this board.
Related: 7 Secrets From the Man Who Turned a Kickstarter Flop Into the Most Successful Campaign Ever
Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.