Winning a contest can catapult your invention into the mainstream.
The entrepreneur: Todd Basche, 50-year-old winner of Staples' 2004 Invention Quest contest
Product description: The WordLock is a combination lock that uses letters instead of numbers. Instead of the numbers 2468, for example, the lock could spell "lawn." The benefit to users is that words are much easier to remember. The lock can be used in many applications--as a padlock, a lock on a briefcase or laptop, or even a door lock.
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