MFG Veterans

Mentoring and Opportunity- Where & How Does One Begin?

  • 1.  Mentoring and Opportunity- Where & How Does One Begin?

    Posted 07-07-2018 18:04
    Howdy from Texas!
    I'm seeking mentorship and opportunity.

    I am a US Army Veteran of 28.5 years - 53 months of that in combat/conflict environments.....I am not adverse to risk when I know the purpose of the mission and am properly equipped to accomplish it with contingencies for branches and sequels......'nough military lingo and jargon!

    I recently designed several products and I intend to apply for a US Patent and initiate the pilot production of the items to gauge and iteratively improve upon in short runs.  However, I am COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone in knowing how to take my concepts to the next step as a single-member shoestring company (LLC).  My goal is to fund myself with zero VC investments so I can "control" my own destiny and decisions through product development to market.  I know, it's a pipe dream for every entrepreneur!

    Product Concept Background:  The materials and components are commonly used in markets, but the designs and end-user functionality are unique and will add value to the customer (practically and economically in their everyday use).  The materials I am considering are:

    Product 1:  Hypalon or flexible PVC with scrim capable of withstanding punctures at 150-250 psi and will not tear/rip.  I need to form-shape the intended material without compromising the integrity and not creating creases where seams come together.  I am considering sonic welding over heat as the joining method.

    Products 2 & 3:  Roto-molded HDPE and form-molded HDPE (both products intended for exposed (outdoor) use).  Both product options are extremely expensive and are not iterative-friendly when it comes to the cost of your molds.  I am considering additive manufacturing through the development and operational testing phases before investing dollars (hopefully) generates from my first "launch" product.

    Problem 1:  Where does a shoestring company begin engaging US (Texas would be ideal to minimize travel costs) manufacturing entities with early concepts, protect intellectual property, and a willingness to keep the costs affordable through the initial pilot production runs?

    Problem 2:  How does a shoestring company reach a manufacturing company willing to begin this journey most efficiently and economically?​

    i realize this this was a long post...thanks in advance for any constructive feedback and advice!


    Kenneth Crawford
    Founder & CEO
    +vnchr Life
    Harker Heights TX