PegaPod, Randall Bostick
With the guidance of SCORE Mentors Bob Rotella and Rich Arnold, I was able to navigate the complex patent application process and attain the patent. I was in a "can't-win" situation without the patent. Promote the business and risk losing my invention or not promoting the business while someone else comes up with a patentable solution. Fortunately, I now have the patent thanks to my SCORE Mentors.
I developed a process through which batteries or AC can power a tethered drone equipped with high-intensity LED lighting for extended periods of time. The patent-protected invention enables electricity to flow through the tethered wire system powering both the drone and the LED lighting.
Playing volleyball with my children became impossible at night, so instead of putting a fixed light on a pole, I decided to use a drone to illuminate the court. However, the battery requirement to keep the drone up for extended periods necessitated a heavier drone platform. So, I designed a process where ground-based batteries could power both the drone and the high-intensity LCD fixtures. The drone also produced a higher-quality light source.
Illuminating an area during nighttime activities equates to safety. Applications for PegaPod include nighttime construction, police emergency activities, CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) work at night, etc.
The high points for me are seeing people enjoying lighted activities enabled by my product. Additionally, I have greatly enjoyed the personal interactions which have resulted from the business pursuit. The low points included early unforeseen technological challenges and slower-than-desired progress.
I first became aware of SCORE Southern Maryland through the 2021 Black Entrepreneur Pitch Event and, as part of the preparation for the event. I requested a mentor to assist me in fine-tuning my pitch presentation which was well-received. I continued working with my SCORE mentor on formalizing my business plan and then sought guidance from other SCORE mentors with expertise and experience in patents and business development.
SCORE Mentors have been instrumental in assisting PegaPod to build out a critical path for a soft business launch. The pathway to launch SCORE Mentors has provided (so far) has included guidance in diverse areas: PowerPoint presentations, writing formal business plans, patent filing, and identifying distribution channels. Subject matter expertise has been exceptional with 5 SCORE Mentors contributing to my business.
My interactions with the highly professional SCORE mentors have been 100% positive. Each offered valuable suggestions based on their extensive experience. John and Ed both helped to refine the strategy and presentation. Tom has been a true champion and has put me in contact with the right people including SCORE Mentors Bob Rotella and Rich Arnold who guided me on filing for a patent.
If you are passionate about an idea that is or could be profitable, can make the time, and are willing to work hard for it, then find a SCORE mentor and go for it!
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