Stephen Key: Turn Your Ideas Into A Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do The Work - Bacon Wrapped Business With Brad Costanzo

Stephen Key: Turn Your Ideas Into A Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do The Work

Meet Stephen Key

He is a successful and award-winning inventor, entrepreneur, and educator. He has licensed over 20 products in the past 30 years, he holds about 30 patients, and manages a portfolio of over 50 patents. Stephen’s products have sold in Walmart, 7-Eleven, Disney stores, and theme parks worldwide. His products have also been endorsed by Michael Jordan and Alex Trebek from Jeopardy.

As his way of giving back. Stephen has written the book One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work, a very powerful resource that has personally helped me in my licensing business. Stephen also cofounded inventRight along with his business partner Andrew Krauss, a company which is solely focused on education to help their students become empowered in the licensing industry.

I’ve invited Stephen on the show to share his invaluable insights and strategies about licensing and to help shed some light on just how simple the process of “renting your ideas” can be. Whether you are an entrepreneur, opportuneur, marketer or designer, this episode has the ability to change the landscape of the way you view and do business forever!

Stephen Key


Here’s what we discussed:

04:57 – How to “Rent” your ideas vs selling them
06:19 – You can license anything
09:11 – Why you shouldn’t have the idea
09:53 – How to use “The Multiplying Effect” for exponential results
10:17 – What Stephen would have done differently if he were starting today
11:00 – Feeding the Idea Monster
11:40 – How to use “Design Schools” as Gold Mines
15:41 – How to make the first approach to licensees
16:20 – How to create easy leverage points to win over both sides of a deal
18:23 – Why you don’t need to have an eye for opportunity
19:15 – Why you don’t have to do much (or any) real work
21:52 – Should you have a standard licensing agreement?
22:12 – Other opportunities for licensing
23:30 – Potential profit as licensing agent
25:29 – Minimum guarantees and performance clauses
26:21 – Should you ask for money upfront
27:16 – Licensing the same idea to different industries
28:38 – Licensing to Coca-Cola
29:33 – Capitalizing off unmanufactured products
30:33 – Using the Ad agency as side door
31:02 – How to introduce yourself to ad agencies
32:49 – How to introduce yourself directly to a company
34:01 – Tapping the right departments and guiding your contacts
36:13 – Where to start when there’s too many companies to contact
38:11 – Taking advantage of Google product search
40:52 – Why the dumbest ideas in the world can still get licensed
41:50 – What markets and industries are hot
44:20 – Where to find product designers
46:00 – Where to start building key relationships
46:38 – Invention vs. innovation
48:46 – Is publishing really licensing?
49:49 – Reverse ghostwriting
50:44 – Creating for the marketplace
53:00 – Putting the pieces together, connecting to dots, and creating leverage points
56:04 – How Stephen become a Disney licensee
58:08 – Leveraging the name of bigger brands
1:01:40 – What is inventRight? What makes it different?
1:03:42 – Stephen’s thoughts on invention submission companies
1:04:50 – How to become an idea agent
1:07:45 – Finding a home for your idea
1:13:40 – Stephen’s upcoming projects

Resources Mentioned

For more information on Stephen Key and his incredible work, visit: