a

2 weeks: from zero to credit card processing

Recently, we added credit card processing to inventables.com. This makes it possible for Vendors that promote products on our website to buy sales leads when potential customers submit an inquiry about their product. We have a small software development team and we wanted the functionality fast. Some quick googling showed that there are many solutions out there for large payment processing sites like Paypal or Authorize.net. However, we were using a payment processor that these solutions didn't support.

We use open source software and think it's important to contribute to the open source community. If you're interested in reading a more technical description of how we accomplished this, take a look at this post. If you'd like to use the code on your own site you can. We released an open source library on GitHub.

K show - Plastics and Rubber

The global plastics and rubber industry will meet Oct27th-Nov3 2010 in Düsseldorf, Germany for the K-show. This will be the 17th show located in the Düsseldorf Fairgrounds Halls 1 - 17n. K 2010 will draw experts in the field of polymers to meet and conduct business. The portions of K 2010 that would appeal to the Inventables community are raw materials, auxiliaries, semi-finished products, technical parts, and reinforced plastics.

The registration figures recorded following the closing date at the end of May 2009 were staggering. Show officials report 3,000 exhibitors will step stands to showcase their materials and technologies to prospective customers.

Vendors are coming from 56 countries including Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and the USA. The Asian markets are represented by China, Taiwan and India.

Inventables invites all vendors exhibiting at the K show to showcase their products online in our materials and technology marketplace. This online exposure will help support your marketing efforts at the show.

Transparent Toaster

We started the Inventables Marketplace to make sourcing and selling materials and technologies easier than the status quo.


Most of the connections we make help incrementally improve a product. Using our marketplace, engineers find new materials and create new features, builds a fresh take on an old features, or lower the cost of manufacturing for his or her product.

At Inventables we also hope to keep the "anything's possible" spirit alive and inspire a whole new generation of product developers to have the courage to take a swing and change the world in a big way on the innovative blue sky projects.

From time to time we create product concepts to demonstrate how product developers can use our online marketplace.





This transparent toaster allows you to see the bread while it is toasting so you're never surprised by toast that comes out too dark. This idea is based on a transparent heating glass technology. Although the glass does not currently get hot enough to toast bread, the vendor explained with some R&D this application may be possible.

Buyer Story - Palm Pre Touchstone

Peter Skillman, vice president of design for Palm Inc., led the design of the Palm Pre Touchstone. The entire process – from inspiration to general availability -- lasted approximately nine months. Peter works with a team, including product marketers, designers and engineers, responsible for creating the strategic roadmap for Palm’s new products and technologies. With more than a decade of award-winning design experience, he has strong opinions on creativity and innovation. He is an ardent supporter of Chicago-based Inventables and has subscribed to its innovative and inspiring service for several years.

Peter used one of the materials he found on the Inventables Marketplace. It's a tape that has tiny micro suction cups on the bottom that allow it to adhere to a surface without leaving any residue behind when it's removed. This video has a cool demo of the Palm Pre Touchstone in action on a window!

Success Story - Create It Packaging


Create It Packaging first heard of Inventables while watching a Crain’s Chicago Business Today video that profiled CEO, Zach Kaplan and his unique company. The Inventables concept sounded very pioneering to them and seemed to be a great venue to introduce their packaging design and mockup services to companies that may not have known where to find these services otherwise. Companies that are looking to research new, fresh, one of a kind ideas are most likely putting out new products of their own… and have a need for developing new packaging for their new products.

Create It Packaging posted their product profile which clearly communicated their services to companies that are in need of packaging design. Since the original posting they made a few improvements and starting getting some results. So far Create It Packaging has had a few inquiries from major corporations and completed a prototype project for a consumer products company found through Inventables.

Exploration - Flash Point Academy

The Inventables exploration budget is intended to keep our team creative while quenching our curiosity. At Inventables we’re institutionalizing a “safe” way for all employees to explore the unknown; we call it our Exploration Budget. This month we took a tour of Flash Point Academy guided by its CEO Howard Tullman.

One interesting stop on the tour was a multimedia presentation room where Howard gave us a quick demo of Augmented Reality using the Flash Point logo. Check out the demo yourself here.