Being an industrial designer, Josh already had concept drawings and a prototype for the SplashGuard, but didn't know where to go next. He needed marketing.
The SplashGuard came to life out of his daily use of the Nalgene® wide-mouth bottle. He wanted to be able to hike and drink at the same time - without liquid splashing on his face.
America Invents approached Nalgene to license the product - they did not as a policy accept outside submissions. Next we approached the top outdoor retailers - Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) and Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS).
REI was not interested in licensing the product and neither was EMS. However, EMS felt that product had a lot of potential and wanted to carry it - IF it was manufactured.
America Invents obtained a purchase order from EMS from the prototype and Josh began making and selling the product to them. REI picked up the product after seeing its success with EMS. We also picked up accounts at Dick's Sporting Goods, The Sports Authority and several distributors.
In the first six months, America Invents sold 90,000 units of the SplashGuard. By the end of year two we sold 2,000,000 units. Josh now has his own product development company selling seven different product lines (the SplashGuard line being one) all fueled by the success and profits of the SplashGuard.