Vision Training Invention Helps Young Ballplayers Keep Their Eye on the Ball to be Better Hitters
March 23, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or email@example.com
Orlando, FL – Everyone has heard the story of the inventor who comes up with a new idea or new product, makes a prototype and then…Presto!…the product is on the shelves and the inventor is on his new yacht sailing into his billion dollar future.
Sorry to say, but that’s not how it really works. In fact, it’s a long, hard road from an idea to a market launch. That was John Lindsay’s experience. He had an idea for a product that would help train young baseball players to keep their eye on the ball, but lacked the necessary business skills to turn that idea into a product.
And so was born Eye on Ball, Inc., a company that today produces the Vector Training Baseball which is a vision training tool designed to help young ballplayers track the ball and, thereby, become better hitters.
Eye on the Ball, Inc. did not happen overnight however. There were long slogs through multiple stages of development, from engineering to financial to business. And each stage had its own set of challenges. Take the engineering stage, for instance. John and his partner Scott Rix took his idea and documented it, then experimented and analyzed the results. From there they produced a lab prototype, applied design refinements and conducted validation testing. With a working prototype in hand, they set about to protect the intellectual property that was part of their invention and applied for patents; 4 to date with one already approved.
During this process, John was not alone. Besides his partner, he sought out professional assistance. “I had the experience, knowledge and education to manage a lot of the many steps that needed to be taken, but also knew I wanted professional help for parts of the process that I hadn’t done before,” remarked John. “You might say that I knew what I knew and was fortunate enough to know what I didn’t know.”
It was about this time that John turned to the Florida SBDC at Seminole State College, a sub-center of the FSBDC at UCF, and Lee Goldring, one of the FSBDC’s consultants. John took advantage of the no-cost, expert one-on-one consulting offered by the FSBDC to get some of his questions answered, find some of the outside resources he needed and benefit from expert counseling and mentoring from Lee, who has an extensive background in product development and commercialization.
As John pressed ahead with completing the engineering and juggling all the issues that arose during the production prototype engineering, model testing and manufacturing stages, Lee assisted on the business plan, marketing plan and distribution strategy.
And so, some five years after John got the idea in his head, he has received his first shipment of Vector Training Baseball and they are ready to initiate a pilot sales program on Amazon in the near future.
“This has been a long process,” commented John. “Longer than I expected, frankly. Thanks to the help of Lee and the FSBDC, it’s been a pretty darn good experience. Their assistance, guidance and referrals to local professionals gave me the opportunity to get educated and get things done right, and that was invaluable. I am excited about the future of Eye On Ball, Inc. and the Vector Training Baseball.”
— FSBDC —
About the FSBDC at UCF
With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.
In 2014, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 8,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 12,387 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.70 billion in sales growth; $26.1 million in capital formation; $39.7 million in government contract awards; and 105 new businesses started.
About the FSBDC Network
The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.
In 2014, the Florida SBDCs served almost 30,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 42,644 jobs created, retained or saved; $5.8 billion in sales growth; $142.5 million in capital accessed; $210.2 million in government contract awards; and 486 new businesses started.