Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 3, Page 12 Spring 1992 Delaware inventors learn how to market ideas One inventor had created a retractable phone cord, another had developed a new spelling game for children and a third had produced a pouch to keep clothes wrinkle-free in a suitcase. The three were among 87 inventors who came to the University this spring to learn how to develop and market their ideas. "About 1,000 patents are awarded each year in Delaware. If each patent represents one person, it looks as if we have reached about 10 percent of all Delaware inventors," says Linda Fayerweather, director of the University's Small Business Development Center. The center, along with the Delaware Development Office and the Governor's International Trade Council, sponsored the "Inventors Mean Business" forum. About half of the independent inventors who came to the first meeting had devised consumer-oriented products; the others were industrial innovations. Many had already patented their ideas and wanted help with marketing. Others only had an idea and needed information on the whole process. Fayerweather says the inventors will meet monthly to hear a speaker and then break up into subgroups relating to where they are in the patent process. "We hope to get manufacturers and marketers to work with them," she says. "Eventually, we would like to help many more Delaware poducts become available."