Calling All Innovators

Calling All Innovators


Innovation is vital for the growth of businesses and economies, and patents are among the most lucrative sources of new ideas. A South African online company, Patentdata, is playing a role in promoting innovative thinking by collecting information from around the world on new ideas which are owned by individuals and covered by patent applications. The information is made freely available via two email publications, New Ideas Weekly and New Ideas Daily. Patentdata processes all feedback and sends it to subscribers the next day, giving them a full market report on four new ideas daily. If you’re pressed for time, you can opt for the weekly update which allows you to select only the categories you are interested in.

Community of innovators

As a subscriber, you get to see interesting new ideas, give your opinion on the market potential of the ideas featured, and spot opportunities for your business. “The idea is to create an online community that shares experiences to help assess the market potential of new ideas featured,” says founder Lourence Greyvenstein. “This promotes business growth, resulting in job creation and many other socio-economic benefits for South Africans.” Greyvenstein has had first-hand experience in patenting a new product. In 1986, he invented a plastic bag with a wave-like opening that is licensed to Glad Products in the US, among others, which markets it as Glad Quick-Tie bags. He went through the entire process of patenting his invention and successfully licensing it to several companies in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.

Enabling Collaboration

Patentdata’s service enables people to become part of an online community that shares knowledge and experience to help assess the market potential of new ideas featured in New Ideas Daily. A unique feature is that subscribers send email alerts to their “sponsor” when they spot new ideas they believe can grow their sponsor’s business. Businesses also obtain an effective platform to advertise their products and services. “Patentdata has more than 2 300 members and is growing fast,” says Greyvenstein. He adds that the company is launching an aggressive marketing campaign which will see membership figures spike over the next few months. “The people who participate by sharing ideas and contributing to the work of others have fun, because essentially people like to share their opinions. There is so much knowledge in the world – what we are doing is providing a way of sharing it and leveraging the value of that knowledge.”

Greyvenstein points to one idea that has attracted attention from the Patentdata community. “One of our members came up with an idea for streamlining a faring for a motorbike. Another member, a test pilot from the US who flies stealth planes and is also a bike fanatic responded by outlining why he thought the idea was so brilliant. That’s the way innovation is encouraged and enabled.”

Growing your business

Patentdata offers a free email marketing service to grow your business. You can display a free subscription invitation on your business website, inviting visitors and customers to subscribe. Both editions bring you into daily contact with your customers and alert you when they spot new ideas that can grow your business.

For more information, call +27 11478 1185, email:, or go to

Monique Verduyn
Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.