Pitching to a Design Firm

I am considering pitching a product concept I’ve developed to a big Chicago design firm (I have Minimal in mind), and I was curious what I should prepare and what I should expect. My experience is mostly in design consulting, and I’ve never pitched an idea in this way before.

Here’s a short overview of the concept:

Prizm is a mobile projector that can be used to mirror whatever is on your smartphone screen. An array of sensors allows the projections to be interacted with like a touch screen, creating a seamless extension of your phone onto any surface.

Here are some questions I have for pitching this product:

  1. Is a design firm the best route to go in or should I pitch it to a manufacturer instead? I’d like to be able to work on the product through to the end, so I was thinking a design firm might be best.

  2. Should I have a business plan for this idea? If so, how thorough should that be?

  3. What’s the best way to kick this off, should I get in touch with the head of the company or with someone in business outreach?

  4. Is it advisable to ask for a partnership in order to develop the product, or possibly ask for a position within the company?

  5. I was thinking of Minimal because this product seems like it could fit into their brand, but maybe I could pitch it somewhere else. Any suggestions on this?

Any advice you guys have would be a great help, thanks in advance!

Very nice

Some of these documents might be useful. Mindtribe in San Francisco shares them for free on their website.

If I were on the other end of your proposal I would be most curious about your financial situation-- how much do YOU think it will cost anddo you have enough money to pay the bills. I have worked with cash-strapped startups and a few inventors and each time the project ran low on funds before completion. Something like this looks like it would fit nicely into the $750K range for design, engineering, firmware, app development, testing, and non-recurring manufacturing engineering prior to actually building any shippable products.

If you are set on Chicago I would advise checking out Radius. They are owned by contract manufacturer Nypro/Jabil and might be able to point you in the right direction if they are not interested.

Do you have any IP? Expect them to sign an NDA? What are you bringing other than an idea? What is the business and how is it commercialized? Why would they invest in this?

So many questions, but don’t see too many answers aside from 1 idea of 1000 on yanko design.

Don’t mean to be so critical, but doesn’t sound like you’ve got further than “this would be neat”.


@sprockets: Thanks, those resources should be very helpful! Sounds like it would take a lot more money than I have to spend, so I will likely leave this as an interesting concept for now.

@rkuchinsky: No worries, some tough love is helpful. I’m just trying to do some information gathering to see what would be required to create a product like this.