I was pleasantly surprised, and hope you will be too, to find there
are a great many resources available that can help you find and
network with other like-minded tinkering folk, including locally in
Florida and elsewhere, online, and a combination of both. There are
associations, societies, networking groups, blogs, discussion forums
and chat groups. There is even a periodic chat hosted by the US Patent
& Trademark Office to answer questions. Listings are alphabetical, so
be sure to scroll through them all.
ASSOCIATIONS, DIRECTORIES & UMBRELLA GROUPS
Many of the single listings in this answer are also to be found in
some of these directories or lists. I pulled the ones I thought looked
most suitable for your needs, but include these larger listings as
reference material for you in case you'd like to look further.
DIRECTORY OF INVENTORS GROUPS
?This directory lists inventors groups across the country, organized
by state.? Most of those listed here, however, are also listed
elsewhere in this answer.
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF INVENTOR ASSOCIATIONS
This international umbrella group provides links to information for
inventors, as well as a list of websites of inventor associations
INVENTOR HOME LIST OF INVENTOR CLUBS
The page says it "is here to help you locate people you can learn from
or share experiences with." and has a fairly wide listing.
NATIONAL SOCIETY OF INVENTORS
This appears to be basically a collection of links to information of
interest to inventors. But it?s a nice collection, and includes lists
of inventor societies by state, accessible in a list or by clicking on
an interactive map of the U.S.
PROFESSIONAL INVENTORS ALLIANCE
This organization?s purpose is to ?protect American invention and
encourage innovation.? Though it?s largely a political (lobbying)
group, it might provide an avenue for connection.
UNITED INVENTORS ASSOCIATION
This fifteen year old association acts as an umbrella organization for
local inventor organizations around the country and the world,
providing a (inter)national forum for the independent inventor
community. It offers connections to local groups, as well as its own
resources of interest and help to independent inventors. If there is
no group in your local area, it offers assistance in starting one.
Membership is through the local group(s), though there are some
criteria for independent individual membership in this association,
including Lifetime Membership for significant achievement as an
UNITED STATES PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE
This office has an inventor?s resource site, for which I?ve provided a
link. They also host periodic chat sessions, during which inventors
can ask questions directly to patent examiners. These are not
regularly scheduled, but notices are put up on the main page, so if
you?re interested in this, it might be a good idea to check there
Main page: http://www.uspto.gov/
Inventors Resource Site: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/iip/
ONLINE INVENTOR RESOURCES:
ASK THE INVENTORS
This is a resource where inventors can ask questions of other
inventors for expert advice and brainstorming. The site owners sell a
product called ?Ghostline,? which they invented, but they also provide
a lot of other information, including news, referrals, contest
listings, scam advice, and a discount on patent/trademark services.
INVENTNET ? The Inventors Network
This group says its main ?goal is to provide independent inventors
worldwide with real information and help them develop and market their
inventions.? The group offers an email forum discussion group, as well
as access to a great deal of free helpful information, including
directories, articles, forms, and regularly scheduled chat sessions.
Registration is free for the email forum. Full membership is
$100/year and offers additional benefits, such as your own
website/email; free half-hour consultation with a patent attorney;
free ads; free magazine subscription; and rebates on software.
Subscribe to forum: http://www.inventnet.com/list.html
MIT ENTERPRISE FORUM
?The MIT Enterprise Forum, Inc. builds connections to technology
entrepreneurs and to the communities in which they reside....Anyone
interested in or involved with technology entrepreneurship is welcome
to participate and join together to form the Enterprise Forum
NATIONAL CONGRESS OF INVENTOR ORGANIZATIONS
?NCIO Online features free articles, information, resources, and an
online magazine "America's Inventor [tm] Online".?
PATENTLY-O: PATENT LAW BLOG
? .... a primary source for the most current patent law news and
information,? hosted by Chicago patent attorney Dennis Crouch. Offers
a newsletter. Also, I emailed Mr. Crouch for further information on
the USPTO chat, and he replied very quickly, so I would think he?d be
available for any questions.
FLORIDA INVENTOR GROUPS
These are listed alphabetically. Email and website information is
posted for those that had it; otherwise given is such other contact
information as I was able to locate.
CENTRAL FLORIDA INVENTORS CLUB
4849 Victory Drive
Orlando, FL 32808
EDISON INVENTOR?S ASSOCIATION
PO Box 07398, Ft. Meyers, FL 33919
Non-profit organization, says it?s a ?diversified group of people
sharing time, information, experiences and understanding of the
invention and entrepreneurial process.? Fee: $35/year new member; $25
President?s email: email@example.com
Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EdisonInventors/
EMERALD COAST INVENTORS SOCIETY
Pensacola, FL 32514-5752
Tel: (904) 455-4641
THE INVENTORS CLUB
Route 11, Box 379
Pensacola, FL 32514
INVENTORS COUNCIL OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
4855 Big Oaks Ln.
Orlando, FL 32806-7826
Contact: David Flinchbaugh firstname.lastname@example.org
INVENTORS SOCIETY OF SOUTH FLORIDA
Their stated purpose is ?to provide a forum that fosters creativity,
free thinking and education that will help further our members'
innovations.? Benefits feature monthly meetings, guest speakers,
newsletters and access to a panel of experts. Membership fees are
$60/year individual; $70 family; and $30 student. Newsletter
subscriptions alone are $24/year.
PO Box 4306
Boynton, Beach, FL 33424
PALM BEACH SOCIETY OF AMERICAN INVENTORS
P.O. Box 26
Palm Beach, FL 33480
SOCIETY OF AMERICAN INVENTORS
505 East Jackson St, Suite 204
Tampa, FL 33602
SOCIETY FOR INVENTORS & ENTREPRENEURS
306 Georgetown Dr
Casselberry, FL 32707
SPACE COAST INVENTORS GUILD
1221 Pine Tree Dr.
Indian Harbour Beach, FL 32937
Angel L. Pacheco, Sr.
TAMPA BAY INVENTOR?S COUNCIL
This is ?a group of talented men and women inventors who network and
support each other through semi-monthly meetings.? 4 classes of
membership, ranging from $25 (student) to $250 (corporate) annual
dues. They sponsor special networking meetings on the 2d and 4th
Wednesday of the month. Newsletters are free to read online.
5901 Third Street So.
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
(727) 481-7605 or 548-5083
OTHER STATES INVENTOR GROUPS
Included here are those I found that had online membership and/or
benefits that didn?t require local residence for meetings, etc. and
that looked like they had a good selection of information and/or
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INVENTORS
From their website, this Philadelphia-based group is ?a nonprofit
organization formed .... to bring inventors together ....?
Registration is free. Membership $49/year. $35 each year thereafter,
or $99/three years. Benefits include meetings, seminars, workshops
and networking opportunities.
This is a California-based networking group for inventors, that has
local chapters, and also an ?internet chapter,? where you can connect
with them online. Membership/registration is free. They offer
attendance at online seminars/lectures, access to experts by phone and
email, a newsletter and discounts on products/services.
This is an Orange County, California based association. From their
mission statement, they are ?.... dedicated to assisting and educating
early-stage inventors and to providing the environment necessary to
safely bring new products ideas to the marketplace.? Cost: $100 to
join; $50 annually thereafter. Benefits include attendance at
seminars and member assistance meetings. They also have some
information available for free online.
DISCUSSION GROUPS: Google, Yahoo, MSN, & Other
There are quite a few special interest/discussion groups related to
inventors and inventing. Those listed below are for the express
purpose of providing a networking platform for inventors. You can go
to the links for instructions on how to subscribe.
Doesn?t give specific information, except that there is current
activity, there are between 10-100 members, and the group is for
?people with new ideas.?
I have not included groups with fewer than 10 members and/or no recent
activity. If you?d like to search the full list yourself, you can go
here: http://groups.yahoo.com/ and enter ?inventor? or ?inventors? in
the search box.
45 members. ?This is a group where inventors can compare notes and
perhaps get together and come up with something new.? Last message
posted June ?05.
THE INVENTORS CHANNEL JWNI
98 members. ?New Patents, Technical Information, Design
Specifications, Patent Attorneys, International Contact Information,
Grants, Investors And Brokers, The Best Links, Public Disclosure
Documents, Theft Protection Information. All Inventors and
non-inventors are welcome to join this group.?
THE INVENTORS FORUM
172 members. ?Welcome amateur and professional inventors!!! This yahoo
group was created for all who have the desire and the creativity to
invent new ideas and concepts. Welcome scientist, circuit designers
and draftsman. Welcome electronic technicians, computer programmers
and communications specialist. Welcome engineers, machinist and
mechanics. This group was created for people from every walk of life,
from various technical and work backgrounds. The common bond that
brings us together is inventing! In this group, you will come in
contact with people who have diverse technical, business and marketing
backgrounds. You will be able to ask questions about a technical
problem that may need to be solved, or a marketing problem you may
have. It is a think tank, a problem-solving group. You should never
give your idea for an invention away to anyone; however; this forum
will allow those who are not technically knowledgeable to get some
advice from those who are. It is also a place for those of us who are
technically knowledgeable, to get some good advice from those
inventors who have a good business and marketing background.
Presenting your invention to a manufacturer can be a long and hard
road. Here in this group, we can discuss ways of how to shorten that
road and present your invention to industry in a much shorter and
professional manner. So let the creative juices flow!!!?
THE INVENTOR CENTER
99 members. ?This is THE community for anyone who enjoys tinkering,
engineering, building, or otherwise fabricating anything. Of
particular interest are electronics and mechanics. Perfect for anyone
who considers themself to be a "MacGyver".?
This is a fairly new inventors forum, with only a handful of members.
Sponsored by a company that makes prototypes.
Free, non-commercial technical forums on a wide variety of topics and
applications. ?Intelligent work forums for engineering professionals.?
Includes all the fields you mention. Requires free registration.
INVENTORS BULLETIN BOARD (About.com)
This is an open forum for inventors to connect as a community to share
ideas and offer and receive support. You may browse postings freely
as a guest, but need to register to post yourself, but registration is
INVENTORS-L DISCUSSION GROUP
Information about a group fostering discussion between aspiring and
successful inventors. Gives information about how to subscribe.
THE LONE INVENTOR
A discussion forum for, by and about inventors and the process of
invention. Free registration, with a current list of 154 members.
Posts are a little out of date for the most part, but there is some
current activity. Nicely put together and well organized.
SPECIALIZED NICHE RESOURCES FOR INVENTORS:
While there are other specialized groups, I included these because
they?re related to your normal field of expertise and thought you
might find them of use. I was not able to locate similar sites in the
areas of your newest ideas.
EUREKA MEDICAL INVENTOR NETWORK
This group doesn?t charge a fee for membership, but they do require an
application to join. On acceptance, the inventor has access to many
benefits, including the opportunity to network with other inventors in
the medical field, to present ideas and inventions, to receive
development assistance, and access to a great deal of pertinent
HEALTHCARE & PLASTICS INVENTORS FORUM
Sponsored by a German company, i.e. the ?Otto Bock Company Group,? to
attract qualified inventors, and offering developmental assistance.
I hope this information will give you a variety of resources to use
for connecting with other inventors/tinkerers as you want. If anything
isn?t clear, please use the ?Request Clarification? feature to ask
before rating and closing your question, as I want to be sure you?re
happy with the information provided.
Best of luck in your ventures,
For locating inventors groups in general, I found the following search
terms to yield the best results, both in web searches, and in Google
[inventors forum OR discussion OR group OR network OR networking
[florida inventors group OR network OR association OR organization]
[inventor networking OR society OR forum OR "peer groups" OR brainstorming]
Then it was a matter of searching through the returns to find those
that were active and offered what you were looking for. I also
searched specifically on the names of the Florida groups to locate
address, phone, email and website information.
In addition, I went directly to Yahoo Groups, Google Groups and MSN
Groups and searched specifically on ?inventor,? ?inventors,? and
?inventing? to locate discussion groups. I was not able to find any on
ICQ or AOL.