We recently sat down with Hayden Clements, a young inventor based in Milton, Ontario, to learn more about his product and why investing in intellectual property was a necessary step in protecting his invention. You're never too young to innovate and most importantly, to Own It!
IPIC: Please briefly explain your product invention and let us know where we can find it!
HC: I design and manufacture pro footbags that are handmade with 32 suede panels to give the products nice roundness, which is great for the feel of the hacky sack for the athletes. BWANA footbags are sold on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.
IPIC: Why did you decide to create this product?
HC: I saw an opportunity in the athletic market is how it started. I’m involved in lots of other sports, like wrestling, hockey, football and I know that using footbags really helps with balance, agility and hand eye coordination. You can use it anywhere - they are small to travel with and fun to play with as a group or by yourself.
IPIC: How does the product differ/stand out from those already on the market?
HC: There are lots of cheaply made footbags out there. I wanted to make something that looked cool (like a mini soccer balls) and also only used premium materials inside and out. BWANA footbags are round and come in vibrant colors that make them stand out to make them easy to use.
IPIC: What made you want to protect your IP?
HC: As a small business owner, I wanted to make sure my products are protected in the market. It’s a competitive space and when you have something special you want to protect it. I wanted to be confident that BWANA products stood out and were unique and innovative. When it says BWANA on it, you know that you’re getting something great.
IPIC: How did protecting your IP help you achieve success?
HC: Protecting my IP gave me confidence in keeping potential competitors away and make my brand one of a kind.
IPIC: What stage is your company at now?
HC: I’m really happy with all my BWANA designs and now just working hard on sharing BWANA with the world and helping more athletes.
IPIC: How did the company come about? What was the vision/ opportunity?
HC: The vision of BWANA was to create a tool to help athletes off the field and ice to support and develop their sport performance.
IPIC: How important is it in today’s market to offer something that is unique — your own creation — and to Own It?
HC: It is important to separate yourself from the competition and the way to do that is to innovate and be different and take the time to protect your product through trademarks and patents.
IPIC: Anything else you’d like to add?
HC: I really appreciate the support of my family and friends and really hope you check out my products and join the BWANA movement.