There are lots of great ideas out there - but, sadly, many of them never reach the marketplace due to a lack of funding. Worse yet is to see an idea you thought of years ago suddenly making a fortune for someone else because you never patented your idea. Most people don't have enough money to produce and promote their new inventions or innovations on their own. If you think you have the next great idea, forget about funding it yourself and find out how to get grants for inventions.
Step one is to find out whether a patent for your idea already exists. The item or process that you wish to patent doesn't have to be entirely original; you can even patent improvements to existing patents. You do have to make sure that your idea is different and innovative and not just a slightly different copy of the original. You can get information about how to search current patents, and how to file your own, at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Once you are certain that your idea is original, determine where your creation belongs in the marketplace. If your patent is an improvement on an existing design, you should consider cautiously approaching the manufacturer of the original product. Make it clear that you want to partner with their company to bring your idea to market, but that you are seeking a grant for your invention to help you finalize development. Allow them to get involved as is appropriate. If the manufacturer declines, the market is wide open for you to compete with them.
If you have developed an entirely new concept, you could try to get a grant for your invention from entrepreneurs who are known to back unusual innovations. State Economic Development offices should have information about how to contact such investors.
The way to get a grant for your invention from entrepreneurs is to create a working model of your product that you can use for demonstration purposes. Make sure you understand where your product belongs in the marketplace, and bring with you ideas about advertising, projected sales figures and estimated profits.
Most importantly, do not show off your idea to anyone until you have your patent officially filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office. This is your best protection against having your idea stolen and reproduced.
Now that you know how to get grants for inventions, you can profit from your great ideas!