Yang invented and is producing a spherical ark 4m in diameter that weighs six metric tonnes.
Its designed to withstand collisions, radiation and high temperatures. Three people could survive for up to a year on the pilot biscuits, water and oxygen it carries.
The ark is just one of Yangs creations in the past six years. He has 300 to his credit and holds 36 patents…Twice he was cheated when looking for investors in neighbouring cities. The fraudsters took my schematic drawing, and that was the last I saw of them, he said.
In January 2008, Premier Wen Jiabao met Yang Zongfu in Beijing when he submitted his idea for snow removal equipment, at a time when continuous snow and icy rain wreaked havoc in South China…Yang Zongfu has a plan to open a training centre for inventors, to produce more good ideas and help them apply for patents.
In April, three-person startup Pebble Technology sought to raise $100,000 to make 1,000 wristwatches that can be programmed with different clock faces. Donors on Kickstarter showered them with more than 100 times that amount: $10.3 million.
Kickstarter is the largest of dozens of sites devoted to crowdfunding, in which donors contribute small sums of money to get a project off the ground.
Inventors, artists and entrepreneurs post their projects on a Kickstarter page, usually with a video presentation.
Usually, the contributors get something beyond the satisfaction of knowing they helped turn a dream into reality like a ticket to a theater production, or in the case of Pebble, a programmable watch.
Starting a project is free, but Kickstarter takes 5 percent of contributions if a project is funded, and Amazon.com Inc. takes another 3 to 5 percent for processing the payments. The funds are usually subject to taxes as well.
Dr. Joseph Grocela is an MGH urologist who moonlights as an inventor of medical devices.
And yet a judge today ruled that MGH�s parent company Partner Healthcare owns all his IP � even from work done in his own home
The judge argued that 1) he could always have chosen to work somewhere without such requirements, and 2) he benefits significantly from the clinical resources at MGH, a factor that enables his ability to invent.
Someone tinkering on a medical device may or may not do so with a big financial payout in mind, but one thing that will certainly make them less likely to build new things is the knowledge that someone else will swoop in and steal it from them for a profit.
Just think of how many great companies started out as side projects.