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Product Pitch

Journey to Product Launch: Ecotonix Debuts on Earth Day

Posted by Caroline Fong April 21, 2014 05:00 PM
"Journey to Product Launch" is a two-post series. Read the first one here. In this second post, Product Pitch winner Gail Loos shares her juggling act as a Maker leading up to the Earth Day launch of her product, the Ecotonix Compost Shredder, on The Grommet.

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I was hardly done patting myself on the back when the requests started to fly in. Was I available for interviews with TV and magazine reporters? Able to shoot video? Write blog posts? Submit pricing spreadsheets? Upload photos?

No problem, I thought. I'll just put you in touch with our marketing department. Wait, I am the marketing department...and the sales department and product design and engineering, too!


Journey to Product Launch: My Million-Dollar Idea

Posted by Caroline Fong April 14, 2014 05:00 PM

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For today’s post, learn about a product through a Maker's own words. Meet Gail Loos, the Ready for Market winner of The Grommet's 2014 Product Pitch Event, and her winning product hack. The Ecotonix Compost Shredder is a hand-operated food scrap shredder and recycling system.

It seemed so simple in concept. Find an idea that solves a big problem. Identify and quantify potential buyers. Hire someone to design, manufacture, and sell my innovative new product while I sit back and count a growing pile of money. Like many budding entrepreneurs, I dreamed of this straight path from idea to early retirement -- if I could only find the right problem-solving idea.


2014 Product Pitch Recap: A Day at Fenway Park [PHOTOS]

Posted by Caroline Fong March 21, 2014 05:00 PM


Game Day at dawn. We wake up nice and early to set up for our community event! It was so nice to admire the lit-up EMC Club and Citgo sign in the early morning light.


Good Hacks That Also Do Good

Posted by Caroline Fong March 19, 2014 08:00 PM

This last Grommet Gallery of hacks should technically debut next week, but who could wait? The 2014 Product Pitch is tomorrow!

Today, the trucks came to pick up the last of the pieces to set up Fenway Park for the event. I was happy to tuck the last of the speaker gift bags (holding Grommet goodies) into the wide vehicle that pulled up, being careful not to crush any of the beautiful Grommet blue tissue paper.

And with this final Grommet Gallery of six hacks that do good, we excitedly wait until Game Day tomorrow. There will be an awesome display called the Grommet Garage showcasing all seven Grommet Galleries’ hacks.


Tech Hacks for the Geek in You

Posted by Caroline Fong March 17, 2014 04:00 PM

This is the week. Anticipation is building. In two days, The Grommet will be hosting the 2014 Product Pitch at Fenway Park, where eight product finalists will pitch to a panel of experts for a chance at the grand prize.

Every week leading up to this one, I’ve been writing and featuring roundups of different Grommet Galleries, which will all be showcased at the Grommet Garage at our exciting community event. This week’s Grommet Gallery of hacks from The Grommet are tech hacks for the geek in you.

These aren’t your typical tech toys. One was made using some really cool technology and it looks great on a desk. One is for you to put together, but the fun doesn’t end there. There’s even one for group play -- or group jams, specifically. They’re all tech hacks, which mean creative solutions -- whether for art, music, or photography. You’ll see.

1. Cut Maps: Stainless Steel Table Maps ($30)

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Think laser cutting technology has no place in the art world? Well, check out this tech hack for art. Created by a mechanical engineer using CNC Precision technology, these laser cut maps depict a birds-eye view of your favorite city and its street. They’re a beautiful exploration of the intersection between technology and art.


Product Pitch Spotlight: MassChallenge Roots for Underdogs

Posted by Caroline Fong March 14, 2014 07:00 PM

Not long ago, I was listening to a local entrepreneur share a tale from his early startup days. As with most bootstrapped undertakings, cash was in short supply. One night, he decided to take his wife to the movies for some much needed R&R time. Pulling out his wallet, with sweat beading his forehead, he put in his card at the kiosk and crossed his fingers. What relief when two tickets printed out.

This is just one of the many stories startup folks must share over sweat, beers, and hard work. As the saying goes, there is no free lunch. And that’s very true for most startups looking for cash. Funding from accelerators, incubators, or venture capitalists usually comes with some sort of strings attached.

Why then does the biggest startup accelerator in the world give out a sum of a million dollars and take zero equity?


The Product Pitch Finalists: Eight Going to Fenway Park

Posted by Caroline Fong March 12, 2014 02:30 PM

A week and a day from now, we’ll be watching The Grommet’s 2014 Product Pitch at Fenway Park live streamed on!

I hope you’ve been checking out the great eight -- four finalists from Ready for Crowdfunding and four finalists from Ready for Market. They were voted by YOU, the community. And now, you get to see them pitch their best foot forward to prove their product has what it takes to hit it out of the park and beyond!

For a rundown on the finalists, here’s a cheat sheet to help you keep score on Game Day, March 20th.



Bringrr and BringTags -- Bringrr is a reminder device (and car charger) that pairs with your smartphone and notifies you if you’ve left it behind as you start the car. For other important items such as your wallet, keys, laptop, or even cat, tag them with small and colorful Bringtags, which can track their location and check if they’re on you.


Hacks for Fun from The Grommet

Posted by Caroline Fong March 10, 2014 08:30 PM

It’s a week before Game Day at Fenway Park, where all eight 2014 Product Pitch finalists will gather to play ball -- or pitch their products, rather. For all the fun they’ll be having, let’s drum up some fun around the house before we watch the festivities on live stream on that day.

This week’s Grommet Gallery of hacks are six Grommets that will help your little ones hack their way to fun. From twists on the classic card house-building to unconventional musical instruments, these play hacks will have your little one -- including yourself -- racing with creativity!

Fun for the tinkerer.


SKALLOPS ($19.95) -- This junior set comes with 52 Skallops clips and one deck of quality custom Skallops playing cards for you and your pint-sized builder to construct several small creations, such as dinosaurs or silly hats.


Product Pitch Spotlight: A Boy's Dream to Create Great Products

Posted by Caroline Fong March 7, 2014 05:00 PM

The 2014 Product Pitch is only two weeks away! I can’t wait until the day I’m standing at Fenway Park, watching the eight finalists pitch for the ultimate product launch prize against the backdrop of this iconic baseball park.

In this week’s Product Pitch Spotlight as part of the pre-game coverage on, I am catching up with Max Ash, last year’s Product Pitch winner for community favorite.

So far in this blog series, we’ve heard from innovators who are helping maker businesses; from innovators who are giving us better maker tools; and also from makers themselves. Max is a maker, who happens to be nine years old. He’s learning the ropes to getting a product off the ground with his amazingly supportive family -- brother Sam, mom Jennifer, and dad Ronald.


Better Hacks for Health from The Grommet

Posted by Caroline Fong March 5, 2014 04:30 PM

This past weekend, I came down with a cold. For the past three days, I’ve been wiping my nose nonstop, nursing a woozy head, and experiencing toe-shaking sneezes.

This week’s Grommet Gallery of hacks happen to contain six better hacks for health. It appears to be quite timely since I’ve been noticing (and trying to avoid) an alarming number of coughing and sneezing commuters on the train. But alas, I must have hugged one too many sick friends.

To help you build better overall health, here are six hacks that will work from the inside out -- or in this roundup, from the outside in. Remember, prevention is better than cure!

For strengthening your body.

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Yoga by Numbers ($119.95) -- Beginners to yoga, fear not. This yoga mat guides you with numbers and provides guidance through DVD instruction at your own pace to build up strength and flexibility. Be good to your body, and you’ll still be moving around like a spring chicken.


About The Grommet

We launch undiscovered products and help them succeed; we call them Grommets. Grommets aren't just things. Grommets are products with a purpose invented by people with stories. More »
Buy Differently is a sponsored blog powered by The Grommet, and part of Finds, a site you can count on to bring you the best discoveries around Boston and beyond. This blog is not written or edited by or Finds. The author is solely responsible for the content.
Caroline Fong
Caroline hails from a tiny tropical island originally, but calls Boston home. A curious bird, she spent a spring trekking all over Ireland, has been an Air Force Junior ROTC cadet, and worked at Disney World as a merchandising intern. With a love for all things interesting, she found herself at The Grommet, where she gets to eat, sleep, and breathe innovative undiscovered products. Say hello to her on Twitter.