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A Spoonful of Sugar: Ice work.. if you can get it.

Byline: Alan Sugar

Dear Sir Alan

I WOULD appreciate any advice on how best to get my invention - a small ice-maker - off the ground. I believe it will work and have put my all my time, effort and money into it for the past few years. But I'm at the stage where I'm running out of money and ideas on how to get it out there. I've even set up a website at

Steve Berroe, Powys

Sir Alan says

IN the past two-and-a-half years you've been working on a small ice-maker and have been trying to find venture finance to allow you to get this product into production. You have taken out a second mortgage on your home and have obtained a grant from the WDA.

You now have a fully-working prototype of what you claim is the world's smallest ice-maker. But after contacting refrigeration companies, no one has taken you up on your product.

I have often thought a small domestic ice-maker would sell well, especially if it were incorporated with some form of water-purifying filter and allowed the user to not only get ice cubes but also chilled clean water. A further enhancement of this could be a carbonisation section which allows the user to produce carbonated water. All this would save consumers having to buy expensive mineral water.

One of the problems you'll come up against is how to make this item a mass-market product.

It could be assumed those who would be interested in it are people who could afford a modern refrigerator with its own built-in ice-maker. This would really restrict the marketing of the product if its sole purpose were making ice. So I suggest you consider this addition of supplying chilled water and carbonised water as added features.

If the refrigerator manufacturers have already turned you down, I have no magical answer for you. These people don't turn away good ideas. I could put you on to my good friend at Alba whose business is mainly to do with selling domestic appliances and electronic goods and see if they have any interest in financing you.

But on the basis of your current product I wouldn't hold your breath.


Picture: HUW EVANS
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 14, 2003
Previous Article:Small matter of sums.
Next Article:A Spoonful of Sugar: How to protect original ideas.

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