Turning Ideas Into A Business
Success Story: Pennsylvania
- Bucknell University SBDC
- SBDC Counselor: Dilip K. Shah
- Client: Upper Desk, Inc. – SBDC client since 2010
“The SBDC is like a one-stop shop providing tools to educate employees, encourage economic growth, develop products and help fulfill professional aspirations.” – Rod and Stephanie Phillips, Upper Desk, Inc.
Impact of working with the SBDC: Seeking to turn his ideas into a successful business, Roderick Phillips and his daughter Stephanie sought help from the specialty Engineering Development Services at the Bucknell University Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Staff and students at the SBDC assisted him with patent and market research, product development guidance, and even some engineering design assistance with Upper Desk products still in the pipeline.
Their first “Upper Desk” product is an invention that conveniently mounts a tablet under a cabinet or shelf – putting “technology where you need it.”
The SBDC’s educational programs helped expand the company’s knowledge of marketing and business development topics; and in their first year, the company has created two jobs. With a combination of local media coverage and a national marketing campaign, sales went from a few units a week to selling hundreds a week during the 2013 holiday season. The showpiece of this marketing was the national recognition Upper Desk garnered as a winner in the QVC Sprouts program; a crowd-voting platform to identify and promote new retail products. Their product is now available at www.qvc.com. Upper Desk is growing by adding new products and accessories to its portfolio. They strive to help people use and benefit from new technology – in all settings in the home and at work.