As Seen On TV — the company that sells Snuggies (the sleeved blankets) and other popular consumer products though infomercials on television — is planning to launch its own crowdfunding platform later this summer.
The Clearwater, Fla.-based company — formerly H&H Imports, Inc. — already allows inventors to submit product concepts through a form online, but doesn’t yet allow them to fundraise.
“We have thousands of product and service ideas from inventors and innovators and we can’t fund them all,” chief executive Ron Pruett said.
The company will use technology piloted by custom crowdfunding-platform developer, Boston-based Launcht. As Seen On TV’s staff will filter product concepts before allowing them to fundraise on the site.
“The first thing we look for is a mass market product that will appeal across the board to as many people as possible — initially we’re not looking for really niched kinds of products,” Kevin Harrington, chairman and founder of As Seen On TV, said in an interview. “We look for products that have some kind of magical transformation if possible,”
Harrington, who has served on the investor panel on ABC’s pitch show Shark Tank, said he’s also looking for concepts supported by clinical studies, product tests and testimonials. “If it’s strictly an idea, it’ll be a lot tougher for us to move it into a funding stage.”
In addition to a fundraising platform, As Seen on TV will offer entrepreneurs development and manufacturing help wherever possible, Pruett said. “We’re not intermediaries,” he said, adding that inventors are “true partners. We’ll provide our entire knowledge base.”
The system could benefit As Seen On TV’s business as well, Pruett said. “It’ll quickly test with consumers which ones they think are the hits or not, and actually puts in a big efficiency driver.”