Popular Mechanics is looking for groundbreaking ideas as we launch our 2014 Inventor of the Year competition. As before, we are challenging inventors throughout South Africa to submit their original ideas in two categories: Emerging Genius (for previously disadvantaged and minimally resourced entrants) and Cutting Edge (open to anyone). The winners will each receive a R10 000 cash prize, and the overall victor will receive a further R20 000 and be declared South Africa’s Inventor of the Year.
There are a few rules, naturally, but we’ve done our best to keep it simple. For example, your invention must be your own, original work, and it must be fresh: in other words, please don’t submit an old idea or revive your entry from last year. Like any proper invention, it should serve a genuine purpose and should not employ dodgy science (“free” energy and the like).
Okay, so how do you proceed from here? We suggest that you start working on your entry right now – but first, do your homework. Research it on the Web to make sure your invention isn’t replicating someone else’s idea (it happens), gather all the relevant information on your target market, and if possible, build a working prototype – there’s nothing quite as reassuring to a judging panel as an invention that clearly works.
Provide the judges with as much information as possible, including photographs and drawings (if applicable) and be sure to spell out your perception of the target market. For more information, download the entry form, rules and Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDAs):
Send your entry, including the completed NDA, to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to PO Box 180, Howard Place, 7450. Deadline for entries is Sunday, 14 September 2014.