Designer/Entrepreneur Paul Rowan Offers Ideas to Aspiring Inventors

Erie, PA, September 26, 2009 --( Designer Paul Rowan, Umbra’s co-founder and vice president of design, is slated to participate in an idea exchange during the InnovationErie: Design Competition’s Art, Design & Entrepreneurship session on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009 from 1:30-5 p.m. at the Erie Maritime Museum, 150 East Front Street. This event is free and open to the public.

Umbra, headquartered in Toronto, is the worldwide leader in original, casual, contemporary, affordable design for the home. The company’s products are available at over 25,000 retailers in more than 75 countries. In addition to managing Umbra’s prolific design team, Rowan is also the designer of many of Umbra’s most iconic items, including the original Umbra shade and vinyl clock, as well as the Crunch® can, the Simple family of frames and hundreds of other items.

Rowan will join an impressive panel of speakers including;

• Braddock, PA Mayor John Fetterman, whose innovative initiatives have focused national attention on his decaying steel mill town

• Jennifer Reed and Terri Reed-Boyer, owners of Relish, Inc., a highly successful arts-based business

At the conclusion of the idea exchange, attendees will have the opportunity at the conclusion of the idea exchange to network with one another and industry folks at this InnovationErie: Design Competition 2010 kickoff event.

About InnovationErie
The inaugural design competition held in 2009, organized by professionals in the science, art, manufacturing, engineering and design (SAM & ED) industries, emerged as product design competition allowing people in northwest Pennsylvania to showcase their product ideas, with the possibility of taking them to the next level: the marketplace. The competition sought ideas for products that can be manufactured in the Erie region.

Four prizes totaling more than $17,000 in cash and in-kind services were awarded to: Grand Prize Winner Ryan Bookhamer, Sling-Footwear Carrier The Sling Footwear Carrier is designed to be durable, lightweight, UV protected, waterproof, and quick drying; First Place Winner Kathleen Ann Moore, Ori-Koppu A fully self-contained coffee cup that is disposable, biodegradable with insulating elements and a lid built into one piece; Second Place Winner Deepak Pahuja, MD, Disposable Stethoscope This is a disposable one-time use cover for stethoscope chest piece with a rollable neck; Third Place Winner Dan L’Huillier, The Shark The Shark will perform the same function as a traditional starter’s pistol but will be clearly distinguishable from a firearm; Best of Show: Michael Richardson, Galaxy Rhythm Guitar Pick A round (vs. triangular) guitar pick with an embossed design on both sides for grip; Honorable Mention: Erika & Jackie Zehner, Sunflower Shower A decorative showerhead in the shape of a sunflower for added style in bath.

These award recipients have been working with a team of economic and business development specialists on moving their product to the marketplace.

Competition partners (at time of release) include the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, StARTup Incubator, Edinboro University, MacDonald Illig Jones & Britton, LLP, Erie Art Museum, Penn State Erie - the Behrend College, the Plastics Technology Center, the Behrend Innovation Center, Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University, Knox, McLaughlin, Gornall & Sennett, Gannon Small Business Development Center, and the Erie County Bar Association (list at time of release).

Erie Art Museum
Tammy Roche