Welcome to I-SPI

I-SPI is an invitation-only event where presenting inventor relations executives share their companies' product wish lists, objectives and goals with the professional inventing community. Roundtable discussions will be led by presenting companies, who will share insights on navigating the toy industry's changing landscape.

2015 Presenting Companies


Special thanks to the following sponsors
for their support of I-SPI

I visited Chicago‘s ChiTAG events for first time in 2012. During my career I have visited many game fairs and gatherings from Japan to Europe. But ChiTAG was absolutely different from my other experiences. People shared ideas, networked with other people and inspired each other. ChiTAG was different with an unique program for inventors, great storytelling with fashion show or by industry leaders. Days passed by so fast in Chicago, but I met many good people and made many new business opportunities. I visited again in 2013 and there was Philip Sheppard, a cellist, playing at keynote?! It was WOW! I talk about ChiTAG whenever I meet Korean inventors or companies in Korea. I hope we can have this kind of event in Seoul, Korea. Maybe named Seitag?
— Kevin Kim, Korea Board Games
A huge thank you for the ChiTAG events and personally thanks for inviting me to the I-SPI event. It was extremely valuable for me and all of my 8 concepts shown were taken further with one company or another. It helped that I made 21 meetings, but that’s what’s so great, I can meet with so many top industry companies all in one place! The company pitches were great too and I learned a lot from each one. I don’t know what’s next but from all the contacts and interest I had, I’m pretty sure it will be a huge improvement from before attending the ChiTAG events.
— Adam Borton, Toy Designer and Inventor, United Kingdom
Looking forward to Chicago Toy & Game Week again this year. Wouldn’t miss it! We picked up 2 great concepts last year at the Inventor Conferences that will be launched this Fall!
— Emile Kalis, Identity Games International BV, The Netherlands
I-SPI is a fantastic program for toy and game inventors/designers. It allows inventors/designers to talk and meet with many big and small companies in person. Inventors/designers should know the importance of networking, and this is one of the best opportunities you can get. Thanks to I-SPI I was able to meet many companies interested interested in my products, so much so that I was able to land a job with one of them!
— David Weiand, Product Developer at Mindware
I’m glad to see there is two-way communication platform for Toy makers and Inventors, especially for us from Asia. I-SPI helped me have a different vision about my job and my inventions. This is my first time to be able to show product concepts so efficiently, and to be able to meet several toy makers within two days. I-SPI also let me know about many territories that I never knew before, and I got clear directions from different toy makers. I found many opportunities in the meetings and I really loved the program. Thank you to the organizer for letting all possibilities in the conference.
— Alex Li, for Medici Creativity, Inventor, Creativity Consulting, and Toy Developing company in Taiwan
Last year, Ohio Art had the opportunity to meet new inventors at the Inventor Summit and we were extremely impressed with the quality of their ideas. This event is a great opportunity to connect with the best and brightest thinkers in the toy business.
— Martin Killgallon, Senior VP Marketing and Product Development, The Ohio Art Company
I attended the first summit last year. There were inventor relations people there from 22 companies. I was able to meet with 9 companies that I had never presented to in the past and start a relationship with them. This alone was worth the trip to the conference. I am going again this year and will be presenting a workshop on electronic technologies available for the toy and game industry.
— Bob Ruginis, owner of Bob R., LLC, USA
I-SPI is a unique chance to meet with both the publishers and other game and toy inventors from around the world. It was especially nice to have the publishers make sales pitches to us for once. And then the following days it was a pleasure to be able to meet with them in a focused and relaxed atmosphere where everybody was sincerely interested in seeing the concepts shown to them. At first it was a little strange to sit there among other inventors, since we are more or less competitors. But pretty fast it was just nice to get to meet other inventors under friendly circumstances to exchange stories and to hear about their experiences. So even though the toy fairs in both Nuremberg and New York are much bigger, I’m definitely not going to miss the chance to go to ChiTAG again and again and again.
— Martin Nedergaard Andersen, Inventor and Owner of CAMP Games, Denmark
I went to the Inventor Summit in Chicago, listened to what the toy and game companies were looking for, worked on new product, and was offered a contract for a game on day one of Toy Fair in New York, less than three months after the Summit.
— Joe Herbert, Professional Designer & Media Personality
The first International Summit for Professional Inventors was an incredible success. It was extremely beneficial to hear wish lists and wants directly from key inventor relations executives and then get to sit down with them one-on-one. The pace of the events is perfect for conducting business. I-SPI is in Chicago, at the perfect time of the year - It’s already the premiere event of its kind. By having everyone all in one place, I-SPI makes my life much easier. Now I can cancel my annual showcase at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota and just fly to I-SPI. I will save 25K every year. Have you seen how much shrimp Mike Gray can eat? Why didn’t Mary think of this sooner?!
— Tim Walsh - Inventor, Author, Filmmaker, The Playmakers
I-SPI is a designer’s dream. First off, toy and game companies pitch to you - they tell you what they need and why you should and why you should work with them. And then you get a chance to pitch to them. It’s the perfect opportunity to show your designs to the people who can turn them in to products.
— Susan McKinley Ross, Idea Duck
The Chicago Toy & Game Week is unlike any other industry event held throughout the year. The Summit for Professional Inventors and T&G Con are real opportunities where company representatives and inventors are able to network. As the Head of Inventor Relations for ThinkFun, I meet with many inventors in Chicago and it is a real catchment of ideas for our company. Last year we discovered Pat Matthews’ game “Distraction” at the conference, and we are thrilled to now include it in our game line. If you are a new or experienced inventor, you should be attending the events during Chicago Toy & Game Week.
— Tanya Thompson, Inventor Relations at ThinkFun, Inc.
The Inventor Summit is quickly becoming the important place to be for showing games. Compared to NY Toy Fair, the environment at ChiTAG is much more focused; the accessibility is better between inventors and companies, and there is more space and more time available to do a quality presentation. The information the companies provided was very helpful. I licensed two of my games before NY Toy Fair even rolled around this year.
— Mary Jo Reutter, You-Betcha Interactive
I-SPI provided the first time I was able to present product concepts during a convention where I had the full attention of the manufacturer; there was peace and quiet, I didn’t feel rushed, there were no looky-loos, and there wasn’t the risk of getting ketchup stains on my prototypes. All that alone is worth the trip, but when you consider I had that kind of meeting with two dozen prospects, all in one building, and was also privy to presentations of precisely what they want from me, I’d pay any price. One handshake of a new contact at I-SPI is worth miles of shoe leather, and there were many new contacts to meet. The parties, dinners and coinciding conferences are equally rich in networking (not to mention fun), making the events during Chicago Toy & Game Week, a very important week in the yearly cycle of the toy business.
— Peggy Brown, Owner of Peggy Brown Creative Consulting.
The Inventor Summit is an amazing gathering of industry veterans and professional inventors. A packed schedule of informative company presentations, workshops to educate the seasoned designer, and inventor meetings to pitch product, makes this a must-attend conference on my list of industry gatherings. Every professional throughout the world would enjoy and benefit from attending the Inventor Summit. I can’t wait for the Inventor Summit 2012!
— Joyce Johnson, Joyce Johnson Designs
The International Summit for Professional Inventors provides toy and game inventors the unparalleled opportunity to learn, network, and present concepts to industry leaders. From gathering company insights and wish lists, to attending seminars that cover numerous trade topics, I-SPI is invaluable to experienced inventors. All of this set in a lively atmosphere of information exchange and networking, gives inventors an opportunity to make key industry contacts. You simply cannot miss I-SPI !!
— Ruth Green-Synowic, Ruth Green Concepts, Inc.
I was blown away by I-SPI! To arrange for so many inventor relations folks to be there, in one place and to talk about what their company is looking for is really a gift to the inventor community. Then to have a chance to meet with the majority of them, made I-SPI an unparalleled experience. Thank you Chicago Toy & Game Group for putting together this not-to-be missed conference!
— Kim Vandenbroucke, Inventor and Industry Blogger at www.TheGameAisle.com