Inventor Finds Solutions to Everyday Problems

Huntington inventor Brian Fried, has dedicated his life to noticing problems and finding solutions. From his early inventions to his current leadership in the inventor community, the Long Island native today owns 15 patents. He has been a guest on QVC, praised by the Sharks from ABC’s Shark Tank, and featured by numerous major retailers.

His mission now is to share the knowledge he has obtained bringing an idea to reality.

Fried was always a tinkerer. “Growing up, I was always intrigued by how things worked. I started to realize that things annoy me, and I might have a solution for them. So I started to take the idea of inventing more seriously.”

Many of Fried’s products solve life’s little ’annoying’ problems, like his Balloon-O-Band, which he patented in 2007. He noticed that when children were given helium balloons, they often lost them to the sky after letting go of the string. The Balloon-O-Band is secure weighted wristband with a ring to tie the balloon string, ensuring the balloon stays securely with the child. The idea came to him when his daughter was young.

“The reason I came up with it originally, is because we were going to these shows at Madison Square Garden, like Elmo’s World and everything else and I would wind up buying balloons,” Fried told the host of the Building the Future Podcast in an interview.

“You tie it to the kid’s wrist, and it would be too tight or end up on top of Madison Square Garden and all the kids are crying. I wanted to find a way to save kids’ balloons, to make it an easier experience.”

As Fried continued to create products addressing everyday inconveniences he began to be featured on QVC, and he wrote three books to help people create their inventions. At the same time, he became increasingly involved in the local inventing community. He started attending local inventor groups, quickly becoming a go-to person for advice and guidance.

Fried also worked with the Economic Development Office in Suffolk County and the Industrial Development Agency in Nassau County to run inventor clubs in both communities. He then merged them to form the Long Island Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club.

One of the many inventors Fried has advised is Alexis Manitone. Six years ago, when they first met, Manitone had developed a new type of knitting needle but was unsure how to proceed.

“I didn’t know what I was doing. Honestly, I just invented it and didn’t really know what to do next,” she said. “I went to the club and left there filled with information. Brian couldn’t be nicer.”

Alexis was waiting for her patent to go through but still had a lot to learn about the process of turning her invention into a product, particularly with manufacturing. With Fried’s help,  “Brian helped me with many things along the way.”

Today, Mantione sells her Patented Luxury Knitting Needle System through her company,  My Two Ladies Knitting LLC.

Her product is one of many Fried has had a hand in as leader of the Long Island Inventor Club, which he transitioned to a virtual, National Inventor Club during COVID-19.

Tony Pagoto, who retired from the aerospace and finance industries, has also been helped by Fried on his invention journey. Pagotto has sold more than 100,000 of a product he invented called the WireMate. He says that Fried’s work is especially crucial amid the many bad-faith actors in the world of product invention.

“Inventors have a passion for their products, and they can be taken advantage of quickly by the wrong people,” Pagoto said.

The US Patent and Trademark Office, a frequent guest at Fried’s monthly virtual meetings, issued a guide for inventors on protecting themselves from invention promotion scams, which states that “every year independent inventors pay thousands of dollars to unscrupulous invention promotion firms.”

“There are so many people that will give you advice, take your money, and leave you no better off,” Alexis Manitone said. “People think inventing is easy, but it’s a tough journey,” Pagoto noted. “Brian’s programs provide a clear understanding of what inventing involves, saving many from losing their homes or worse.”

For aspiring inventors, Fried recommends conducting thorough market research, trusting the right people, and following through with your plans. He and those he’s worked with recommend starting with his virtual resources, which he calls an “ecosystem” he has created to help people turn their ideas into products. In addition to the National Inventor Club, which hosts monthly online meetings and features leading experts in the inventing field, he is also the founder of Inventor Smart, a social mediaplatform for the inventing community. He has also written three books on inventing available for purchase and has many hours of video resources available on his YouTube page.

For Fried, the best part of his work is helping people turn their inventions into reality. “There’s nothing better than either having my inventions or other inventors’ ideas turn into products,” he said. “You invented it, it’s a finished product that’s in a store and people are looking at it and buying it for the same reason you came up with it. That’s priceless.”
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