Getting a new product to market is a time-consuming and difficult task that few achieve. Yet, the husband and wife team of Greg Besner and Leslie Hsu have done just that with their Sunflow brand of beach chairs and accessories. Greg is a serial entrepreneur and Leslie is a fashion designer. Their journey was filled with challenges, from idea conception through design to product launch - with a successful appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank along the way.

In this episode of IP Talk with Wolf Greenfield, Greg and Leslie discuss their story with Neil Ferraro, chair of Wolf Greenfield’s Mechanical Technologies Practice, and Paul Metaxatos, co-founder and principal of Motiv, a Boston-based consultancy that designs products and develops brands for companies of all sizes. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • 01:43 - Leslie explains where the idea for Sunflow originated
  • 03:59 - Neil describes Greg and Leslie as problem solvers
  • 05:21 - Paul explains Visual Brand Language (VBL) as an important product differentiator
  • 06:20 - Greg on the features that make Sunflow unique
  • 08:55 - Executing with excellence
  • 09:53 - The importance of developers, designers, and patent attorneys working as a team to develop and protect ownable aspects of a new product
  • 11:30 - Making practical decisions along the way to ensure the iconic new product
  • 16:20 - Greg explains the value of having proper patent protection
  • 19:19 - The Shark Tank experience
  • 21:03 - What’s ahead for Sunflow?
  • 25:19 - Paul believes Sunflow is taking a page from Tesla’s playbook
  • 27:20 - Neil stresses the importance of making sure innovations in the pipeline are patented before disclosure or release