SOURCE: Brookstone, Inc.

Brookstone, Inc.

May 24, 2016 08:00 ET

Brookstone Launch Initiative Heads Into the Classroom With USC Marshall Students

MERRIMACK, NH--(Marketwired - May 24, 2016) -  Brookstone has been nurturing products from rough sketch ideas to consumer homes for decades. And, while the trendsetter continually searches for innovation, whether through crowd-funding sites or maker conferences, Brookstone also sees the potential that young inventors bring to the table.

Brookstone recently conducted a beta program with a USC Marshall School of Business group of students. Students from the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies were asked to pitch their new product ideas to Lauren van Heerden, Chief Innovation Officer of Brookstone. "Marshall produces many entrepreneurs every year and I am honored to participate in its successful inventor program, explained van Heerden. "I look forward to providing my guidance as these students enter the maker community and ultimately, develop their own businesses and products," continued van Heerden.

Professor Marianne Szymanski was also instrumental in bringing this new program to light, having over 25 years of experience independently reviewing products, developing three products of her own and and running Toy Tips, her own small business she launched at age 23. She now teaches entrepreneurship to undergraduates in the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at USC. In her class (BAEP 0423, Managing and Growing a Small Business) she also had a group of students present their business problem/solution ideas to Lauren. "Bringing the real-world into the classroom is every Professor's goal, and providing our students with feedback from a company like Brookstone will further inspire their desire for knowledge and accomplishment," said Szymanski.

Brookstone and Marshall look to develop this program further in the coming years, as the students themselves expressed enthusiasm for the addition of Brookstone to the curriculum. "Bringing in the Chief Innovation Officer from an innovative retailer like Brookstone is a great example of how USC / Marshall is extending the classroom to the real world by allowing students and alumni to not only hone their product / company pitch but to also having a real opportunity of picking up product manufacturing and distribution support. Given today's fast paced dynamic of turning ideas into real products, programs like this at USC truly encourages and supports our entrepreneurs in a tangible way that goes beyond a case study," remarked Wannie Park, a Marshall student.

Brookstone Launch is on an innovation search continuum, looking to assist bright new inventors evolve their ideas into exciting new products. Whether the specialty retailer assists with packaging, development, marketing or distribution, with Brookstone Launch behind them, burgeoning inventors are sure to see their dreams come to fruition. If you are interested in submitting your product for review, please visit

About Brookstone, Inc.

Founded in 1965, Brookstone is a U.S.-based developer and retailer of innovative, high-quality products designed for smart living. It operates 218 Brookstone-branded stores in shopping malls and airports across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as well the eCommerce site Brookstone also operates a wholesale division, which sells Brookstone products through retailers in the U.S. and worldwide. Brookstone is a member of the Sanpower Group of companies.

In 2015, the company inaugurated its Brookstone Launch program to give inventors, startup incubators, crowdfunders and other companies access to Brookstone product development, manufacturing, marketing and retail resources. To submit products, visit

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