The idea to start the Inventors Council was pitched by Bob Ross of Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE) to Larry Ford, president of the Flint Area Chamber of Commerce (FACC), in 1997. Bob was a SCORE volunteer who worked with small businesses as an advisor and volunteer out of the FACC. The Inventors Council of Mid-Michigan (ICmm) began in February of 1997 with its first regular meeting, which had to be moved three times in order to accommodate the 150 to 200 people who showed up to learn about inventions and patents.
Bob Ross was about 76 years old when he began the ICmm, which proves that great things can be started by senior citizens who have vision and insight. Over the next few years Bob refined the Councils? operation to include many helpful additions that aided independent inventors in bringing their products to market.
The Council went on to host several expositions in the next few years with the second one bringing national experts from all over the country to the Flint area to lecture on innovation and marketing of new products. In the eight years the ICmm has been active, over 60 different experts have presented information on patents, trademarks, copyrights, product innovation, marketing, product packaging, manufacturing and licensing.
Today the Council provides invention review services to many new product innovators and it has helped hundreds of independent inventors from being ripped off by invention scam companies. People travel from all over Michigan to gain knowledge and expertise from the Inventors Council. This was Bob Ross?s dream, and his legacy continues on today!
After eight years functioning under the aegis of FACC, the Council became an independent, non-profit, 501-c corporation in the Fall of 2003. The current Council has a leadership group of seven highly experienced directors who continue the volunteer effort to reach out and help independent inventors fulfill their dreams of bringing new and innovative products to market, in a tradition of the great American pursuit to invent!
Bob Ross passed away on the second Thursday of September, 2004. The Inventors Council of Mid-Michigan continues to meet on the second Thursday of each month just as it has since 1997. Bob Ross was an inventor, an innovator, a leader and a great volunteer to the public. His memory lives on with the Inventors Council of Mid-Michigan, his greatest invention!