Dura-Tent is the tabletop “food tent.”  It is great for picnics, parties, BBQs, banquets, camping, RVs, and all your outdoor dining needs. Dura-Tent will provide you with peace of mind for all your party and picnic food safety concerns.

Dura-Tent is one of the featured exhibitors at the DaVinci Inventor Showcase, which takes place on Oct 13, 2012 at the Denver Merchandise Mart. This is your chance to check out a Dura-Tent and many other amazing innovations.

Recently, inventor Dan Rothweil took a moment answer some questions about food safety, eating near a pool, and house fly transmitted pathogens.

Keeping fly’s at bay is the job of the Dura-Tent.

1. What was the defining moment that led you to create this product? What problem does it solve?

We were sitting outside my brother-in-laws home eating around the pool. We did not want the food inside as wet suites are an issue, plus there is no good solution on the market to keep flies off of food. So we started brainstorming new solutions. As we all know flies carry a host of bacteria that impact human health. The most concerning is O157-H7. This  is the toxin releasing e Coli that is causing hospitalizations and deaths as reported in the news. Bottom line is we do not want to eat the left overs after a fly has landed on the food as scientific data has shown that the pool of discus flies leave behind is ideal for bacteria growth.

2. After you came up with the idea, how did you size up the market and decide who your customers would be?

Several ways including talking to people. We realized the product would grow via the backyard parties and picnic consumers more so than the camper and that was key. Over 65% of the US population is concerned to very concerned about bacteria in their food chain. We do so much to prepare food to be bacteria free yet one fly carries one million bacteria.

3. How did you go about naming your product?

I hired a firm to design my box and name the product. It was their input the name does not need to describe the product as that is the tag line’s purpose. Dura-Tent “The Tabletop Food Screen” came to life from a collaborative effort.

4. How long did it take you to create you initial prototype, and what problems did you run into along the way?

The Dura-Tent took 2.5 years to prototype and get into production. Finding the right manufacturing partner was my biggest challenge. It wasn’t until my third factory that they was able to meet my quality and material requirements along with cost targets. I cannot say enough good things about the relationship I have with my factory.

5. Funding a new idea is always tricky. How did you go about lining up the money you needed?

I self-funded my business and put enough profits back into the company to achieve zero debt. I do need marketing and financial help to get to the next level though. The product has year after year growth within the southern California area and through Amazon. My customers are raving fans who sell my product for me and purchase more units for their needs and for gifts each year. This product is ready for prime time!

6. Is this a product you’d like to produce and sell yourself, or are you wanting to license it to someone else? 

It all depends on the deal.

7. What all channels are you using to market your product?

We use county fairs in the southern California area, Amazon.com, and we are starting to gain rep / smaller network buyer interest. I am also working to grow fundraiser growth.

8. How many people do you currently have involved in your business?

Me and then reps.

9. How do you define success? What would hitting a “home run” look like in your mind?

Success is seeing this product in the big box stores. Success is 1.5 – 2 million units sold in a season.

10. Where do people go to find out more about your product?