Winner of the 2012 “Inventor of the Year Award” – Power Practical

There was no shortage of creativity on display at this year’s DaVinci Inventor Showcase. Inventors came from all across the U.S. to be part of one of the nation’s most prestigious inventor events.

Winning top prize at this years event was Power Practical for their ingenious Power Pot. Using the magic of thermoelectric power generation, the PowerPot is a cooking pot generator that uses the heat from cooking to run a 5W generator that can power up to 2-3 USB devices at a time. With 5 watts of output and a USB interface, the product is designed to supply the power necessary to charge devices anywhere.

The complete list of inventors receiving awards and honorable mentions included:

  • Inventor of the Year Award – Power Practical – Providing practical personal power solutions. The PowerPot is the first product, which takes fire & water and makes electricity.
  • Commercial Product of the Year Award – SafeAwake – A smoke alarm aid, specifically for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, that integrates tactile stimulation and low frequency sound to awaken a sleeping person to a fire emergency.
  • Consumer Product of the Year Award – Cloud Dome – A revolutionary line of photography products, each one specifically designed to make you a better and faster product photographer.
  • Software Product of the Year Award – Megathread – Provides greater social affinity and integration through building authentic credentials across any online community platform.
  • Food & Drink Product of the Year Award Bee Nut Free – A sensibly portioned gluten free, nut free, dairy free nutritious snack item.
  • Special Award – Education Innovation of the Year Award Regis University – Universal Entrepreneur Education System.
  • Honorable Mention – Gate Glide – Gate support system which stops a wooden gate from sagging due to weather and gravity and makes it easy to open and close.
  • Honorable Mention – iExpander – An expansion device for the iPhone that has microSD card memory, provides unbelievable low light images and doubles the battery life.
  • Honorable Mention – Grace Skis – Designs and builds solid, environmentally respectful and innovative, big mountain free ride and powder skis.
  • Honorable Mention – Maggies’s Magnificent Cakes – Wisecakes are a patented “gourmet cake in a box” that the consumer just has to add water, stir and bake for a delicious, gourmet cake every time.

With nearly 100 “celebrity judges” weighing in, the selection process involved considerable effort, both on the part of the judges and the team who tallied all the scores.

“We put a tremendous effort into the judging process,” said Thomas Frey, Executive Director of the DaVinci Institute. “We ask some very credible people to take valuable time out of their lives to participate in judging the inventions. And it is the combined weight of these individual decisions that gives such far-reaching credibility to these awards.”

Announcing the awards at this year’s event were Thomas Frey and Gene Branch, Partner at Perkins Coie.

Special Thanks

We especially want to thank the brilliant and dedicated staff and volunteers at the DaVinci Institute for putting this event together. Special thanks go out to Deb Frey, Jan Wagner, Kyler Frey, Andrew Frey, Nancy Slattery, Cheri Hoffer, and our many volunteers. Also, thanks go out to our photographer Steve Sokolik, and our videographers Steve Maltz and Paula Zimmerman

We also want to thank our Sponsors who become very closely involved in the planning, execution, judging, and operation of the event itself. Sponsors included Tom Franklin at Kilpatrick Townsend, Gene Branch at Perkins Coie, Peter Vandevanter at CGX Printing, and Karl Dakin at Regis University.

Without these amazingly talented individual, none of this could have ever happened.

Keynote Speakers

The event not only showcased the brilliance of inventors, but also three of the nation’s top speakers working in the field of cutting edge innovation.

Teresa Stanek Rea is Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Ms. Rea oversees an office that encourages innovation and technological advancement, and helps businesses protect their investments, promote their goods and safeguard against deception in the marketplace. Before joining USPTO in 2011, Ms. Rea was a leading attorney in the field of intellectual property with more than 25 years of legal experience and a past president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.


Oliver Kuttner is Founder & Chief Executive Officer for the Edison2 Team. One hundred and eleven teams from around the world entered the 100 Mile per Gallon Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize in 2008, and in September 2010 Edison2 was awarded the top prize, winning the Mainstream class and with it $5 million. Oliver is also a commercial real estate developer who was pivotal in revitalizing Charlottesville, Virginia’s downtown. Today, his enlightened and environmentally responsible methods are helping revitalize Lynchburg, Virginia. Practicing what he preaches, Oliver placed Edison2’s offices and assembly facility in a formerly abandoned 360,000 square foot textile factory that now houses over 24 businesses and numerous residences. This important work demonstrates Oliver’s ability to lead complex projects, build business relationships, and deliver results. His broad experience also includes award-winning building design, sports car racing prototype construction.

Louis Foreman currently manages a $25 Million Dollar Innovation Fund dedicated to bringing individuals’ innovations to the marketplace. Louis is a prolific inventor, product developer, innovation enthusiast created nine successful startups and has been directly responsible for the creation of more than 20 others. He is the CEO of EdisonNation, publisher of Inventor’s Digest, and producer of the Emmy Award winning PBS series “Everyday Edison”.