Spark Innovations making new things in King City
Founded in 1988, Spark innovations has been bringing new products to market for nearly 30 years
May 1, 2018 by Simon Martin
Before there is a good product, there has to be a good idea.
That is what King City’s Spark Innovations has been working with for the better part of 29 years.
Spark is a product engineering and development firm that helps people bring their unique ideas to market. “The goal for most of the clients who come to us it to get a patent,” design director Chris Pearen said.
The showroom at Spark’s office on King Road is littered with examples of its work: kitchen products, toothbrushes, shower caps, drywall tools and an indoor hydroponics machine are just a few of the things the company has helped develop in recent years.
“We help people move from an idea to a product,” chief financial officer Gary Vilinsky said.
One of Spark’s largest recent successes was its power toothbrush product Brushpoint, which was sold in retailers such as Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart and Walgreens. Vilinsky said they became the fourth largest power toothbrush company in North America.
The devil of an idea is in the details. Spark founder Bob Dickie realized that all of the existing patents for electric toothbrushes put the motor transmissions in the unit handles. The new invention invention kept the motor in the handle, but put the transmission into disposable brush heads. The design made it possible to make an inexpensive electric toothbrush.
In 2016, Brushpoint was acquired by Ranir.
Spark has moved on to new products and designs. A lot has changed since Dickie started the company in 1988 and developed the flat plug so furniture can fit snugly against a wall.
Pearen said one of the big changes in the market of ideas is 3D printing and kickstarter.
“3D printing can help validate your idea,” he said. It can show people it is possible to build their product. “We get people from ‘can I build something’ to ‘can I manufacture something,’” Pearen said.
Crowdfunding has turned into a way to pre-sell your product and develop a loyal following, Vilinsky said. Spark gets new ideas sent to them every day and is always looking to help with the next smart innovation.