An Idea. If all you have is an idea, that's not much to bring to the table. Many people have the false impression that if they just get a good idea, they can make money from it. This is not the case, at least not in our industry. The concept is only the beginning; what is rewarded is the particular expertise to make it cost effective, and the ingenuity and persistence to see it through to completion.
So if you have a concept that you'd like to see developed, we'd be happy to hear about it, but don't expect to be rewarded for just that. If you are prepared to become an expert on how it could best be manufactured, or if you already have special knowledge of sources of materials, production techniques, etc. then we could consider collaborating on its development.
A Prototype and/or Patent. These are both helpful. A few words about patents are in order here. While a patent can be a comfort, it is also an expense. One should realistically question whether the potential market for a product justifies the expense of patenting, and weigh that against the likelihood of knockoffs. Sometimes the answer is yes, go for the patent. But it's not automatic. That said, if you already have obtained a patent on your concept, or have applied for a patent, then you have more to offer us in the way of a collaboration on your product idea.
Already in production. If you have already developed your product, have established the best means of manufacturing, and are either prepared to market or already marketing your product, then we are in a good position to work out a deal for us to add your product to our line; that is, assume marketing and perhaps production.
Even in cases such as the last, we often like to add our own design touches to a product, or even revise it entirely ...within the bounds of your approval, of course.
Have you contracted with an "inventors' help" service company, (such as Invent-Tech) to protect and help market your idea? If you haven't, then do not. In my experience, these services are more of a hindrance than a help, and I am unwilling to run their gauntlet to look at an idea.