Jim Debetta

Jim DeBetta’s product development and sales experience has amassed millions of dollars within the retail selling world. Known nationally as a trusted coach and mentor to thousands of inventors and entrepreneurs, he knows how to take new ideas from a sketch on a napkin to selling the final product to major retailers worldwide.

Jim’s career in retail began at an early age with the family business – a fireplace and home hardware company. After graduating from college, Jim went home to help expand the business from a small successful operation into a multi-million dollar business and became one of the most recognized and respected store of its kind on Long Island. Jim stimulated new business, purchased products from all over the world, and ran the overall daily operations.

Jim decided it was time to grow and joined a start up firm that imported binoculars, telescopes, and optical products for children. His retail customers included a “who’s who” in retail such as Target, Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, Sears, Michael’s, Cabelas, Home Shopping Network, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Discovery Channel Stores, Costco, and many others. Jim employed nearly 20 people inside and had dozens of sales reps all over the US, Canada, and Europe. Ultimately, Jim helped expand the company from virtually no significant revenue to a leading brand in the industry that has sold more than 50 million dollars of product since the mid 1990′s. When Jim was ready for a new adventure, he left the company as President and Chief Operating Officer.

Jim decided he was ready for yet a bigger challenge and joined a leading premium incentive company as their National Key Accounts Manager. Jim represented major national brands for this $100 million a year premium incentive firm such as Toshiba, Sony, Nikon, Nautilus, Movado and others. The products were used to create various incentive programs for fortune 1,000 companies around the world.

Jim’s experience has reached far and wide working with various products, retailers, manufactures, and factories. He knew it was time to help those that had a product in mind or ready for production. His goal was to teach others the process without unnecessary expense, time and red tape. That is how DeCavi Corp was born.

As the founder of DeCavi Corp, Jim has helped thousands of inventors and start-ups learn how to get their products developed and sold to major retailers. Jim then merged his firm with the renowned Slingshot Product Development Group which employs a team of 35 engineers, designers, and marketing experts who help individual inventors and Fortune 500 firms alike. Both are recognized as leaders in the inventor product development and commercialization arena. Today, Jim continues to broaden his reach into the world of consumer products and has formed DeBetta Enterprises which is a private consultancy that coaches and advises inventors and entrepreneurs on everything from manufacturing to sales and marketing of consumer products. Jim also heads up the Retail Distribution arm of Kevin Harrington’s TV Goods corporation which today is fueled by the hit ABC reality show Shark Tank.

""Jim teaches inventors how to create sales and marketing strategies, understand the world of licensing, develop a product using CAD design, raising money to fund a business, and locating factories overseas to produce products. Jim is now reaching out to individuals who want to learn how to do it for themselves. Learn how he does that by clicking here.

Jim is a Professional Member of the United Inventors Association, a member of the Georgia Inventor’s Association, Rocky Mountain Inventors Association, and was the former co-host of the Launch Hour – a popular radio program for inventors and entrepreneurs. He is also the author of The Business of Inventing and has written hundreds of articles for industry publications, newspapers, and websites such as Inventor’s Digest, Georgia Magazine, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Jim also appears as a guest speaker for leading trade and consumer organizations, speaks at international conferences, and hosts forum and blog discussions on prominent invention and entrepreneurial websites.

As we look ahead to all of the promise of 2013, we must take a moment first to reflect on 2012, which proved to be a very interesting year! While retail continues to slowly crawl back from a rough few years during the recession, it seems that people continue to find a way to shop despite their personal financial hardships.

According to various popular polls, it seems that 2013 will be more about spending money on things that make them happy and healthy than ever before. Consumers plan to spend less on frivolous items and more on practical ones. With retail holiday sales predicted to increase just a mere few percent for 2013 (and I find it hard to believe this can be predicted a year in advance), retailers will continue to ramp up the in-store experience while improving the on-line shopping experience that is tailored to each individual shopper in order to grow sales beyond what is being predicted.

Recently, I spoke to some buyers I know well who work for major retail chains and each had varied opinions about how 2013 may turn out. Some felt that the outlook for their business was favorable, and they will continue to seek out new and innovative products from well-known brands as well as young emerging companies and inventors. Others felt that with the threat of the fiscal cliff and with consumers feeling uneasy with the near term, they would continue to act cautiously and watch inventories carefully and only test new items in a limited number of stores to see how they perform.

This year as in years past, retailers will come and go and new ones will pop up. However, most retailers will continue to find ways to do more business on their own websites and drive consumers to them. The sales action will not be limited to one’s own website, though. With deal-of-the-day sites having gone from being virtually unheard of to becoming as popular as a rock star, big and little brands are taking advantage of leveraging these mega popular sites for their own gain. Moving excess inventory and simply growing your brand awareness are just a few benefits these brands are reaping from working with these daily deal sites.

If you are an inventor with a potentially hot new product, this seems like it will shape up to be another fruitful year as long as the product is packaged well, priced right, and is well marketed. Based on my annual research and conversations with industry experts and retail executives alike, I have listed some product categories that are thought to be important growth categories in 2013. In order for leading retailers to differentiate themselves going forward, they must offer unique products along with the innovative everyday items we always purchase. This is great news for inventors! Some of these categories mimic those from 2012, but a few new ones are emerging and this represents real opportunity for the brave entrepreneur!

For consumer product entrepreneurs, the time to develop and market your new product is right now! By creating products that match well with current consumer demand, you may be well positioned to offer consumers innovative items that they are seeking and attract those who are willing to spend for convenience and fun items alike. There are various sites that also will predict what items will be hot holiday offerings for 2013 including leaders like dealio.com. Combined with conversations with leading retail chain buyers and our own perceptions of social trends, here is what we predict will be HOT in retail in 2013.


Health & Wellness

This category is booming and is poised to boom even more this year. With items ranging from anti-stress drinks and pills to organic skin care to natural products that contain the extract Seabuckthorn, wellness is at the top of most retailer’s lists for must-have products for their customers. I have been seeing fast growth with protein and muscle-building foods and ones that help with brain function. With the boomer population continuing to grow quickly, these are desirable products. Gluten and lactose free products continue to become more readily available and affordable.


I know…cars right? But it seems the auto industry has made a turn for the better, and we will see a lot more hybrid and electric vehicle dotting the landscape. With gas at over three dollars a gallon, these types of autos will continue to attract customers. With prices dropping, they will become more affordable to many, as well.

Robotic Products

Robots are just plain cool, and it’s no surprise that this industry is targeting everyday Americans. With the Roomba robotic floor cleaner paving the way a few years ago, various companies are looking for ways to provide remedies for household chores and unique entertainment. Look for these “personal” robots to come on the scene this year – especially those that collaborate with your tablets and smartphones.

Baby Boomer Products

This is and will continue to be a fast growing category as the first wave of baby boomers that turn sixty will be in the tens of millions. This group continues to demand more relevant products that keep them looking and feeling young. From technology products such as gadgets, brain games, and fitness items, there are abundant opportunities for inventors to create products that will be needed for years to come. I have spoken with a few buyers that mentioned they are seeking magnification products, items that amplify sound, and technology items such as sleep assistive devices that help people to fall asleep easier.

Video Game Apps

Here is a category that just keeps getting bigger and better, and now it’s going more virtual than ever! Last year, Fox News predicted that this market may surpass the 20 billion dollar mark in 2012 for the consoles and software alone. While the numbers are not in yet, it appears we may have indeed eclipsed that mark. However, the video game business continues to shift toward app-based play as kids and adults alike simply download games right to their phones or computers and don’t need an entire video game console that is not portable. There are millions of kids and adults who regularly play video games, and those companies that cater to the ever changing market will make the personal gaming experience more enjoyable and more affordable for all.

Solar Products

Solar started picking up steam in 2012 and will continue to in 2013. From solar watches to cell phone chargers, consumers should react favorably to these convenient and environmentally sensitive products.

Consumer Electronics

Unchanged from 2012, this category will remain a leader for retail chains and online retailers. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, smart phones (web access), tablet PC’s, and flat screen TV’s will continue to be popular while decreasing in price. Creating accessories for these items such as protective covers and customized “skins” will continue to be in demand according to retail buyers.