Pitches: Toys and Games
UIA Board Member Matt Nuccio and Chicago Toy and Game Founder Mary Couzin will provide toy inventors the opportunity to pitch their toy invention for feedback from industry experts.
Thursday, Oct.22, 2020 at 2 PM ET (11 A.M. PT)
CLICK HERE to Watch Live or catch up on previous episodes.
Meet the Panel:
Matt is the owner of Design Edge, a toy and game development, marketing, manufacturing, inventing and consulting agency. They are headquartered in New York with two satellite offices in China.
For over 30 years, Design Edge has been a leading development agency in the toys and games industry. For 4 years Matt co-chaired the Toy Industry Association (TIA) associate panel, representing all designers and inventors in the toy industry. Currently, Matt sits on the board of directors of the United Inventors Association of America (UIA) and on the Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) advisory board.
Matt also writes a column in Toy Family Entertainment magazine focusing on the toy industry and often lectures at New York Toy Fair, ASTRA, Chicago Toy & Game Fair, and Hong Kong Toy Fair. Our products have been nominated for, and have also won, many industry awards such as TOTY (Toy Of The Year), Games 100, Origin, and Family Fun to name a few.
Mary is the CEO and Founder of Chicago Toy and Game Fair, now known as POP (People of Play). After inventing, self-producing and licensing her own toys and games, Mary turned her passion for invention to help other inventors through DiscoverToysandGames.com, the world’s largest co-op of toy and game inventors. In 2003, Mary launched the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (CHITAG) with a plan to create the largest American celebration of play. In 2006 she introduced the Toy & Game Inventor’s Conference to help new inventors connect with industry experts, and in 2008 the Toy & Game Innovator of the Year Awards (TAGIEs) to honor and celebrate toy and game innovators. Tracks for professional inventors, design students, social media and play in education have been added to the Conferences through the years. Thinking to celebrate play in an edgier way, she launched PlayCHIC, a toy and game inspired fashion event in 2011. 2006 saw the debut of the Young Inventor Challenge which has over 250 kids competing from around North America and overseas. It’s all about encouraging inventiveness and creativity in kids!
Mary is a Selection Committee Member at National Toy Hall of Fame, a CES KAPI Awards Judge and a TOTY Award Selection Committee member. She has served on TIA’s Associate Membership and PlayCon/ToyCon Committees. On occasion, she writes for ToyBook and other publications as well as actively posts in traditional and social media promoting the importance of play and innovation. She has spoken at ASTRA, NY Toy Fair, GenCon, World Congress of Play, Chicago Auto Show and ChiTAG hosted events.
She’s humbled by many honors through the years: 2019 Prestigious UK Toy Fair Inventors’ Dinner I.D.I.O.T. Award (International Designer and Inventor of Toys), 2017 Women in Toys Elise Lachowyn Mentorship Award, Women in Toys Wonder Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2009, 2011 TAGIE Founder’s Award, 2011 Global Toy News Person of the Year and the 2014 Woman Driving Excellence, Chicago Auto Show. She is active in local politics having served on City Council, Parks Board, Sculpture Committee, Zoning Board and Plan Commission. She is a past United Way Board Member and mentors’ students at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management in their Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative. Mary received a BBA from the University of Notre Dame and a MBA from Loyola University.