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Inventors in Bend unite!

Clockwise from left: Host of COIN, Tyrone Hazen stands next to his latest brainchild, the Fireside Audiobox; a collection of start-to-market products by Hazen; COIN attendees. Photos by Angela Moore.

Clockwise from left: Host of COIN, Tyrone Hazen stands next to his latest brainchild, the Fireside Audiobox; a collection of start-to-market products by Hazen; COIN attendees. Photos by Angela Moore.

Central Oregon Inventors Network (COIN) is a group of people with a serious interest in expanding not only their inventor's knowledge, but also their networking skills in a relaxed and supportive environment. Beer and pizza were provided at the second meeting of COIN. If those two things are not enough to join, then maybe reevaluating life would be time better spent. Host of the group, Tyrone Hazen, is an avid thinker, creator, smart guy, and was able to sit down with the Source to discuss the purpose of COIN and what can happen when creativity meets production.

This inventors network has a few purposes it serves to the people who join and participate as members. The main focus of COIN, says Hazen, "is to surround yourself with like-minded people who share a common goal." He talks passionately about how important networking is in order for certain projects to be completed. COIN facilitates these connections, he says. Though it is easy to assume that each member of this group of inventors is smarter than the average bear, (well that is actually a pretty accurate assumption), they don't know everything about everything, that is just not the way the world works.

That's where the members of COIN come in. Gathering a group of individuals from different areas of expertise and education, but with the common thread of invention orientation is behind the initial momentum of the group.

The way it works is that at a designated time one person can announce a need for help with legal or assistance with welding or general construction or even help with connecting an inventor with the marketing side of it all. At this time another individual can stand up, raise a hand, or nod at the person to acknowledge that he or she would be there to assist in said situation. All inventors, specialists, science lovers and creators are encouraged to speak up and help their fellow and awesome nerd.

COIN welcomes all inventors in all stages of production, from idea to full blown marketing preparation. Members are encouraged to register via meetup.com to allow the hosts to calculate the size of the venue as well as how much beer and food to order. They also have special guest speakers who come with important cheat-sheets that it would be a shame to miss out on. During the second meeting of COIN, one of the speakers, Jose R. Mata, a patent attorney, went over the basics of idea protection. He passed out an outline of his speech and was able to answer as many questions as he could in the time allotted. This was a perfect topic for such a relatively new group and the attention and applause received only went to verify that.

Hazen, the host of COIN, is an inventor who has recently developed a product that is completely applicable to not just Bend, but for bars, restaurants, clubs, and really any place that has an outdoor area where people gather. He calls it the "Fireside Audiobox," though most people would just call it "awesome." This device joins forces with the beat of music to create a fire-dancing visual that would mesmerize the sober and drunk public alike. Hazen brought his brainchild to the meeting to show one of his ideas that has become a full-functioning prototype. Others are also encouraged to bring their inventions to the monthly meeting.

The group gives a special thanks to David V. Robson, co-founder of E::SPACE for giving COIN not only a voice, but a place to meet (and one of the warmest welcomes the Source has received in recent memory).

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