To provide entrepreneurs with compassionate advice, feedback and assistance to help advance business concepts to realities.
A brief history of the Burton Morgan Concept Development Institute
CDI was founded about 1974 by three engineers; Dr. Burton D. Morgan, Developer of Morgan Adhesives, Edward A. Brittenham, Former V.P. and Chief Engineer of Goodyear Aerospace Corporation and Robert S. Ross, Ph.D., former manager of R&D at Goodyear Aerospace Corporation. The original purpose was to provide a nonprofit organization to assist new ideas to get to the marketplace faster. CDI started by doing its own R&D and by acting as consultants to others who wanted help outside their own walls. Grants and donations financed the work, as well as, contracts on specific assignments where CDI possessed unique capabilities.
Examples were requests from companies who asked CDI to review their production capabilities and suggest new products that they could produce. NASA wanted to issue several study contracts on lighter than air subjects and they did not have in house capability to evaluate the results, so CDI acted as NASA's evaluators. CDI also helped a company work on the "car of the future", which would provide survivability in a 40 mph crash. A contract was taken with NASA to evaluate large windmills for generating electricity. CDI did much of the work in house, hired outside consultants and even subcontracted some of the work which required fabrication and tests.
On one occasion, CDI learned of work on a new energy source, so CDI sponsored a symposium in Hudson, inviting people from all over the country to came and discuss what it might be and how to learn more. It appeared to be a form of electricity, which could light bulbs and operate motors, but could not be measured by current electrical meters. The source seemed to be accidentally tapped by individuals, but no highly scientific persons were involved to explain how or why it occurred. During the one day session, theories were presented, but no time or funds were available to pursue it.
CDI began with an office in the Student Union building on the Kent State University campus. It was hoped that its faculty would be a large talent source. However, it turned out they had projects of their own and when Dr. Morgan opened an office on Stoney Hill Drive, CDI moved there. When he built the Morgan Bank Building, CDI moved again and took space there. All this time, CDI has been funded by grants, donations and fund raising events like banquets. These funds paid for office space, secretarial help, telephone lines, answering services, stationary, etc.
Over the years, many of the CDI Directors have retired, passed away and been replaced. A number of changes have gradually also taken place. CDI is open to the public and people attending the meetings often asked advice of the group. The fund raising became a chore, time was limited, and there seemed to be a lot of good ideas floating around besides those of CDI members. Gradually, CDI changed to advising others instead of generating all ideas internally. The Directors took over the responsibility of providing the secretarial service, phone service and even Internet activity, minimizing costs and fund raising efforts. When Morgan Hall was donated to Western Reserve Academy and they offered to let CDI use the Board Room for meetings, that helped considerably. Now the Directors have been donating funds to keep CDI operating, since they are already funding most of it. Of course, donations from others are always welcome.
At the present time CDI has about a dozen Directors, who are executives of companies or retired officials, who meet once a month on the last Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. at the Board Room at Morgan Hall on the Western Reserve Academy campus in Hudson, Ohio to offer advice to business people or potential business people who desire help in marketing their ideas. There is no charge for this assistance or any obligation to follow it. However, results are always welcome.