Product Development Academy Expands Course Destinations In Response To Coronavirus

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Two-part program helps businesses develop, manufacture and launch products through online coursework and direct visits to manufacturing facilities

Steven Selikoff presenting a seminar on negotiation at Global Sources Summit in Hong Kong 2019

Steven Selikoff presenting a seminar on negotiation at Global Sources Summit in Hong Kong 2019

New destinations and new programs allow us to continue to serve our entrepreneurs while we wait for the situation in China to get better

The Product Development Academy today announced it was expanding its direct learning destinations beyond China to include Australia, and the US so that students participating in its business development program had more options to learn and meet with contract manufacturers, retailers, and distributors.

“The Product Development Academy is all about giving people with great ideas the tools and experience needed to bring those ideas to life,” Steven Selikoff, Founder, said. “This goes beyond just course work; we make sure every participant is connected with other students, mentors, and experts and gets the opportunity to travel directly to manufacturing locations, retailer locations, and meet with retail experts, so that they can learn firsthand how to get their products out to the market.”

The new destinations are being added to the program’s initial option of visiting Guangzhou China to attend the Canton Fair, which occurs twice a year and features more than 60,000 booths with almost a half a square mile of exhibitors. Because of the uncertainty of the coronavirus, and the Academy wants to be sure that its participating entrepreneurs have additional options throughout the world.

“We are incredibly excited about our new destinations as we now have a wide variety of markets our students can visit depending on their exact needs,” Selikoff said. “And in addition, out of an abundance of caution regarding the coronavirus outbreak, we are giving our students the opportunity to reschedule their Canton Fair trip to October instead of April.”

Participants in the program spend a month taking online courses to learn how to bring their product ideas from concept to reality. Topics covered in the program include:

  • Product Development process
  • Customer Demand Validation
  • Product Suppliers
  • Sourcing
  • Logistics
  • Intellectual Property

“We stay with our students through every step of the way so they can confidently meet with suppliers and manufacturers and get the best deals possible,” Selikoff said. “We visit the factories so that our students can learn about production facilities in person.”

The Product Development Academy was launched because Selikoff and his team found that aspiring entrepreneurs all over the world kept coming to them with questions when they were looking to produce, launch, and sell a product.

How do you keep a factory from stealing your idea? What do you say when a supplier quotes you a high MOQ? How do you know if you are being overcharged for a mold? What questions should you ask an Inspection Company before hiring them? How do you get your product onto store shelves? How do you keep them there? How does selling to retailers compare to selling on Amazon? How do you review a factory, and how do you find a factory in the first place?

Selikoff was sought out due to his personal success launching unique products, his background as a global business manager at Microsoft for two divisions, including the Worldwide Retail Sales & Marketing, and his writing of The Canton Fair Workbook.

“We were inspired by those questions and developed an entire course around getting people answers,” Selikoff said. “And depending on what type of product is being developed, those answers can be different, so it was important we make sure we were providing people with specialized assistance along the way.”

“There are already plenty of courses out there that teach people how to game the Amazon system by copying existing products,” Selikoff said. “We are different because we focus on helping people launch unique products and grow beyond selling solely on online marketplaces.”

The new destinations will be offered throughout the Spring and Summer of 2020. More information can be found online at

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Robert Jape
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