George Peters is the principal of Gemini Eyes LLC, the current president of the Inventors Association of New England, and above all of that, an inventor at heart. A lifelong inventor and entrepreneur, Peters’ current company is focused on helping inventors develop and license their products. He joined the Innovation Hub Haverhill at the beginning of 2020.
“The moment I saw that building and how the iHub was set up inside, I knew that was the place with such a creative atmosphere,” Peters said about the Innovation Hub Haverhill. “I love networking, connecting and learning from other innovative minded people, and the iHub is the perfect space for all forms of creativity."
George’s most successful venture has been KettlePizza, which he cofounded in 2010 with UMass Lowell alum Al Contarino. The idea was to create an insert that would maintain heat on a grill, without opening and closing the lid to see the pizza cooking.
“The first year we only sold about 20 units. But we kept going, just wanting to get our names out there and to gauge people’s reactions,” Peters said.
KettlePizza products have been sold to people in more than 70 countries. KettlePizza has been a prize on The Price Is Right and featured on the Today show, Channel 5 segment Made in Massachusetts, and as a National Hardware Show Best New Product.
In 2019, Contarino and Peters were invited to the White House’s ‘Made in America’ product showcase to exhibit the KettlePizza. As the sole representatives of Massachusetts, they were honored to be part of a wonderful event.
"Al said from the start, let's make KettlePizza in America, create some jobs and make a high quality product,” Peters said. "We had a great team of people over the years that took pride on making high quality KettlePizza products and that made us very proud."
The process of inventing and creating something that no one else has done, can be at times grueling and demoralizing, but Peters encourages other would be inventors to keep a good balance on expectations. “When I talk to people about my journey, the ups and downs, at times more losses than victories, I like to help them understand that the road they’re on is not paved – it's filled with holes and sometimes lonely."
Peters has been a guest speaker at UMass Lowell, Babson College, US Patent and Trade Office, and Salem State University, among others.
Some of Peters’ other inventions include the What Now??? Evacuation Training Aid (ETA) and the Mosquito Mitt.
The What Now??? is an evacuation training device that encourages awareness of the building’s alternate exits if your primary exit is blocked. The product was a great safety innovation, and Peters sold them to schools, hospitals, GE, Raytheon, Fidelity Investment and hundreds of other businesses for use in training and prevention efforts.
The idea of The Mosquito Mitt was born on a camping trip when Peters witnessed a little girl get sprayed in the eyes with bug spray. “There had to be a better way I thought,” Peters said. The reusable mitt allows for the user to spray repellant on the MITT, not directly onto yourself or someone else, therefore controlling where and how much repellant is applied. “What I do is not for everyone,” Peters said. “In the same day where you may receive incredible feedback, you might hit a wall, or the product might not be working the way you want it to. There is long list of obstacles.”