Inventor Serves Up A Win
As an avid tennis player, David Glass often experienced tennis shots that hit the top of the net not reacting consistently from court to court or between tennis facilities. After much observation and research he found that the cause of this problem was inconsistent tensioning of the cables holding the nets. Working with University of Tennessee tennis coaches and US Tennis Association officials, he developed a device that accurately indicates net cord tension, allowing tournament facilities to set a preferred tension that is equal across all the courts. He received a patent on the device and formed Cable Tension LLC to market the device, which he named TNT Gauge™.
Now began his biggest hurdle. There were no specifications or rules for net tensioning, although tennis’s governing bodies knew there was a problem. Glass had to demonstrate there was now at least one practical solution to removing this last variable from the tennis court, and convince them that net tension specifications should be established. He contacted Knoxville SCORE for advice on developing a strategy to gain the attention of the governing bodies, the market place, and tennis professionals, as well as marketing the device and pricing. Using trade shows as his initial contact, he met with with several professional tennis tournaments and sponsors, explained the situation and how he could rectify it, and asked for their cooperation by using the TNT Gauge in their tournaments. In the past 18 months the TNT Gauge has been used in numerous professional and NCAA tennis events and it will be used on all the courts at the upcoming US Open tournament this summer. He has demonstrated the science of the device to the United States Tennis Association’s Technical Committee, and also has met with several professional players to gain their support in creating a fairer playing field. He has signed a marketing agreement with a national equipment firm, and his device has gained national exposure on television sports channels and in national industry magazines.
Glass credits SCORE counselors for providing a sounding board for his ideas, encouragement, and assisting in creating his marketing and strategic planning. Cable Tension LLC was selected as first place winner in Knoxville SCORE’s “Client of the Year” 2012 contest. Glass has plans to expand the gauge into other areas needing to measure cable tension, such as light aircraft controls, tower guide wires, and sailboat rigging. You can learn more about this firm and TNT Gauge™ at www.tightcable.net.