A new show, Make 48, co-produced by Make 48, Outpost Worldwide (Kansas City) and presenting station KTWU Topeka, and sponsored by Pivot International and other leading brands, is giving shows like Shark Tank a run for its money. The first season of this 8-episode educational docu-series will be distributed to public television stations throughout the country this fall 2017, as well as internationally. With the tagline "Everyone's Got a Big Idea," the show empowers ordinary people to tap into their resourcefulness and pursue their dreams. The capacity for g enuine innovation holds a unique value in our modern world. It differentiates between the companies of the past and the companies of the future. It expands horizons and solves real world problems.

And it belongs to the underdog as much, if not more, than it belongs to the goliaths of the world.

After an application process in which participants submit application videos that showcase their qualifications and personality, 12 teams are chosen and given 48 hours to envision an idea, produce a prototype, and perfect a marketing pitch. No prior experience is necessary, and the show provides "tool techs" -- prototype making and product design experts -- to assist throughout the process. After 48 hours of brainstorming and hard work, three teams and their respective inventions are chosen. The winners then receive professional help to further develop and refine their ideas, and the process culminates with crowdfunding campaigns through which the public voices their confidence in the different ideas.

For the second year in a row, Mark Dohnalek, President and CEO of Pivot International, will be a judge on the show. His company is a Kansas-based global product development and manufacturing firm with tremendous success in designing and engineering innovations from ideas to products. With operations in the US, UK, Taiwan, China, and Manila, Mark sees firsthand how important it is for innovators to know how to translate a breakthrough insight into application in a global market. He has mentored many budding inventors and product design executives and puts his experience to good use on the Make 48 set.

He poses the same three questions to the show's hopefuls as he does to everyone who walks through the doors of his company with a "Eureka!" moment:

What functions does your product provide?

This question can also be thought of in terms of what problem, or problems, a product solves in the world. What's an inconvenience or difficulty that the product counters? A product could be an improvement to something no one has yet thought of "fixing" because it hasn't felt "broken," or the remedy for an issue that people have been struggling to resolve for generations.

One of Pivot's own success stories is the Skinzit Electric Fish Skinner. Though not exactly glamorous, the Skinzit recognizes the agonies of trying to skin a fresh-caught fish and offers a simple, streamlined solution. Additionally, it's ease of use and safety make it possible for kids to operate as well, which is great news for families in which hunting and fishing are means of instilling self-sufficiency in children.

After working with other companies unsuccessfully, the Skinzit founders went to Pivot International and Pivot's team was able to overcome the prototype complexities with their innovative engineering techniques. Once Skinzit, with Pivot's help, was able to develop a solution that met the performance requirement, the brand was able to tap into and relieve such a common and frustrating issue that success was imminent and reflected both in a series of viral Facebook videos and skyrocketing sales.

How will you bring it to market?

This consideration is critical because no matter how extraordinary a product is, its viability depends on making it accessible and attractive to consumers. A pre-cursor to this question might be the question -- who is the product's target audience? If the target audience is moms with children under five, the product could be brought to market through a trusted grocery chain. Alternately, if the target audience is 16-year olds who love video games, featuring the product on a prominent online gaming hub and marketplace could be the best route.

Do you have mobile capabilities or infrastructure to be agile and competitive in today's world?

Possessing mobile capabilities or infrastructure is a must regardless of the type of product, as one of the key guarantors of success in the marketplace is agility. Innovators need to simultaneously be, or recruit as partners, savvy businesspersons to guarantee that the opportunities that come their way are ones they can capitalize on and accommodate. In other words, they need to be in a position in which they can scale, meet demand, and convert quickly. In today's world, that means meeting the consumer where they are -- on their phones.

Being stewards of innovation, whether as skilled teachers like Mark and his team at Pivot International or as eager apprentices like the folks of all ages and backgrounds who sign up and rise in shows like Make 48, is essential to our collective ability to solve the most pressing issues of our time, to celebrate our creative genius, and to re-imagine what's possible in every milieu of our world -- technology, agriculture, the economy, etc.

And when innovation is combined with business acumen and experience, the impact is that much more amplified.