Diversity and innovation celebrated as Licensing Expo Virtual’s License This! crowns its 2021 winners

An animated brand with diversity at its centre, a refillable snack jar, and a children’s animation that brings African and African American culture to the super hero sector have each been named the winners of the inaugural US version of the popular License This! competition.

Held during this past week’s Licensing Expo Virtual – which ran from August 24th to 26th – License This! in partnership with InventHelp, is a global competition that culminated at the online trade event, by providing select illustrators, designers, animators, and product inventors the chance to pitch their concepts to a panel of expert judges.

Spanning three categories in its online format, including Character and Animation, Brand and Design, and Innovations and Product Innovation, the live finale is now available to watch via the Licensing Expo Virtual platform. It witnessed finalists making their pitch to a panel of licensing experts, who then deliberated over this year’s winners.

a staple of London’s Brand Licensing Europe trade show, this marks the first time that the License This! competition has been held for the US licensing industry.

The winners of the inaugural US version of the License This! competition, are:

License This! Character & Animation winners:

  • Emily Blumenthal & Lindsay Kaye Lippman, The Charmsters, a diversity-based animation brand. 

License This! Brand & Design winner:

License This! Innovations & Product Innovation winner:

The License This! competition’s 2021 judging panel comprised of 18 senior executives from every corner of the industry, including Bioworld Merchandising, Boat Rocker Studio, Crayola, FYE, Hallmark, Licensing International, Lisa Mark Associates, Product Counsel, PowerStation Studios and Redbubble, in addition to partner InventHelp and official sponsor WestEnd Software.

“We at the Goodie Jar are excited to have been chosen as a License This! winner,” said Lawrence Canada, The Goodie Jar. “This is a dream coming to fruition. We look forward to the opportunities and experiences that accompany this accomplishment at Licensing Expo.”

Fellow License This! winner Xavier Smith, added: “Winning License This! is an exciting and epic opportunity for The Kujifunza Kids brand and the II Tribes Entertainment family! We look forward to all opportunities from this wonderful experience.”

Finally, founder Emily Blumenthal, and creative director Lindsay Kaye Lippman, of Kanvas Brands, said: “We are excited to win the Character & Animation category for the License This! Competition. We believe this will bring awareness and opportunities to The Charmsters, a diversity-based animation brand rooted in joy, inclusivity and girl empowerment.

“We are grateful to the industry for giving us this platform to introduce our mission and female founded brand and look forward to what happens next.”

This year’s License This! winners receiveone-to-one consultation with members of the judging panel and competition sponsor WestEnd Software, free-of-charge turnkey booth at Licensing Expo 2022, one-year Licensing International membership, one-year Products of Change membership and – exclusively to the winner of the ‘Inventions & Product Innovations’ category – one-to-one consultation with InventHelp.

“I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this year’s panel,” said Steven Ekstract, managing director of Global Licensing Advisors and Chair of the License This! Judges. “We are really excited to announce the winners and wish them all the very best of luck.”

Brand Licensing Europe’s (BLE) popular License This! competition, which has been running for over a decade, is now open for entries and announces a new third award category, the Inventions & Product Innovations category.