Think you're too young and inexperienced to start your own company or come up with a new invention? Think again. These recent grads prove that young adults can be successful and innovative during and right out of school.
Founded by Michael Callahan and Thomas Coleman
Graduates of the University of Illinois in 2007, Michael Callahan and Thomas Coleman founded Ambient Corporation to develop and sell the technology that they create. One of their main inventions is a device called the Audeo, which is a small machine that helps people with speaking disabilities regain their ability to communicate. It uses sensors located in a neckband worn by the user to detect thoughts (or instruction signals sent by the brain) and relay them to a computer that converts them into words. Callahan and Coleman started investigating the technology as engineering students, and they have won numerous awards for their work.
BriteIce Technologies LLC
Founded by Mike Casper and Tony Nichol
Both 2005 graduates of the University of Wisconisn, Madison, Mike Casper and Tony Nichol started their company, BriteIce Technologies, after winning $7,000 for their invention in their school's Innovation Days competition. Casper and Nichol came up with the idea of using optical technology to project multiple bright images on ice, which would allow for on-ice hockey advertising. BriteIce lays under the ice and can instantly flash on in any bright color to promote team and sponsor logos.
Founded by Forrest Liau
Forrest Liau, a 2006 Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, was only a sophomore when he joined forces with a few of his classmates to form RallyPoint. This company provides protection and tools to soldiers, firemen, law enforcement officers, and rescue personnel. RallyPoint's main invention is the Handwear Computer Input Device (HCID). This sensor-embedded glove allows a soldier to communicate directions, commands, and other information to fellow soldiers by using a series of hand-signals. RallyPoint is funded by the Department of Defense's Small Business Innovation Research Program.
Founded by Teresita Cochran and Samuel Cochran
Graduating from New York University in 2005, Teresita Cochran and her brother, Samuel Cochran (2005 Pratt Institute graduate), formed Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology (SMIT). SMIT is a start-up company that is developing a new approach to solar and wind power. Their main invention, GROW, is a hybrid energy delivery system that provides power via the sun and wind and is inspired from ivy growing on a building. GROW's unique design can adapt to different building types and regional climates. SMIT hopes to collaborate with architects and builders to increase environmental responsibility throughout cities nationwide.
Founded by Stephen Tanenbaum, Alex Farkas, and Greg Rosborough
Founded in 2006 by three University of Arizona graduates, Ugallery.com is an online art gallery that represents student artists and recent graduates. Stephen Tanenbaum, Alex Farkas, and Greg Rosborough met in business school and shared an interest in supporting the arts, specifically the difficult transition from art school to art marketing. They created Ugallery.com to help art students begin their careers, while offering consumers access to affordable art. During its first year in business, Ugallery.com was named "most notable vendor" by American Artist magazine.