Inventioneers start own firmBy APRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent
June 20. 2013 10:56PM
The six young engineers from the Inventioneers, an award-winning FIRST Lego League team from Londonderry, are launching their own company.
Now the six young engineers from the Inventioneers, an award-winning FIRST Lego League team from Londonderry, are launching their own company.
On Friday evening, longtime teammates Tristan “T.J.” Evarts, 17, Emily Balcom, 16, Kate Balcom, 15, Bryeton Evarts, 12, Jaiden Evarts, 13 and Paige Balcom, 18, are inviting friends and supporters to help them celebrate the launch of their new start-up technology company, Inventioneers, Etc.
The teammates, whose first product, the SMARTwheel, will soon be available to consumers, will gather inside Dyn’s corporate headquarters in Manchester at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
T.J. Evarts, who is putting college on hold this fall to serve as the new company’s chief executive officer, said the event’s timing is perfect as it coincides with the 8 p.m. re-broadcast of their recent appearance on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank.”
The show premiered Feb. 15, when the teens made a dramatic pitch for the SMARTwheel and secured a deal offer with two of the billionaire investors.
The SMART Wheel is an electronic steering wheel cover that senses driver hand position and provides instant feedback to alert the driver to unsafe positioning.
Since February, the SMARTwheel has garnered a lot of attention and unique partnerships.
In late April, the device was displayed at the New Hampshire Traffic Safety Conference, and the following month, the Inventioneers were recognized for their work during the New Hampshire High Tech Council’s Entrepreneur of the Year banquet.
“We’ve had a lot going on this year, to say the least,” Evarts said on Thursday. “Since the show ran, we’re making some really big steps lining things up with local manufacturers, including some car companies that are considering installing the SMARTwheel in some products.”
With negotiations well under way, Evarts said he can’t yet reveal the names of those companies, but he does feel confident that things are headed in a great direction.
“For me, it was a bit nerve-wracking being on television,” he said. “But we also felt pretty confident going in there because we knew what we were talking about. After all, we invented it, right?”
During Friday evening’s event, the young inventors said they’re excited about the chance to recognize those who helped them along the way, while answering questions from the public, both in person and via Twitter.
The event will be live-streamed on the team’s website, www.SMARTwheelUSA.com, and those watching at home can tweet their questions to the team using #SMARTwheelBash.