We’re thrilled to kick off 2020 by welcoming these 10 creative and ambitious maker-entrepreneurs to Generator.
These folks were selected by a panel of business leaders, designers, and manufacturing professionals for the 2020 JumpStart cohort, our business development program organized in partnership with LaunchVT.
Their ideas are impressive, their prototypes are in-progress, and their dreams are big. Expect big moves from this crew.
Meet the entrepreneurs below — and don’t miss our upcoming JumpStart talks!
Michael Zebrowski, Up End This
You may recognize Michael as our February/March 2019 Maker-in-Resident. During his residency, Michael built the first prototype of a SATELLITE, a modular micro-architectural solution for work and life. Now Michael is readying his business, Up End This, to take SATELLITEs to market.
Ren Weiner, Miss Weinerz
Ren is known best for sweet collaborations within the circular economy. Dedicated to ecological resilience, Ren is curating a line of reusable & plantable food packaging focused on fibers that grow in our currant landscape.
Dwyer Haney, Cole Forge Stoves
After the 2019 Halloween storm Dwyer’s shop flooded and he had nowhere to work. Then he heard about Generator. Now Dwyer is one of the Generator metal shop’s most active users. He builds multi-function wood stoves that replace the three appliances in the modern home that use the most fossil fuels: space heaters, stoves for cooking, and domestic hot water heaters. With design and fabrication ongoing, Dwyer is excited to use JumpStart as an opportunity to plan for business growth.
Laura Neal, Malas and Mandalas
Laura creates jewelry made of lava stones and gemstones that can be used for meditation and aromatherapy. Her goal is to make jewelry that helps the wearer feel more grounded and connected in their everyday life. Laura is excited to get trained in Generator’s jewelry studio so she can explore new designs and product ideas.
Jeff is prototyping a remote monitoring system using NDT, IOT and predictive analysis systems that provide fleet manager with real time data regarding the the conditions of their industrial equipment. His goal in JumpStart is to continue prototyping while exploring existing markets for his invention and how to tap into them.
Ethan recently graduated from UVM and he’s excited to kick-off his entry into the “real world” by exploring the potential of his unique, handcrafted Bluetooth speakers to be a fully-fledged business. His speakers are designed for people who strongly identify with the music they listen to and want to display that passion in their home. Ethan is using JumpStart to continue protoyping his designs — he’s currently getting trained in the woodshop — while considering the branding, sales systems, and other facets of building a business.
Jackie Bishop, Jackie Bishop Art
Jackie is a current Generator member known for her kiln-fired pendant lampshades etched with original illustrations and patterns. She’s excited to continue experimenting on the laser cutter while getting trained in the metal shop and on the 3D printers so she can dream up new products to add to her line.
Eric Grunfeld, Plugged In
“Plugged In’s product combines a mobile app and a smart car phone holder that allows parents to monitor and restrict their child’s distracted driving behavior in real-time,” says a recent UVM blog about Eric and his business mentor. Grunfeld came up with the product idea as a Community Entrepreneurship major where he aspires to apply his creativity to solve social problems and make cultural change. During JumpStart he plans to continue working on his prototype and plan for Plugged In’s entry into the market.
Photo coming soon
William Biederman & Paul Kennedy
William and Paul are manufacturing, selling, distributing, and leasing pumps that make determinations pertaining to the types of liquids being pumped on remote sites that cannot be personally monitored. Does that sound like a complex system? It certainly is. William and Paul are spending their time in JumpStart iterating on their prototype and considering what markets to enter.