From mosquito nets to food apps: Students look to build businesses
A Fulton Schools mechanical engineering student was a winner in the recent Open Pitch entrepreneurship competition hosted by ASU’s J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute. Ben VollerBrown’s winning idea was a kit for fixing torn mosquito nets, a problem particularly plaguing Africa, where mosquitos often carry the yellow fever virus and West Nile virus. VollerBrown’s sent 1,000 kits to a Ugandan nonprofit to collect data on the repair kits’ utility. Through Youth Rising Uganda, VollerBrown went to Uganda to test his product. Later, he and his business partner were accepted into Clinton Global Initiative University, an organization that provides skills training to college students. A mentor with the program connected Vollerbrown with a United Nations campaign, Nothing But Nets, which was interested in purchasing 300,000 of the net repair hits.