Taking care of business


Christian Baker

Jimmy Tang, sophomore.

Sarah Capriglione, writer

Most high schooler’s plans for the future involve earning money. For Nick Witte, senior, and Jimmy Tang, sophmore, their future is “all about the bank.” Last spring, they collaborated to create EcoPort, a compact wind turbine that allows the user to wirelessly charge multiple devices at once.

The inspiration stemmed from their lack of chargers and outlets. Both Tang and Witte felt EcoPort was a viable solution to this problem. Last March, they entered a 30 Day Youth Entrepreneurship Contest to showcase their invention. Together, they took first place in St. Louis.

A component of Tang and Witte’s success is their unusual partnership. Despite their age difference, both function as equal partners.

“Witte is the creative problem solver, while, Tang has the drive to make things happen,” Santee Nixon, business teacher, said.   

Tang and Witte designed Ecoport with the support of Mr. Nixon. Throughout the competition, the students utilized Mr. Nixon’s room as home base from which to develop their product, even creating a website.

“[We have] received so much guidance, and built several contacts which have been beneficial,” Tang said.

The next step for Ecoport is protecting Tang and Witte’s  intellectual property. Without the proper patent, (costing roughly 50,000 US dollars), the design for Ecoport could be replicated without Tang and Witte’s consent.

“[Unfortunately,] it is really hard to get a patent because everyone just kind of blows us off,” Witte said.

In May, a kickstarter will launch to help Tang and Witte achieve their goal of a patent. By the end of July, they hope to have their product ready to sell. Both Tang and Witte plan on using the entrepreneurial skills they gained at KHS to start other businesses further down the road.

Nick Witte, senior.