It’s an age-old question, or at least one as old as electronics: What can you do to keep various cables from becoming a tangled, unsightly mess?
For his first foray into the entrepreneurial world, 23-year-old Jack Thompson thinks he’s come up with the perfect solution. It’s called Wire Wonder, and he started working on the idea about two years ago when he was a junior at Penn State.
“I’ve always had what I’d say is an entrepreneurial mindset,” Thompson said. “I always wanted to start my own business and get into something like this.”
Whereas other products on the market conceal the chaos of cables, Thompson said his product stands out because it neatly organizes them. Wire Wonder has a system of 36 adjustable cable organizer pegs that can hold more than 100 feet of cable in place, in any customizable route. The product can be mounted directly over a power outlet, which is one of the designs that was added during the development process.
In hopes of getting the product on the market faster, Thompson, who graduated from Penn State in August 2016, recently launched a Kickstarter campaign. The project will only be funded if it reaches its $50,000 goal by Dec. 2.
“So far, I’ve been able to do this just with the support of family and friends,” Thompson said.
He thinks he’s also been able to get this far with Wire Wonder because of what he calls the growing “entrepreneurial spirit” at Penn State. In various entrepreneurship classes, he did preliminary studies, worked on the prototype and business plans for what would become Wire Wonder.
“Through that, I learned a lot about if this would be feasible,” Thompson said.
He made the first prototype — a simple wooden model with pegs — in one weekend. When he found that worked better than any other cable organizer on the market, he got serious about moving forward, working for months to improve the design. Next came a full-scale 3-D printed prototype, which was made with help from the Penn State 3-D Printing Club. Langhorne company Definitive Design made the first production version of Wire Wonder, and if the Kickstarter campaign is fully funded, mass production will begin.
“I’ve been working on this for a year, I’ve put a lot of time into it and I’m really happy with how the product came out,” Thompson said.
An almost lifelong State College resident, Thompson established his company, Eidos, with his dad, Oberon CEO and founder Scott Thompson. Oberon makes mounting solutions for Wi-Fi and is where Jack Thompson has his day job. If Wire Wonder is successful, he hopes to work on other variants of the product and come up with new ideas, too, to continue on his entrepreneurial path.
“This is what I want to do,” he said.
For more information on the Kickstarter campaign, visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/897219077/wire-wonder-say-goodbye-to-messy-cables.
Jessica McAllister: 814-231-4617, @JMcAllisterCDT