Babson College junior Hanson Grant is a born entrepreneur. He has been coming up with business ideas, and implementing them, since he was a kid. In fact, all his brainstorming led to the creation of his latest product, Think Board, a removable clear adhesive that can convert any smooth surface, such as wall, desk or refrigerator, into a dry-erase board.
“I needed a space to write down all my business ideas, and came up with the concept of Think Board,” says Grant. “I saw the need for a portable dry-erase board in the dorm and college setting, ran with the idea and started developing it.” Thanks to previous business relationships with suppliers in digital printing, he got the necessary materials to conceptualize and create a Think Board prototype. “Think Board is inexpensive, fun to use, and aesthetically pleasing,” says Grant, who created a Think Board kit that includes a dry-erase marker, spray bottle and a small squeegee.
He came up with the concept in April of 2014, and in July raised $10,000 through Kickstarter, which allowed him to buy the equip- ment and machinery to mass produce the product and meet demand. He is working with an ASI supplier to produce Think Board, but can’t identify the company as the product’s patent is pending. He is expecting to receive the patent sometime this year.
His initial target was college students, but the idea got further traction as Kickstarter spread the word on social media. “Kick- starter generated interest from 16 countries,” he says. He has also received a lot of media attention for Think Board.
“After Think Board was featured on WCVB-TV in Boston last summer, it really opened up our target audience,” Grant says. “People could see themselves using it in a wide range of applications.” There are three sizes: small for use on a desk, medium for a dorm room and large for conference rooms.
Babson got behind its student’s product, ordering branded Think Boards to be distributed to attendees of the “50 On Fire” education meetup in Boston last November. The boards included the Babson logo in a branded Babson sleeve. This initial order has led to more sales in the next few months, and clients to date include Lockheed Martin, Cambridge Innovation Center, and Ernst & Young, which will be handing out branded Think Boards to college students at a job internship fair.
“Every day more and more applications of Think Board are emerging,” says Grant, noting Think Boards are currently being used in a pilot program on school desks in a Watertown, MA, middle school for potential use in the classroom setting.
Published in Advantage Magazine April 2015