Stevens Student Inventor Reaches Finals of Statewide Start-up Competition
Stevens student Evan Feil ’14, inventor of Mountables, a dock to charge Apple devices, was finalist in the Start Something Challenge, a statewide business pitch competition for entrepreneurs and small business owners held by the nonprofit Rising Tide Capital.
Feil, a mechanical engineering major, invented Mountables to help mobile users charge their iPhones and iPads while lying in bed at night, without dealing with tangled cords or devices falling in hard-to-reach places.
Nicknamed “the iDeal iOS Wall Docking Solution,” the product is a convenient and attractive dock that sticks anywhere on the wall.
Feil produces Mountables with his own 3D printer and has sold hundreds of his customizable products to personal connections, on eBay, through his website, www.iosmountables.com, and through the Stevens Campus Bookstore.
He entered the Start Something Challenge for a chance to win a $10,000 business grant, which would cover most of the cost to start injection molding Mountables, which creates a professional-looking product which could be mass manufactured for distribution in local and big box stores.
“Wal-Mart recently gave me an offer through the Local Vendor Program for a trial run contingent upon Mountables being injection molded and in retail packaging,” Feil said.
The Start Something Challenge drew more than 100 entries in five categories by New Jersey entrepreneurs, and Feil was one of only 10 entrepreneurs to advance to the final stage.
In anticipation of the finals, he practiced for many hours and even received training from two experienced public speakers.
“I feel the pitch could not have gone smoother,” he said.
Unfortunately, there were only three cash prizes available, and Mountables was beat out by a veggie burger company, a homemade soap business and a travel agency that plans trips to Africa.
Feil, however, is undeterred.
“Starting a business was hard,” he said. “Taking a business to the next level is even harder. But that’s what keeps me going.”
Feil said he will continue to manufacture Mountables himself until another opportunity surfaces, whether through another competition, program or investor interest.
“I really do believe that Mountables has huge potential if given the opportunity to be manufactured,” he said.
The support Feil has received from the Stevens community – including the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which provided business ideas and patent advice – is what helped Feil get Mountables off the ground and continues to drive him.
“Stevens played a large role in helping me develop a greater understanding for my business,” Feil said. “Without all of this support, Mountables would not be where it is today.”
Seven other Stevens teams also entered the Start Something Challenge.