NGB Enterprises - Electronikits
(This project has also been submitted into the sub-category of "Open Gear.")
My Open Gear/Entrepreneurship venture consists of the business that I created which sells electronics kits to people all over the world! It all started with instructions that I posted on the website, Instructables.com, on how to build a mini Altoids Smalls LED Flashlight. Soon after winning a contest on Instructables, I was contacted by a sales associate at the science supply company, Edmund Scientifics.
I was like, "WOW!", someone wants to buy kits from me that I don't even have! This was an opportunity too good to pass up, so I created my business known as NGB Enterprises. To sell to Edmunds, I needed a tax i.d, and since I was a minor, I created a "dba" (doing business as), under my mom's business. So in just months, I had established a business based on instructions I submitted that could be viewed by the whole world! So I then bought the necessary components for the kits that Edmunds wanted to buy, and I shipped them out to the company. I was paid, I had a profit and life was good! I wanted to keep this going, and I did not want this to be a one time thing. So in order to keep with "openness," I did not take down the instructions that I posted on the Instructables website, because I was confident that I did not have to worry about anyone trying to do something silly with my work, and I used those instructions for my kits. I directed the buyers to the link where my instructions were located, so they could see full size color pictures as well.
Read the article that the website, HowStuffWorks wrote about my kits and flashlight!:
My inspiration came from the open instructional website of Instructables, which gave me the platform to share my instructions with the world. I have always had a fascination with the Altoids tin, and its functionality when it comes to electrical enclosure, so I thought it would be awesome to expand a small business around it.
It was my goal to provide the parts to those that were interested in building these various projects. I had no intention of hiding the instructions and parts list from anyone, which is why I unleashed it on Instructables. Some people just find it easier to purchase all the parts from one source; which was my duty. They could just as easily gotten the parts themselves and used the instructions from Instructables! I wanted to share the fruits of my labor!
For those of you who may think that electronics are out of your league; I tell you today to think again. It was my goal from the start to make simple circuits and electronics training available to those that may be hesitant to start it. I want to help younger students develop an incling for engineering and electronics, while making an impact on the society around them. In a figurative sense, I hope to solve the problem of students being scared to try something that may be beyond their knowledge at the moment, and helping them to discover that their goal can be easily attainable when it comes to the basics of electronics and simple circuitry.
It has opened up doors for me, so I want to help open up some doors for others too.
Who will enjoy this the most?
Anyone with a passion for being a "DIY-er" and a fiend for building cool projects will enjoy the work that NGB Enterprises does to the fulles extent. Who wouldn't want a sweet Altoids LED Flashlight? You could have the freshest flashlight on the block! Or an Altoids night-light! It is rare to find someone with such cool projects as you would have!
Anyone from all ages has the opportunity to become involved in building various electronics projects. Anyone with a passion will enjoy the kits that I provide, and the instructions that I publish on the open instructional website known as Instructables.
My Instructions on Instructables.com: http://www.instructables.com/id/Mini-Altoids-LED-Flashlight/
This was the first kit that NGB Enterprises developed. It can be built using the instructions provided in the link above, and there are so many variations that you can improvise my instructions with! This was the spark to NGB Enterprises, and to my entrepreneurial ventures that followed.
This was the original advertisement on Edmund Scientific's website:
Above is the advertisment that is on the Edmund Scientific's website. I was also featured in their catalog.
HowStuffWorks has featured my project in their Altoids Tinnovation campaign! An Article will follow soon! The first link is of my flashlight in a photo slideshow of other Altoids tin creations: http://science.howstuffworks.com/tinnovation-pictures13.htm
The second picture is a screenshot from HowStuffWorks' website:
This link: science.howstuffworks.com/flashlight-altoids-tin.htm directs you to the article that HowStuffWorks published about my business and my electronic ventures to bring electronics to anyone and everyone! When I began building these flashlights and night lights, I had no idea that I would get this type of publicity and documentation about what I love. And when I think about how many other teenagers get opportunities like this; I feel very fortunate because I know that there are few that are able to follow through with interests that they love.
The official Altoids group on Facebook even documented by flashlight! www.facebook.com/altoids called Tinnovations, and made a flash widget documenting Tinnovations, of which mine was included! How cool is that! My flashlight is even the tinnovation that they are using to advertise with!
I like to think to myself about how many other high school students are given this opportunity. I figure that the number is very low. I am super excited that I have been able to follow through with my interests, because I know that many cannot. Therefore, with Instructables, and my openness to share my success with anyone who is curious, gives me the hope that someone may try to follow suit. I answer all emails that people ask about my business and my projects, and I am completely open with them, and I try not to hold any information back. Typically, teenagers aren't given the opportunity to follow through with their interests and knowledge until after college, but I want to change that.
Update: I now have been asked by some staff at Make: to be an alpha tester of their makers market. This is a very unique experience in that I get to give feedback as a first time seller/customer.