Small Business Grants logo Everything To Know About
Small Business Grants and More

Home About Us Find/ Apply For Grants News/Blog Resources What To Know

Two High School Seniors "Roll Out" a New Wheelchair Business

What began as a school project may soon turn into a real business for two high school seniors from Holy Family Catholic Schools in Dubuque, Iowa. The pair developed a safe wheelchair that doesn't roll back and are already looking for funding so they can distribute their product.

Tony Ward and Grant Oberfoell, seniors at Wahlert Catholic High School, first developed the product when they were in the eighth grade. Using their knowledge of technology, they invented an anti-rollback device that enables wheelchair users to go up inclines without the risk of rolling backward. They started when they were sophomores, selected to be on a team of students tasked with creating a product for a national invention contest. They entered the device this year in a University of Iowa contest and won $1,500 which will help them to continue developing their idea.

"Feltes One Way" wheelchair

The wheelchair device is called the Feltes One Way. It prevents people in wheelchairs from rolling backward and injuring themselves. Both seniors say it was a real learning experience, but they also realize the device offers much potential as a business. Their teacher, business education instructor Tim Erhmann, couldn't be happier with the results. In his classroom, "My idea is to create as many young entrepreneurs as possible," stated Ehrmann.

Want to launch their own business

The young entrepreneurs now want to continue to test and fine-tune their invention and eventually launch a business that will distribute their new product. Ward recently commented, "I've learned a lot about entrepreneurship and business and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), too, and it's all things I hope to carry into my college and professional career."

Congratulations young entrepreneurs Tony Ward and Grant Oberfoell!


Start Here to See If You Qualify For Business Grants!