D211 Post: DeoBlock – From PHS Incubator Project to Kickstarter
When Drake Roberts and Anthony Tamras were seniors at Palatine High School, they were encouraged to become involved in the business incubator program. Their decision to join the program changed their futures in ways they could not have at the time imagined.
Roberts and Tamras worked together along with two other students on a project that they called DeoBlock. The problem they chose to address was the unpleasant odor from gym bags.
“My partner and I are avid gym goers and both played in various sports,” Roberts said. “We realized if we left our bags in our cars overnight, our entire car would smell like our bag.”
After doing market research, the group realized there was no long-term solution to deodorize unpleasant odors. They designed a reusable block diffuser with an plant-based, natural solution.
DeoBlock was presented at District 211’s inaugural Incubator Pitch Night where local business leaders decided to award the group $25,000 to continue with their business plan and development. Tamras said that program impacted their future.
“If it hadn’t been for that pitch night, we would have never thought about setting up a business,” Tamras said. “I was originally planning to go to law school and become a lawyer.”
Instead of going their separate ways after high school, the team decided to attend college locally while using the funds from the Pitch Night event to continue to perfect and develop the DeoBlock design. They said they continue to visit with current Business Incubator students at Palatine High School as a way to impress upon them the benefits of the program.
“The opportunity we were offered [at Palatine High School] with this program was one in a million,” Roberts said. “I love the program.”
Currently DeoBlock is running a Kickstarter to fund their initial run of 15,000 – 20,000 units. To contribute to the DeoBlock Kickstarter go to http://kck.st/2UcKVPO. For more information on DeoBlock, visit www.deoblock.com.