For a class project three years ago, Hanson Grant needed to brainstorm ideas but discovered that paper was too small for his purposes, white boards were too bulky, and dry erase boards were too expensive. He began layering adhesives and dry erase coatings and ultimately developed Think Board, a clear, peel-and-stick vinyl film that turns any smooth surface into a dry erase board with no nails or drilling.
Now a senior majoring in entrepreneurship at Babson College in Wellesley, the native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is a MassChallenge finalist.
Q. How is Think Board most commonly used?
A. Think Board is removable and reusable, so it can cover desks, walls, tables, doors, and refrigerators. We’re focusing on the Boston area for now, but we’ve already sold nearly 7,000 units in over 25 countries and passed $100,000 in revenue. It saves paper and money, which is especially important for schools and developing countries.
Q. Why is writing on a Think Board better than traditional measures?
A. It inspires on-demand creativity. Whether you’re in a dorm room, an office environment, or a hotel, you can slap it onto a surface for a creative working space wherever you need it. It’s also fun. Kids go wild when you tell them they can write on their desks or the wall.
Q. Have you been surprised by the response?
A. Absolutely. After I launched it out of my dorm room on Kickstarter [in July 2014], I expected support from my friends and family but 70 percent of the backers were people I never met before. Right then and there, I realized this is going somewhere and I need to bring it there.
Q. Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit?
A. My whole life. I sold gum in middle school, and I sold water at the race track in my hometown. In high school, I had a T-shirt company that made custom batches for clubs and organizations.
Q. What is your vision for Think Board?
A. My goal is to cover every school desk in the country, while inspiring other students to enjoy their work and be creative. I’m 21, only a few years ahead of them, and maybe they’ll realize they can start their own thing, too. Anything is possible.
Think Board comes in three sizes, and is also available as a grid and monthly calendar. For details, visit www.think-board.com.