Minimalist Bottle Openers … and Beyond

Mechanical engineering student Carter James has been designing and selling real products for almost as long as he’s been studying at the U. He started his first project designing a minimalist bottle opener several years ago. James raised $11,409 for that product through crowdfunding and fulfilled about 450 orders. “Most bottle openers are pretty much free junk that people give away, so I thought it would be an easy first product to improve on,” James said. He parlayed that project into another successful crowdfunding campaign, raising $12,277 for a titanium key shackle. Now, his sights are set on developing a next-generation pollution mask for cyclists. Maybe this one will be his million-dollar idea. “The key to making you a millionaire is to find a big problem in a big market,” James sai

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