College of Business alumnus finalist on “America’s Greatest Makers”
Thursday, June 2 2016 12:00am
Successful entrepreneur Aaron Fazulak, ’11 got his start at Ohio University’s College of Business.
By Brianna Wilson
By early 2015, Ohio University College of Business alumnus Aaron Fazulak, ’11 was a successful entrepreneur. He created a profitable and scalable business in a niche industry by co-founding DESIGNATION Labs, a coding boot camp focused on digital design—all in just over a year.
Then, he got a call—some might say the call—from TBS. They had noticed his success and invited him to apply for their new show, “America’s Greatest Makers.” Produced by Mark Burnett, creator of hit shows “Survivor”, “Shark Tank”, and “The Voice”, “America’s Greatest Makers” tasked contestants with creating an invention using Intel’s® Curie™ module, a microchip controller.
Fazulak formed team NWTN (pronounced Newton) with Neil Kumar and Dave Krawczyk, and they created a sweatband using the module that detects concussions in real time. The device then sends alerts to coaches and trainers notifying them of the hit’s severity.
“Not all coaches and trainers make it to every game,” explained Fazulak. “Sending them real-time notifications will help players avoid Second Impact Syndrome, which can cause long-term brain damage or even death.”
The device also would allow medical professionals to track historical concussion data, and use it to understand concussions. “It’s possible they could even use it to algorithmically detect concussions after a hit occurs,” Fazulak explained.
After passing the initial pitch competition in Los Angeles, Calif., NWTN advanced each week, and ultimately earned a spot in the show’s finals along with four of the 24 total teams. While they did not win the million dollar grand prize, NWTN didn’t walk away empty-handed. Being finalists won them a hefty $100,000, which they plan to use for further product development.
“It’s surreal looking back to my time at the College of Business, where I was originally exposed to entrepreneurship and realized it was something I could pursue,” said Fazulak. “If you would have told me then that I’d be on a reality show for my ideas, I would have thought you were crazy, but it’s been a great experience.”
About DESIGNATION Labs
Founded in February 2014, DESIGNATION Labs offers an 18-week coding boot camp, including six weeks of virtual classes and a 12-week intensive residential experience. The program focuses on pairing interactive design and a cohort of learners from diverse backgrounds to provide the most enriching experience possible.
Learn more about DESIGNATION Labs online. The company has been featured in Fast Company, Built In Chicago, and the Chicago Tribune. You can also watch their segment on "Conan", the Conan O'Brien show, online.