InVenture Prize Winner Patrick Whaley Looking to Capitalize on Exercise Apparel
Eight months after winning the Georgia Tech InVenture Prize, Patrick Whaley, a recent mechanical engineering graduate, is making the most of his opportunities and capitalizing on his winning invention that he hopes will soon hit the sports apparel industry by storm.
“It was a huge honor for me to win the InVenture Prize,” said Whaley, who has spent the fall preparing to launch his sports apparel line, Titin Tech. “The InVenture Prize competition gave me the contacts and the network that I needed to make my invention a reality.”
The InVenture Prize is an innovation competition for undergraduate students who present their inventions and marketplace analysis in an American Idol-like competition. Winners receive cash prizes as well as a free U.S. patent filling by the Georgia Tech Office of Technology Licensing.
The budding entrepreneur developed a weighted shirt that utilizes a form fitting gel to create comfortable sports apparel that can be used to increase intensity of workouts, gain strength, and even assist in rehabilitation efforts. According to Whaley, the market for his new product is still being defined, but he’s excited about the opportunities ahead of him.
“This one prototype took me a few months to complete,” said Whaley. “I tried to simplify it by taking it from a long-sleeve to a short-sleeve shirt and then on to a sleeveless version. My focus was to integrate all the features while still producing the end product that the customers want.”
“Through the six-month process, students develop an initially coarse idea into a polished on-stage presentation with a product prototype,” said Craig Forest, a mechanical engineering professor and co-founder of the InVenture Prize at Georgia Tech. “Through these months of preparation, presentation, and concept testing, the
InVenture Prize competitors experience the same iterative cycles that entrepreneurs in the market do.”
According to Whaley, the key for success was choosing the right partners, from seamstresses to machinists to business-minded people.
“On this initial shirt, I stayed down in south Georgia working with some of my partners for over a week trying to work out all the inconsistencies and the flaws of the prototype. I wanted to make sure that I have the best prototype that I can move forward with in mass production.”
Whaley has completed his final prototype and is confident that his product can make a difference in people’s lives.
“I’ve used this product in my own workouts, and I’ve used it for rehabilitation,” said Whaley. “It is a product that can help people get back into shape, encourage better posture, and overall help with individual confidence.”
Whaley expects his initial product, which he plans to sell for approximately $140, should hit the marketplace soon. For more information about Titin Tech, you can visit the website at www.TitinTech.com.
Additional information can found on the InVenture Prize website (www.inventureprize.gatech.edu). This year’s finals will be broadcast on Georgia Public Broadcasting on March 9, 2011.
The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.