The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggie entrepreneurs will mass produce multitool for market

Since she was a child, university studies business senior Dayana Hansley had an entrepreneurial spirit, but it wasn’t until her time in Aggieland, when she created a multitool for first responders, that her love for business became a viable career path.
Hansley’s invention, The Motley Tool, was the result of Aggies Invent her freshman year. The 48-hour competition allowed Hansley and her team to develop a device which combined the 10 most-used tools by first responders into one device.
Today, Hansley and her business partner, animal science senior McCalley Cunningham, have obtained a patent on the tool and are in the process of receiving the first metal prototypes, which they plan to send to fire departments for a test run.
At the beginning of this business venture, Hansley was on a team with four other students from Aggies Invent and Cunningham was developing her own business models separately. While Hansley’s team won the weekend competition, they did not stay together after making the switch to Startup Aggieland, A&M’s business incubator.
“Within about a year I was the only team member left from the original team,” Hansley said. “We had a lot of teammate issues to work out and Startup Aggieland was very helpful … They provided a really good network and that is where I met my current business partner, and we have been working together for a year and a half now and it has been working extremely well.”
The Motley Tool has undergone some changes throughout its development and now contains eight tools. The tools include multiple types of wrenches, one of which can open and close fire hydrants, one specific to working with oxygen tanks, a scraper and a hammer. While the invention was originally created specifically for teams that specialize in handling hazardous material, market research taught the team that firefighters could benefit as well.
“Being an inspiration to others and wanting to give back to the community and help these first responders is really what’s driving us forward,” Hansley said. “We’ve talked to over 300 first responders now and they are all super excited about it. Just seeing the smiles on their face and them getting super excited to test it helps us to push through whatever roadblocks are coming at us.”
Hansley and Cunningham were able to secure the patent for their tool on July 11 of this year. According to Shelly Brenckman, marketing coordinator at The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship and Accelerator Manager at Startup Aggieland, this documentation was something the pair struggled to earn for a year, but with the assistance of multiple staff members at Startup Aggieland it was made possible.
“I am proud of their professionalism,” Brenckman said. “I’m proud of how much they’ve grown as individuals and their courage to continue in the face of certain failure and to overcome all naysayers and all objections that stood in their path.”
Hansley and Cunningham expect to receive the first metal prototypes at the end of September and send the product out to multiple fire departments for a one month trial period. This testing will allow the team to polish the tool before sending it to mass production in January 2018. After they mass produce The Motley Tool, the business duo has plans to create an entire line of multi-tools with the hopes to improve the lives of first responders.
“We’re looking into other industries,” Hansley said. “The Motley Tool can actually be applicable to the military, the airline industry and maybe even oil and gas, but we want to expand into other niche industries to make tools specific to them. We want something tailored to exactly what they need for their daily tools. The lighter we can make anyone’s load,

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