Gone are the days of messy whiteboards, post-it notes, or god forbid, writing reminders on your hand.
Hanson Grant graduated from Saratoga High School in 2012, before making his way to Babson College to pursue his instilled entrepreneurial spirit. I am a believer that an entrepreneur can be guided, but not taught. A true entrepreneur must have an inner drive and motive to both pursue and develop ideas in order to create successful entities. Hanson Grant has all of that.
After running a few companies throughout middle school and high school, from pushing iPod cases to classmates to a custom t-shirt business, Grant went into college knowing he wanted to work to be his own boss.
“It’s almost like a game – some people like to figure out crossword puzzles,” he says. “I love figuring out ways I can bring a creative idea to market, while providing values for customers, investors and the environment.”
While many ideas went through his head on how to get to where he wanted to be, one problem he actually needed to solve for himself ended up being his most prized idea to date.
“When I moved into my dorm room freshmen year, I wanted a place to write ideas. I thought I would get a cheap whiteboard for my wall, but then I learned that I wasn’t allowed, nor could I, put holes in the walls of my dorm.”
That lead Hanson and his roommate, Ken Zhang, to brainstorm the idea of being able to write ideas down anywhere. Walls, desks, floors, wherever. And not too long after that, the Think Board was born.
The Think Board is a thin adhesive film that can turn any surface into a whiteboard. Not only that, it’s a film that preserves and protects actual whiteboards from getting old and causing the inevitable “ghosting” when trying to erase aged ink. This product immediately became as valuable to schools districts with hundreds of whiteboards as it did for entrepreneurs looking for quick real estate to jot down ideas in their dorm room.
It’s almost a no-brainer solution to many underlying problems that arise from the age-old whiteboards. Janitors spend a good chunk of their nightly cleanup erasing boards, and the Think Board makes that a breeze. The film can also easily be removed and moved around or replaced with a fresh Think Board without any marks or stickiness left behind.
In 2014 Hanson and his small team launched a Kickstarter campaign, which was unsurprisingly successful. They raised their $10,000 goal in 30 days, and most of the donors were people with no connection to any of the employees.
By 2015 Think Board was one of Amazon Launchpad’s highest selling products. They started getting press from NBC, Yahoo, and even had their product featured in a back-to-school segment on The Today Show. They also opened up a fulfillment center in Syracuse, New York.
By 2016 their sales had tripled from Amazon and website sales. Grant and his original roommate, Ken, were now college graduates and working full-time pushing Think Board to new boundaries. Notable entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk have purchased Think Boards for his office at VaynerMedia, and even brought the entire Think Board team on stage with him at INBOUND 2016, one of the country’s biggest and most notable marketing conferences.
The grind never stops for Hanson. He was in our Two Buttons Deep office last week right after working to get Think Boards into our neighboring university, RPI. Next up they’re meeting with Skidmore College, and simultaneously working their way into deals with major corporations. All while maintaining the heavy demand of online orders.
Day to day Hanson and his team are building the Think Board brand and helping people and schools all around the globe keep both their ideas and their whiteboards fresh.
Hanson also spends his time speaking to high school classes and mentoring younger entrepreneurs who aspire to accelerate just as he has done. He requested he put his business contact here for all entrepreneurs and those interested in getting in touch with a local business prodigy.
Phone #: 617-657-9616