Carpanzano wins national business plan competition
New Milford resident Michael Carpanzano is gaining momentum with his a new invention -- the nuplug.
Carpanzano, a graduate student at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury who will graduate May 10, took home a first-place trophy in December at the Connecticut Business Model Competition, sponsored by the Entrepreneurship Foundation of Connecticut.
Most recently, he was invited to compete with 11 other finalist teams from across the United States and Canada at the Giants Entrepreneurship Challenge in Grand Forks, N.D., where he took the grand prize.
The Giants Entrepreneurship Challenge was a two-day competition that brought finalist teams from schools such as the University of British Columbia, the University of Texas at Austin, Johns Hopkins University and the United States Air Force Academy.
"After seeing what incredible ideas and professional presentations these other teams had to offer, I was surprisingly humbled to have won the whole thing," Carpanzano said.
With teams ranging up to five students, Carpanzano was the only solo team in the competition.
His product, nuplug, is a surge-protected extension cord that can be attached to furniture, making it more convenient and comfortable to use a smart device while charging it.
Carpanzano designed the nuplug after seeing a "need for it."
"Smart-device users are interacting with their devices for several hours a day, including during the charging process," he said. "Nuplug is creating a convenience based on this newly developed need."
It comes with a 10-foot cord that allows the owner to plug it into the outlet behind the couch or other furniture and bring the power to where it is needed.
What makes this product stand out aren't the two AC-power outlets and two USB plugs; rather, it is the ability to safely clamp the product to whatever piece of furniture is most convenient.
The clamps feature foam padding to protect the legs of a couch, table or counter, and is made with a flat profile plug, improving the ease of resting furniture against it.
Carpanzano is launching a crowd-source funding campaign through www.kickstarter.com to raise initial production capital for the project.
Kickstarter is a website that launched back in 2009 and has since seen more than 39,000 projects use the website to gain funding.
More than 3.8 million people have pledged money to different projects, totaling more than $565 million.
Each individual project is run differently from the next, with funding goals and incentive programs differing for each.
The nuplug will feature several incentive levels for potential backers, including the chance to secure a nuplug as soon as they are produced; multi-nuplug offers, along with other offers like having free pizza delivered to your home, and the chance to be invited to a dinner with the inventor.
To view the project, visit www.supportnuplug.com.