Jordan Vanderham of Orindi Ventures has always loved solving problems. He took apart every toy he ever had, hinting at a career in building things. An engineering major, he still loves solving problems and he has used those skills to break into the world of entrepreneurship. His first project, a solar panel kit that urges kids to learn, is already finding success and his next project seems to be on the same path.
The Altaire is a mask that aims to help those that spend a lot of time in the cold air make the most of their time there and has found success at local pitch competitions including the Hatching and Greenlight.
The Problem Being Solved
Jordan has created a mask that will enable the wearer to breathe in warm air in the coldest of environments helping to eliminate asthmatic coughs and other uncomfortable conditions.
— Startup Lansing (@StartupLansing) March 30, 2016
Since he is an engineer, Jordan enjoys product development and is really looking forward to tweaking and refining his product. He’s also looking forward to jumping into the industry and selling. “It’s scary, but fun.”
Where the Idea Came From
Jordan’s idea for the mask came from simply experiencing a problem (a pretty common problem in MI). He was walking outside in the cold and his nose was runny and red and anytime he breathed, he would cough. His engineering side paired with his entrepreneurial side and he decided he wanted to design something to bear the brunt of the cold.
Orindi is looking to target industry workers that spend a lot of time out in the cold, especially in areas such as Alaska. Those working on oil lines or in industries that suffer and become less efficient in cold weather would be able to keep up production. “The mask can help them maintain efficiency and this helps justify the purchase of the mask,” says Jordan. From there, he says the customer base can grow to those who spend time in the cold for recreational purposes such as snowmobilers and hunters. “Or just students waiting in the cold for the bus.”
Jordan likes to dream big but he’s found his biggest challenge has been making that dream happen. “It takes a lot of long hours and long days,” he says. He’s been focused on finding the right group of people to help him that believe in his dream as much as he does and that can help him convey his message.
Jordan has been surprised at the number of different customers he’s found and the variety of lifestyles the mask fits into.
So far, Orindi Ventures has been hitting, and winning, various pitch competitions. He recently won both The Hatching and the Greenlight Business Model Competition bringing in $1,000 from the Hatching and $25,000 from Greenlight. He has also participated in competitions at Grand Valley State University, where he is a student, and across the country.
Jordan has plans to launch a Kickstarter in September and over the next few years would ultimately like to start sponsoring individuals that do cool stuff while wearing the mask. In the much longer term, he says, “I would like to be able to sponsor other people like me.”
While he may have borrowed it from a bumper sticker, Jordan advises other entrepreneurs to dream big and make it happen. “Always seek opportunity and always say yes.”