Operating under the company name “Incoming,” 14 students from nine school districts in the region worked together – from concept to product delivery – to create a gadget called “The Reinforcer,” a carefully engineered piece of plastic that fits onto the end of a cell phone charger and prevents the user from damaging the fine wires through repeated bending and pulling. Raising operating funds by selling stock and advertising, the group ultimately sold dozens of the items and racked up net income totally more than $2,630. When time came to liquidate the operation, the students were able to pay dividends to their stockholders and still donate $2,000 to local charity: $1,000 each to A Room to Heal and the Shaw Family Foundation.
The student-run business was established as part of the Junior Achievement program, which is sponsored locally by the Greater Binghamton Education Outreach Program affiliated with the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. The students received valuable guidance and support from volunteer mentors Scott Weissmann, a commercial banking relationship manager at M&T Bank in Binghamton, and Dave Culbertson, CEO and president of national Pipe and Plastics, Inc. in Vestal.