An Indiana high school student has launched a company that was initially designed to help first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. William Teasley is using a 3D printer to make face shields and is now focusing on schools. The 17-year-old entrepreneur, a senior at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, is the founder and president of WillTech Inc. and says the idea stemmed from a conversation with his cousin, a neonatal ICU nurse, who said face shields were hard to come by.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Radio, Teasley said he began printing about five or six face shields a week, but soon ramped up production.
“My dad was looking to buy face shields for his schools; he has about 500 employees,” said Teasley. “And he was saying prices were way too high. I told him if I could find a way to automate the process, I could make some for him at a fraction of the cost that he was finding them for. So I got a loan from him and I bought two 3D printers and I spent about a week developing a special process that could automate the 3D printing process. So that’s how WillTech was born.”
Teasley’s father, Kevin, is the CEO of the GEO Foundation in Indy. He also received legal advice on starting the company from his mother, who is an attorney.
Teasley says he started by making just a handful of face shields a week for his cousin and, now that he has shifted his focus to schools, he has shipped about 1,000 face shields to 11 schools.
Teasley is entering his senior year at Cathedral and plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a major in astronomical engineering. He says, though, WillTech will remain in business.
“I hope to stay true to WillTech’s mission statement, which is to solve humanities problems through engineering.”