Published 08/05/16

Serial entrepreneur plugs into Bryant’s powerful alumni network

With a passion for innovation and building things, as well as a love of computers, Nick O’Hara was attracted to the University’s entrepreneurship offerings including Bryant Ventures, where students team up to create the synergy to launch successful ventures; The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Enactus, and The Goss Prize for Entrepreneurship.

He embodies the traits of an entrepreneur – willing to take risks, fail, and try again.

Nicholas O'Hara '17Although O’Hara is just beginning his senior year, he's a seasoned professional when it comes to business ventures and taking risks.  In high school, he started a news service delivered through text messages. It folded after eight months but an iPhone repair service started at the same time is still going strong. He embodies the traits of an entrepreneur – willing to take risks, fail, and try again – in the quest to find that next thing that people can’t live without.

On a beach last summer his sister’s phone battery died, prompting him to conceptualize a beach chair that could charge phones and portable electronic devices though USB ports. He entered the University’s New Venture Competition and got to speak to five influential Bryant alumni, who shared knowledge he had only dreamed of having. After winning $2,000 and an additional $750 to develop a prototype, he invested $1,500 of his own money and worked with an engineer to develop a three-dimensional model: an eight-pound chair and a tech kit.

This past spring, he pitched the product at an open call for the Shark Tank television show. While he did not make it to the next round, he did meet with an investor last month. “He is very interested,” says O’Hara, “and I’ll find out if I receive the $50k investment in September.”