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Bathroom Scale Generates Electricity and Recognition for Student Inventor

The business community often advocates "thinking outside the box" and we think we've found some inspiration for that with our next guest.  When he learned of a British company that had come up with a floor tile that generated electricity when it was stepped on, he was disappointed to learn that it only worked if stepped on in the center and that one tile cost almost $4,000.  So he set out to produce an inexpensive, reliable pedestrian-powered electric generator with common materials, such as a bathroom scale...and he succeeded, all while keeping up with his high school studies.

Mike Switzer interviews Martin Lap Yin Li, a student in the Discovery Science & Math Program at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, SC.  Martin's invention won him the 2014 Young Innovator Award from Innovision, South Carolina's technology awards program.

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.