Radio Cade

Wire-Shaped Supercapacitor

June 12, 2019 Joe Sleppy and Isaiah Oladeji Season 1 Episode 36
Radio Cade
Wire-Shaped Supercapacitor
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Radio Cade
Wire-Shaped Supercapacitor
Jun 12, 2019 Season 1 Episode 36
Joe Sleppy and Isaiah Oladeji

2019 Cade Prize runner-ups Joe Sleppy and Isaiah Oladeji have invented a wire-shaped supercapacitor. Unlike batteries, capacitors are not used to store energy, but to deliver it quickly and in dense amounts. Using wires instead of plates or boxes greatly reduces the space needed on things like circuit boards. Isaiah, raised in Nigeria, said he was “a very bad student.” His parents received no schooling at all, but Isaiah eventually got a PhD in the U.S. Joe progressively lost his hearing by third grade and had to get cochlear impacts to hear again. At age 16, he won a $10,000 business plan competition and started his own company.  

Show Notes Transcript

2019 Cade Prize runner-ups Joe Sleppy and Isaiah Oladeji have invented a wire-shaped supercapacitor. Unlike batteries, capacitors are not used to store energy, but to deliver it quickly and in dense amounts. Using wires instead of plates or boxes greatly reduces the space needed on things like circuit boards. Isaiah, raised in Nigeria, said he was “a very bad student.” His parents received no schooling at all, but Isaiah eventually got a PhD in the U.S. Joe progressively lost his hearing by third grade and had to get cochlear impacts to hear again. At age 16, he won a $10,000 business plan competition and started his own company.  

Intro:

Inventors and their inventions. Welcome to Radio Cade and podcast from the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention in Gainesville, Florida, the museum is named after James Robert Cade, who invented Gatorade in 1965. My name is Richard Miles. We'll introduce you to inventors and the things that motivate them, we'll learn about their personal stories, how their inventions work, and how their ideas get from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Richard Miles:

According to philosophers, we're all hungry for power. That may be debatable, but what's not in question, is it the machines we build are hungry for power of the ACDC variety. I'm your host Richard Miles. My guests today are Joe Sleppy, and Isaiah Oladeji of CapaciTech, which has a wire-shaped supercapacitor. Joe and Isaiah welcome to Radio Cade.

Joe Sleppy:

Thanks for having us.

Richard Miles:

I'm deficient in actually many things, but probably a more so in anything to do with electricity. So the first thing let's start out, walk me through and our listeners, what is a capacitor and what is a supercapacitor.

Isaiah Oladeji:

Capacitors and supercapacitors actually doing the same things, storing energy. You can store energy in them fast and you can get those energy out faster. So supercapacitor probably has a more storing capacity than the actual capacitor.

Richard Miles:

Got it.

Isaiah Oladeji:

And that's the simple difference between the capacitor and the supercapacitor. At the end of the day, they store less energy compared to standard battery .

Richard Miles:

Got it. Okay. And capacitors have been around in one form or another for a while . I mean the ability to store energy, right?

Isaiah Oladeji:

Yes.

Joe Sleppy:

Right. Well, the one thing I want to point out the difference between s uper apacitors and a normal capacitor is in a normal capacitor. You have two electric plates, there's an electric field between them. And that's what storing the energy wi th t h e s upercapacitor. You add an energy storage material between those electric plates to further enhance that energy storage ability. So it's not a battery, st ores, less energy than a battery, but it can deliver that energy really, really quickly, which means it has a high power density, which is what makes it the difference between a capacitor, a su percapacitor a nd a battery.

Richard Miles:

Okay. So what you have is a wire shaped supercapacitor and again, for listeners who are not familiar with, at all with any of this, what is the current standard configuration of capacitors and why is a wire supercapacitor such a big deal?

Joe Sleppy:

The standard configuration for capacitors is you typically have two parallel plates.

Richard Miles:

Got it.

Joe Sleppy:

And what they'll do is they'll wrap those parallel plates to make what looks like a little soda can, or they will compact it into a little box and these little soda cans and these little boxes all always get installed on circuit boards. A lot of times actually a third of the circuit board will have nothing but capacitors installed on it. So a lot of space on a circuit boards being wasted by these capacitors. And what we noticed is a lot of times the capacitors are connected to the input or the output of the circuit board. What we're doing is we're manufacturing, a wire shaped capacitor. So instead of it being soda can, it's a long and skinny and flexible wire. And we're going to take this wire and embedded inside the wires that are going into the circuit instead of on the circuit board itself.

Richard Miles:

In a way you're talking about a size or a space savings right?

Isaiah Oladeji:

So even if you decide to put them on the circuit board, you have a lot of free space at the end of the day, which means that you can either shrink your circuit board or you add more functionality.

Richard Miles:

I'm tempted to tell our listeners to go to the nearest desktop, take off the back and then look at the circuit board. But then I'm afraid Radio Cade gets sued by all these people who couldn't put their computers back together. But I think I get the concept. So Isaiah, you touched upon this a little bit in terms of space savings. And then Joe , you talk about power, but why is this such a big deal? Where do you see this going in terms of potential applications? Obviously the computer industry would be using this, but are there other things beyond computers in which a wire shaped supercapacitor , it's going to make a big difference?

Joe Sleppy:

So the deal here is that traditional capacitors all have to be installed on a circuit board. And as I've mentioned to you before, that is going to take up a lot of space on set circuit board. Maybe a third of the circuit board will be taken up by all these capacitors. And so with our innovation here, putting the capacitor in a different form factor, having the capacitor shaped as a wire, we can now install our capacitor inside DC power cords, connecting to circuits rather than on the circuit itself. Now there's a lot of applications in that system. Okay. Might be for solar power systems. It might be for electric vehicles. It could be for wind turbines, everything has wires connecting it in one way or another. The bigger idea here is instead of being able to install more and more capacitors, and s upercapacitors on a circuit board, which makes the circuit itself far larger, far more expensive, we can offset those capacitors in the connecting infrastructure o f the connecting wiring, which then keeps the circuit small, keeps the infrastructure small a nd l imited while you're also getting the advantages of having more capacitance in the system, which typically will improve the performance as well.

Isaiah Oladeji:

In short, it means that if you have an off-grid solar powered house, our capacitor could be part of that system. It could be part of an electric car. It could be part of a drone wherever you have a battery, as a matter of fact, where you want to extend the life of the battery, these capacitors can readily go into it and extend the life of the battery.

Richard Miles:

Whenever a battery is involved, particularly a large battery or large power requirements . Seems to me, that is the value proposition of your company. Let's talk a little bit about that. And I know you're still very early stage and you're still doing a lot of your due diligence on the technology itself, but in terms of potential markets, you listed at least three that I heard solar power, electric vehicles and things like drones. Is there an obvious advantage in picking one of those three? Where would you go first where you think t hat this would make a bigger difference as opposed to the other ones?

Joe Sleppy:

Right, so I will say that as a capacitor there's hundreds of applications, every electronic circuit has a capacitor or capacitance in one way or another. That h as actually been a challenge for the company as an entrepreneurship company t o decide which one do we want to do first? Now it's not just about which one is the coolest. It's not just about which one does the entrepreneur like myself and Dr. Oladeji here. It's not just about what we want to do. I think that we would both love to g o put this into an electric vehicle and start working with Tesla today. But the feasibility of that is not so great. So what we've done is we've spent about a year or t wo years and a lot of customer discovery trying to figure out what value our technology can really add. And our first focus is going to be on the solar power market. And specifically within that solar power market is residential solar power homes. We're going to be able to do two things for them. One, if they have a battery, we can connect our cable capacitor into the DC power cords to ma ke that battery last l onge r and have better performance. That's going to save the homeowner money because they don't have to replace that battery every five years, seven years, whatever it is, the second thing that we can do for solar power systems, as we can connect our cable- based capac itor again, inside the DC power cords, you don't need any other ugly boxes hanging off your roof. You don't need to make your garage cluttered, none of that, but we can connect our cable based capac itors into the DC power cords, connecting everything together, and we'll be able to compliment the solar panels to have more power. The way that we do that has actually nothing to do with the power itself. But when you have a shadow, for example, go over your panels, there's been a sha r p drop in the power output. Our capacitor will m ake sure that that drop is filled in so that the power going to the home is as constant as possible. Having constant power, at lea st a hig h e r efficiencies to the inverter. And it means that t he m aximum power point tracking devices will have a higher efficiency and be able to get more power out of the panels.

Richard Miles:

So you're in this really interesting inflection point, I guess, the development of your idea and that the energy market is one of those markets. It's like, it's g ot a l ot o f big players. There's a lot at stake and I'm sure you're probably getting a lot of advice. Free advice, wanted advice, unwanted advice. I forgot to mention. I forget every single time dimension, t he, you are actually finalists in the 2019 C ade Prize. So congratulations to that reason. We have you on the show this morning, you are already doing well and you've already done well in other pitch competitions, but you're now moving beyond that. Like how do we develop this idea? Tell me what the next year looks like. What are your near term milestones in terms of developing the commercialization of this idea?

Joe Sleppy:

The thing I'd say is I started getting very, very focused and very, very specific about what we were doing over the last six months or so. And what I did specifically, as I started going to a customer and saying, I have this product, what do you need to see to buy it from me? Tell me exactly what specification you want. Tell me exactly what certifications I need. Tell me exactly what kind of fill in the blank you need to see in order to actually fulfill an order. I noticed that as a startup, a lot of people want to watch you and customers that watch you don't necessarily buy from you. And that doesn't help the company that much. It just makes it sound like a theoretical potential sale in the future. And so I started going to our customers in the solar industry and saying, I have solution. We think it'll do that. What do you need to see? And that laid out our most immediate milestones, which are, we need to scale our manufacturing right now. Dr. Oladeji is making them by hand in his lab. It's not very scalable in that sense. And so we just recently invested in some equipment to scale o ur manufacturing line up to 50 units a week. So that's a big deal so that we can actually on a regular basis, put out samples, put out p roduct fulfill orders. The second thing that they've all told us is you need to have this be certified under a UL listing, which is kind of like FDA approval. But for electronic components, those two things have become the very clear milestones that if you do those two things, we will be able to fulfill orders and generate revenue. And so that's what the media focus is.

Richard Miles:

So most young companies, one of the things they really need the most is money, right? Because as you d escribe going into a manufacturing process, even an initial manufacturing run doing the other things y ou've described, somebody's got to do them and turns out a lot of people don't work for free, right? So you've already pitched this idea. I know in competitions, but tell me what it's like sitting in front of a potential investor. And w hat's some of the feedback you get and what kind of experiences that like, d o you come out of there walking on a cloud or is it kind of terrifying?

Joe Sleppy:

Use to be terrified when I was 19 and asking for money for the first time? And I realized now that I was terrified about it because I was totally not ready to be raising money, but the good thing out of that, as I started getting a little bit of insight, talking to investors and learning how they thought, and I actually didn't ask for money for the first year and a half, two years, the company was alive. I was in pitch competitions. I was awarded a grant. I was in different programs. I was in different accelerators, but when it came to talking to investors, for example, the Florida angel nexus i n Orlando, I would go and I 'd never specifically asked for money. I would just pitch what I'm doing and listen to their feedback so that I could actually understand where they thought all the flaws were so that I could address them. One of the biggest flaws I needed to address was the initial pitch was w e're a capacitor and we c ould be used in everything. And that didn't go over very well. Right? I had to pick something and that kind of spurred on more focused, more specific customer discovery so that we can put together a more clarified business plan and a business case from there. I went out and I did the same exact thing over again. And I started realizing t here w as this sense of, okay, sounds good. Why should I believe you? And from there I realized that we really needed to get those customers to start writing letters saying, we're willing to do this, but you need to do A and B t here's a mentor of mine named Dr. Pape. He works at the University of Central Florida, part of the UCF Blackstone Launch Pad Program. And what he kept telling me i s Joe, what are your value generating milestones? And he is a former investor. And what he would always say is I would look at what money the company is raising. And I would look at what things they want to accomplish with that money. And my question to myself was always does accomplishing those milestones add value to the company? If the answer is yes. Okay. I can consider it. If the answer is yes, significant value, t hen I'd really consider it. And so that I was able to go get a letter of support from a customer saying, Joe, you need t hem, you owe this thing and you need a s caled manufacturing facility. Great. Now that I have those two milestones, I could go ask for money to accomplish them. And now I had letters of support saying, do those two things, and we can fulfill potentially millions of dollars worth of orders.

Richard Miles:

Right? Cause it's not just two things that you picked at random, like, Oh, these are nice to have t hey're measures of value added.

Joe Sleppy:

Value generating milestones. That's Dr. Pape's favorite term.

Richard Miles:

I say, obviously you all are confident in the technical merits of the idea. Is this the sort of thing that you're going to continue to make iterations, not just on the manufacturing end, but are there things you want to do to it to improve it, that you're going to iterate your way to a better wire supercapacitor say in a year or five years from now?

Isaiah Oladeji:

Yes, certainly because right now the operating voltage of ourselves now is around 1.6 volt . The desire is to raise it to maybe three volts, maybe even more than that. So as we are trying to market this in the other research that we'll be doing in the background is trying to raise the voltage, the operation voltage of the cell.

Richard Miles:

So what you have now is sort of like an iPhone, but one day you can have an iPhone four and five and six.

Joe Sleppy:

You know, one thing I'd add to that is the specifications that we have right now. They're good enough for our customers. If we make them better, the customers are only more excited, right? Right. On the 1.6 v olts cell, we connect multiple cells together in series or in parallel to meet different specifications. But if we were able to raise the voltage rating or increase the temperature rating or increase the capacitance of the cell, of course, we're going to continue improving that product. But if we're able to do that, it allows us to deliver the same value at a lower price, which potentially opens up the market more. So we're going to continue iterating. We're going to continue increasing the voltage rating most likely by using a different types of materials inside. And that w ill accomplish different specifications that open up new markets, potentially DOD markets, potentially automotive markets. But right now we're staying very, very focused on residential solar power. And if we increase those specifications, we can only sell to those customers even better and open up new markets in the process.

Richard Miles:

And increasing the voltage ratings. Is that a function of just time and effort, or is more research involved? Do you have a clear path on how to do that?

Isaiah Oladeji:

Surely that part doesn't actually involve too much research in the sense that what dictates the operational voltage of a capacitor most of the time is the electrolyte that you're using inside , which means that by simply changing the electrolyte, it changes everything. It just is simple thing that we need to do that, that doesn't even involve research that much, just okay . Finding an electrode that could be more compatible with our electrodes .

Joe Sleppy:

Dr. Oladeji is awesome. And I like him because together we tend to avoid a friend of mine actually just said this word, an Edisonian approach to the way that we're dealing with this. We're not just trying different materials and seeing what might happen. We're not rubbing sticks together and hoping for the best. He does have a list of very specific materials that we're targeting, that we know that you add this material and it will increase the voltage rating. So it's a matter of having Dr. Oladeji have the time to do that because right now he's manufacturing these cells by hand. So once we implement that manufacturing process, his time is freed up to go improve the products that we're manufacturing.

Richard Miles:

But the only downside to that is then you don't have a great quote like Thomas Edison's, I found 10,000 ways to fail, right ? Your post will say, well, we found three ways to fail.

Joe Sleppy:

We found three ways to fail, but I would tell my investors, we found a faster path to revenue.

Richard Miles:

Okay. So behind every invention, there's an advantage behind every business plan. There's an entrepreneur let's hear about sort of your personal stories of how you arrived, where you are today. And I'm not so much interested in the last year or two, but let's go further back t han that. A nd let's start with you Isaiah. Sort of, how did you end up here? What were you like as a kid? Were you a great student in school? Did you have great mentors and teachers tell us a little bit about t hat.

Isaiah Oladeji:

I was actually a very, very bad student somehow. And my father especially has been so hard of me at that time, because I was really about saying , I just go to school for the sake of going to school. Okay. I have , I mean, I go to school. I hardly pay any attention to what the teacher was saying in the class.

Richard Miles:

So that you weren't thinking about capacitor?

Isaiah Oladeji:

No , no, no, no, no, no. So I did not start to get my beer in until probably I was in elementary in the U.S. that would be around grade five.

Richard Miles:

Wow. And where were you raised?

Isaiah Oladeji:

I was raised in Nigeria.

Richard Miles:

And when did you, or when did your family move to the United States?

Isaiah Oladeji:

It was not until I finished my master's degree in Nigeria teaching the university because I was best man in my class when I was completing my master's degree. So the university decided to retain me and turned me into an assistant professor or assistant lecturer. So, and the requirement to stay in the university was me , you for me to get a PhD. So actually I got the Fulbright scholarship to come to U.S. To come and do my PhD. And my interest at that time was to be in solar cells to develop solar cells . So I came to do my PhD to get my specialization in solar cell.

Richard Miles:

Now, Nigeria, did that have a British school system or what is sort of that?

Isaiah Oladeji:

Well, the system is British, but a corrupted British system by the American system.

Richard Miles:

The reason I asked that is that we lived in Barbados for a few years. And our son, when he was young, went to a British system school there. And the one thing I remember is that unlike American schools, the teachers give the parents unvarnished feedback about their child. They don't sugar coat a thing. So they will say your child. And f rom an American perspective your shocked, like what do you mean? And I d on't k now. They tell you how it is sometimes a little bit too much. Anyway. So t hat's interesting t his, any of this run in the family Isaiah? Did, w here your parents in business, were they in science at all?

Isaiah Oladeji:

No, actually my mom never went to school. My dad did grade one or grade two and then stopped going to school. Yeah. So basically my parents did not go to school, but my dad has a big drive to have all these kids educated.

Richard Miles:

Are you the only of your siblings that became an academic?

Isaiah Oladeji:

Well, actually I have three of my siblings that have PhD too. And I'll do, none of us are in academia.

Richard Miles:

I think your dad needs to write a parenting book, Joe, let's turn to you. Where are you from? What were you like as a kid? Were you always an entrepreneur or did you have an entrepreneurial bent?

Joe Sleppy:

I was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. I was born in 1996, so I got to grow up living and watching the greatest parts of the Yankees in modern history. So that was great, but my childhood was a little different than other people's in the sense that I was actually a deaf kid. And so I progressively lost my hearing from age two, three. And by the time I was in kindergarten, my right ear was all pretty much shot. And so second grade I got cochlear implants installed and that was really exciting because now I potentially could h ear, but second grade didn't really go. I was h omeschooled during that time, third grade I went, but I wasn't hearing very well. So I would leave every third day to get basically physical therapy for how to talk and how to hear and around the time I was in fifth grade, I was back. My math was okay a nd things were all right, but I couldn't really spell i t b ecause I couldn't hear so not a fantastic elementary school student, but when I got to middle school a nd I got to high school, i t seemed like every year I started to progress and be closer to the top of my class. When I was in high school, I had awesome opportunity to be taught by fantastic teachers. My English teacher had a PhD, all my math teachers and physics teachers all had a m aster's degree. That was really exciting because I actually learned from people who loved what they were doing rather than just teaching it. And so I did AP calculus and I did AP physics and I took classes and it was all great. But to be honest, I did not care about school because it was really boring to me when I was 16, in fact, I got so bored that I j ust s tarted to start my first business. And I competed in this competition put on by the Pinellas Education Foundation where the winner would get $10,000. So I won the $10,000 and they approached me and they said, so, J oe, what college do you want us to send this to? And I was like, you told me I could use this money for my business. And they were like, you could also use it for college. I'll get Bright Futures. I'm not worried about college. I want it for my business. And so they gave me $10,000. I used it to start Slepp Solutions, which was a hands-free fitness equipment for amputees sold a few products here and there and made a couple of thousand dollars in reoccurring revenue. It was pretty great, but come freshman year in college, t here's not very much money. And so I knew when I came into college, I really had three options. One was to get a PhD. One was to go work for somebody. And one was to start another business that could potentially scale and generate revenue to support a lifestyle. So on the working for som ebody fr ont that wasn't going to happen. I worked for Publix for a couple of ye ars and working for Publix was really great. But I do remember this one moment where I sold $500 of groceries and made $2.50. I was just on the wrong side of the register. And then I was looking at my dad and my dad worked 35 years to get towards the top of his company. And I didn't really feel like waiting 35 years to get to the top of the company. And I was imagining it like a chain. And I kept saying the fastest way to the top of the chain is to just start your own chain. Great reincarnate. All the entrepreneurial spirit I had when I was 16. And I started a bu s iness beca use I w anted to help people and cau s e I w as bored with school honestly. And so in college I realized, wanted to either get a PhD or start a business. I started doing that by getting involved in undergraduate research. The lab I did undergraduate research in is the lab that invented our technology here, the cabl e bas e d cap acitor while I was still in high school. And the professor said, Hey, I would really love to see this be a real thing one day, but I don't have the entrepreneurial skill set to d o that. I hear you started a business when you were 16. What can we do? And that pretty much set off the story for capacity tech. We joined the ICorps Program. We joined the local level, the national level. I got involved with Firespring Fund and Starter Studio. I got involved with venture scale -up and the catalyst program. I got involved with UCF Blackstone Launchpad. I won the UCF Joust. I mean, I got every entrepreneur resource I could find in Orlando and I used it and I used it hard. And so that's really what ended up spear ing off CapaciTech, becau se I al so realized that I go t my name on a few academic papers and that was great. And I actually used them on my resume and I was proud of them, but I didn't have the same fulfillment that I got when I was starting my business. And I generated revenue and I created wealth and I helped spur on jobs. And now with CapaciTech, we're doing all of th at same exact thing while I'm also getting to be involved with really cool technology, potentially completely world chan g ing tech nology. And that' s real ly excites me and it really gets me going. And that's why I do this becau se I lo ve it.

Richard Miles:

And those are both really great stories. Before I forget Joe, one thing we always advise is go back and tell that teacher what an inspiration they were to you. Teachers love hearing that if you haven't done it already highly advise it.

Joe Sleppy:

I won't say any specific details, but one of my high school teachers actually invested in CapaciTech. I absolutely am grateful. My high school was a special type of high school, r ight. It was called a fundamental system. So they did things a little differently, but the academic success was very, very high on their list of priorities. And that distilled into me. And when I got to college, I felt like my first year of college was just another year of high school because my high school was so intense with the way that they were teaching us in terms of calculus and physics. A nd when I got to the college version there was some new things introduced, but the underlying structure was already there b ecause I had such great passionate teachers in high s chool.

Richard Miles:

So this is a part of the show where we offer the guests the opportunity to dispense wisdom to other entrepreneurs, other inventors. I'm sure you've already been asked probably for advice from other companies are getting started because they've seen you and in the work that you've done. So Isaiah, let's start with you, as you're trying to move a great idea out of the laboratory into the marketplace, one a re t he sort of things that you would avoid if you had to do it over. And what are some of the things that you think have been instrumental to your success so far, if you were giving advice to say someone a few years behind you in terms of their development.

Isaiah Oladeji:

Well, if I have to use my own experience, I realized that so the experience that I had in the big companies that I worked for in the past, I probably contributed a lot to the success we are currently having in capacity. So if I have to do it again, I'll probably prefer to do it that way. That is how I've experienced work with bigger company to get those essential experience that could come really, really handy because this is not my first company. I started several companies in the past and most of their field after I left working for places like Bell Labs and Lucent Technologies, Surpass Semiconductor in Singapore,

Richard Miles:

Not insignificant companies.

Isaiah Oladeji:

Corporation, the United Kingdom. So I worked for all of these big companies. And then after that I started my own company and then my technology got bought up by other companies and I was a big part of the company, but anyway it feel , and then somebody referred me to Joe and that was towards the end of 2017. And then we finally got together at the beginning of 2018. And I can say that the experience that I had in all those previous company that are actually coming together to help propel this company.

Richard Miles:

So in a nutshell, worked for a bunch of big companies until you get just smart enough to start your own.

Isaiah Oladeji:

Exactly.

Richard Miles:

Joe, how about you? You're a pretty young guy, but it sounds like you've already had a lifetime of experience here. What sort of lessons would you impart to others who are looking to do the same thing or something similar?

Joe Sleppy:

I guess I have a few quick thoughts. I mean, one of them would be look at who you're spending t he most of your time with n o, that when I was in high school, I was not just spending time with other students. I was spending a lot of time with this guy named K urt Long. K urt long, founded a company called F airWarning and they basically do cybersecurity for hospitals. W ell, Kurt long is who funded the $ 10,000 grant t hat started my business. So we would meet regularly maybe once a month and he would impart his wisdom into me. And that aged me up pretty quickly. And I remember this actually funny story after the fact, but I'm 18 and I go into his office and I'm like, Kurt, I made my first sale and he gave me a bottle of champagne. I'm like Kurt, I'm 18. He's like, give it to your mom, this is so great. And so develop a relationship with somebody like Kurt, get involved in programs and just start doing something. So that was one thing surround yourself with people that are really champagne, you might get a free bottle of champagne. But then the other thing I would say is don't be scared and just do it. My friends when I was 16, 17, 18, and they all had great ideas. Why didn't any of them do it? Remember that program that I won in high school, I was the only kid in my class that submitted an application. There was something like 60 applications to this program and they were taking the top 10. So yo u h a d p retty good odds compared to like getting an SBI grant or getting a scholarship lik e yo u . Y ea h, p retty good odds. I had friends that were bullish enough to say all me n to ap ply to Harvard, but weren't bullish enough to try and get an extra $10,000 grant. So what I always try to point out to people is, H ey, if you're 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, you can start something and fail. And you're right where everybody else is. So just try to do something. And I can tell you, there's a g u y on Jeopardy named James right now. And he publicly said, the reason he's doing so well on je opardy is because he takes all the bigger risks in the beginning of the game, bec ause he has time to recover. College high school. That is the beginning of the game. Go take some risks, go try to start something crazy. Surround yourself with people like for me, Richard Fox, Mike Pape, Cameron For d, K urt long. These guys will mature your brain to act a little bit further beyond your years. And then they also might connect you to people like Isaiah who hel ped yo u actually execute on your vision. Right? Don't just be scared to do it because you're just putting yourself closer and closer to having to take a job. Because now you have a mortgage. Now you have a car payment. Now you have whatever, if yo u're 16 and it fails, you're still a kid.

Richard Miles:

No morgage, no champagne either. But yeah , these are both great stories and you're obviously a great team. And uh , I think you'll do well, but I want to wish you the best of luck. Thank you for coming on Radio Cade. Again, congratulations for making it the final stage of the Cade Prize and look forward to having you on the show again.

Isaiah Oladeji:

Thank you very much.

Richard Miles:

I'm Richard Miles.

Outro:

Radio Cade would like to thank the following people for their help and support Liz Gist of the Cade Museum for coordinating and vendor interviews . Bob McPeak of Heartwood Soundstage in downtown Gainesville, Florida for recording, editing and production of the podcast and music theme, Tracy Collins for the composition and performance of the Radio Cade theme song featuring violinist Jacob Lawson and special thanks to the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention located in Gainesville, Florida.