Posted 8/5/2013 12:00 am
One side of the political spectrum gets a lot of mileage out of quoting President Ronald Reagan’s quip about government: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
And far too often, to again selectively quote the Great Communicator, government isn’t the solution; it’s the problem.
Except sometimes …
Except in Magnolia, at Southern Arkansas University, and in Little Rock, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a couple of homegrown inventors/entrepreneurs sought advice about their device, a product that helps the visually impaired navigate their way by conveying when potential obstacles are about ready to become real obstacles. Brandon Foshee and his brother-in-law Tim Zigler, graduates of SAU, call this product “Roboglasses.”
The two turned to SAU and UALR for guidance in selling their product. SAU got them started on a business plan, and UALR’s Small Business & Technology Development Center helped them with market research and helped them apply for a grant from the National Science Foundation, a federal agency that fosters science and engineering.
Fauxsee Innovations, the company formed by Foshee and Zigler, has received $150,000 to pay for the design and testing of the Roboglasses. They’re hopeful of getting another $750,000 for their startup. The two say they’re not in it for the money, but they think Roboglasses, which they hope to manufacture in Magnolia, will be profitable.
Although the outcome is far from certain, the endeavor is promising: two sons of Arkansas, assisted by Arkansas educational institutions and the federal government toward their goal of manufacturing a product to help the visually impaired navigate the world. That sounds like help we can get behind.