Teen entrepreneur develops homework helper
MERCER ISLAND, Wash. -- You might want to remember the name Marcus Schiller.
Schiller is a kind, confident, straight A honor student at Mercer Island High School, and he's extremely entrepreneurial. In fact, the ninth grader plans on becoming the next Bill Gates.
"My dad's been an entrepreneur his whole life and I really knew that I wouldn't be able to shake the entrepreneurial gene," the 15-year old said.
Schiller and his family always played a product pitch game during car rides. His dad would make the kids and his wife come up with ideas to sell.
"I'd say, 'Sell it to me," said Michael Schiller. "If there's a need, you have a product."
Marcus Schiller would constantly come home telling his dad he had an idea. His father would ask if people really need the product or is it just a really good idea? But one day Schiller came home and told his dad about a brainstorm they now call Brain Bands.
The student noticed a few things among classmates, namely that they all wore wrist bands and didn't always finish assignments.
"I have a 19-year old sister and a variety of friends who come to school with their homework not complete. It's not that they're bad students, it's just somedays they forgot to do all of their homework," Schiller said.
That's when he developed Brain Bands.
He attaches five neon wrist bands to a clip that hooks to backpacks or purses. Students can download a chart and decide what color band represents each subject.
"For example, I may assign red to math and so when I get math homework I would take off my red band and put it on my wrist," he said.
When homework is finished, put the band back on the clip.
Michael Schiller brought the brainstorm to friends at Sunrise Identity. They're now helping market the boy's business with a back-to-school launch this summer.
"You could see us in K-Mart, Office Max, and a variety of different retailers," said the excited young entrepreneur.
Marcus Schiller is a teen driven to succeed, and he already has his sights set on Stanford for college.
"Something in my gut is just telling me you're not meant to be hanging out with friends 24-7 and slacking off. I'm meant to be Marcus Schiller, the entrepreneur," he said.
Schiller said he just wants to work to be "the best person I can become." Another lesson from his dad who told him to succeed he just had to be better than the next guy.