Kelly Reinhart (Age 6) – T-Pak
Whilst stuck one rainy afternoon indoors, six-year-old Kelly Reinhart’s parents challenged their daughter and her siblings to draw a picture of an invention. The prize for coming up with the best idea was making a prototype. Inspired by cowboy gun holsters, Reinhart drew a thigh pack to allow kids to carry their video games around.
After getting feedback from other children, Reinhart and her parents made improvements to the design and obtained a patent in 1998. They started out selling the packs at flea markets and trade shows, but interest grew, and pretty soon, they had an investor for their company T-Pak International. Reinhart’s father even became his daughter’s full-time employee. He explained that the company’s earnings were invested in other companies, adding that if they had kept the profits, “we would have made millions.” In 2001, his dynamic daughter sold the firm at nine. Then in 2002, Reinhart started her non-profit organisation to teach other kids how to become inventors.