bwINK molds entrepreneurs

Alana Eckels


Staff Writer

Junior Nick Pantelis says that a little over a year ago he was like most teens, not knowing much about running a business. But after a year of working with Junior Achievement and the Baldwin student-run business bwINK, Pantelis and his business partners are making plans to roll out their second product.
“I want to do something with business (as a career), and bwINK helped me learn what running a business is like in real life,” said Pantelis, president of the student business group.
The group has decided that its second product will be a retractable phone charger. The charger will be compatible with Apple and Android cellphones, though for Apple users the charger will not be compatible with the iPhone 4 and earlier versions.
The chargers will be about three feet long, feature the bwINK logo and be sold for around $8. The chargers should be in soon, with a retail date still to be determined.
Store-bought chargers sometimes break and are pricy, which is why bwINK members think there is a market for their product.
“Our charger will retract, which means it won’t tangle,” Vice President Earl Woodyard added.
Junior Achievement is a national group that teaches students about business and entrepreneurship, and the Western Pennsylvania branch assists the bwINK students.
The bwINK name comes from the concept BW Inc., but was altered to match the logo, which is a winking emoticon.
The first product from the bwINK business was a cell phone wallet, which sticks to the back of a phone and has a compartment for money, credit cards, or a driver’s license.
Working weekly on that first project proved to be creative introduction to the marketplace.
“JA Company is fun and a learning experience. It helps people understand business and real-world business experiences,” junior Matt Flaig said.
Even after they launch the new phone charger, bwINK will still continue to sell the cellphone wallets, at $3 per wallet.
The estimated revenue from the wallets has come to about $2,000 so far.
After all costs are covered, any remaining profit goes to BWink for future projects.
Last year, in addition to selling to students and faculty at Baldwin and online, bwINK held an event at the Galleria.
The event was geared toward Teacher Appreciation Week, where they sold 75 percent of their inventory, according to Austin Zirngible.
This year they hope to continue selling at the Galleria and online at