Electric idea vaults teen inventor to top

Joseph Linzon named to Top 20 Under 20 for creating PowerSole shoe concept

To Joseph Linzon generating electricity is as simple as a walk in the park.

Recently named one of Youth in Motion’s Top 20 Under 20, the 18-year-old invented PowerSole, a shoe that creates electricity for the wearer by walking.

During a volunteer trip in Peru, Linzon wondered how he could provide remote areas with sustainable electricity that can charge electronic devices needed for business or communication.

He thought of the idea of the PowerSole and ran with it.

“I want to empower the powerless one step at a time,” said Linzon, who took a week to create the product in his family’s Forest Hill garage.

For his first prototype, he used an old pair of Nike Air Force Ones embedded with an inductive coil and battery that can charge devices like lamps, Ipods and cellphones. He estimated the components come up to less than $4.50 per unit plus the shoe and labour costs.

“Going into the project, I didn’t have any physics background at all,” he said, adding that he “actually strongly disliked physics.”

He had to learn some scientific concepts and employ a friend’s help until he finally came up with a workable prototype. The design, which is currently patent pending, later won him second place in his current school, University of Virginia’s Entrepreneurship Cup.
Linzon says he can’t believe that in a span of a year PowerSole led him to be recognized as one of Canada’s most promising teenagers.

“I always see these amazing students in the newspaper on the Top 20 Under 20 list and I though I’ll never be this,” he said. “To actually be included … I was blown away.”

Fascinated by finance, Linzon hopes to get into University of Virginia’s prestigious McIntire School of Commerce. However, he also wants to follow his father Mr. Sub founder Earl Linzon’s footsteps and become an entrepreneur.

“Once I get a better prototype, I want to take it to a shoe manufacturer,” said Linzon, who can’t wait to take his first step into the business world.

“This has always been my dream.”

About this article:

By: Sarah Taguiam
Posted: Aug 21 2012 6:21 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto