Dallas DeBruin ’18 is cleaning up on his first entrepreneurial venture, the Brun Sink 2.0. The custom-fabricated, no-touch sink has sensors to dispense soap, water and a jet of drying air.
He’s successfully quit his day job to focus on selling, building and servicing what he anticipates is his first of many inventions, thanks to both the Flyer Pitch competition out of the School of Business Administration and a fledgling program out of the School of Engineering: Leonardo Enterprises. The business incubator and investment program, available to the campus community, just completed its third semester and currently supports 11 teams.
“Dallas was always going to be an entrepreneur,” said Emily Fehrman Cory ’07, center director, “but with Leonardo Enterprises, students like Dallas can become entrepreneurs faster and with more certainty of success.”
- DeBruin graduated with majors in entrepreneurship and electronic and computer engineering technology. “It was the closest thing to an inventing major I could find, and that’s what I always wanted to be.”
- DeBruin recently accepted as an ESP fellow with The Entrepreneurs Center in Dayton, receiving mentoring and funding to complete certification of Sink 2.0.
- Working on his parents’ dairy farm taught DeBruin to stay calm when things break — or the cows escape — and be tenacious until the problem is fixed.
- New teams this year at UD's Leonardo Enterprises: Smiley Goat Adaptive Board Games, for children with disabilities or restricted motor skills; PaddlePro, an all-female team building “training wheels” for a kayak paddle; and UDust, a smart-controlled, energy-efficient dust collection system for makerspaces.
- “Leonardo Enterprises is a technology accelerator, the fuel on the fire that makes things go faster.” —Emily Fehrman Cory ’07, center director
- Leonardo Enterprises was supported by more than $20,000 donated to the School of Engineering during One Day One Dayton, giving day 2019.
- “I see an ecosystem forming in Dayton around Leonardo.” —DeBruin
- DeBruin has installed three sinks — and has a fourth in production — for Dorothy Lane Market in Oakwood, Ohio, in small spaces where no-touch washing keeps everything clean.
- “I was using all hand tools, but now I have a metal press and brakes. Building a case and lining up all the metal sheets is difficult.” —DeBruin
- “Being in food service, we go through a ton of soap, a ton of paper towels. I love his idea, and to have an opportunity to help a young person succeed makes it that much better.” —Jerry Post, Dorothy Lane Market store director