Foster Center for Student Innovation

Current Tenants

Body Guard Fitness

SpencerSpencer Wood, a graduate student at the University of Maine, got the idea for his business while playing for the UMaine football team as an undergrad. The idea became the Body Guard Fitness, a product that helps an on-the-go person stay active, anywhere, anytime. “This revolutionary product in full-body fitness and mobility will transform the fitness industry and bodies alike,” Wood says. “It is a unique combination of push-up grip and resistance-band technologies that come together to provide a comprehensive and demanding full-body workout.” In May 2013, Wood was the runner-up in the UMaine Business Challenge; a competition that looks to provide collegiate entrepreneurs with the support necessary to transform their business dreams into reality. Wood won $1,000, as well as patent and law consulting for his business. Since his success at the challenge, Wood has worked with some of the judges of the UMaine Business Challenge, as well as the UMaine Foster Center for Student Innovation.

“The best place to network and move forward with new ideas and businesses is without a doubt the Innovation Center.” Wood says. Wood’s goal is for the Body Guard to become a household name and a familiar product in the fitness world. He wants his product to be known for giving users confidence. With the counseling he’s received from the Foster Center for Student Innovation and the money he won, Wood is well on his way. “If my product is patentable, which it looks like it is, the sky will be the limit,” Wood says.

For More Information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 603.568.2475


Dusty's Toys

austinAustin Kidder, an undergraduate student at the University of Maine, started making premium dog toys when he was nine years old. Austin created his first prototype with his grandfather, a retired mechanical engineer. Realizing that Dusty, his grandparent’s dog, and other local dogs alike loved the designs, Austin began selling his first toys at a local dog park. That’s when Austin officially became an entrepreneur, creating his business and naming it Dusty’s Toys in honor of his grandparent’s dog. Austin’s sales and buyers have increased exponentially since then. In 2013, Austin participated in the New England Products Tradeshow. He is the youngest vendor on record, and has gained many new buyers throughout New England and New York through his participation. “I never imagined Dusty’s Toys would turn out to be as large as it has become,” Austin says. “I now have seven styles of dog toys. I sell through trade shows, online, in craft fairs and directly by retail. My toys are now in over 30 stores all throughout New England.”

dustyEven with Austin’s success, he has set his sights high for accomplishing more goals including distributing his product in at least 100 stores by 2015, selling his products through a national department chain, and distributing his products to at least 1,000 stores internationally before he graduates. With these goals in mind, Austin is working with the staff of the Foster Center for Student Innovation to help protect, stabilize, and grow his business. With their help, Austin plans to begin mass-producing and diversifying his toys. “My goal,” Austin says, “is to make long lasting toys that dogs will love.”

For More Information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 207.370.2364
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Engineers Without Borders

Final day group photo with sign

Engineers Without Borders UMaine (EWB-UM) is open to all students who want to help communities worldwide in sustainability and improving quality of life. EWB-UM is a chapter of the Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA), which is a national organization with over 12,000 members. EWB believes in building a stronger community for the future. Currently, the project EWB-UM is working on is in Dulce Vivir, Honduras. It is a small community with poor sanitary solutions. The lack of water to the community is contributing to health concerns and harm to the environment. EWB-UM has gone to Honduras many times now to learn about the community and collect information for the system.

The first year, students and professional mentors went to Honduras; they looked at where to construct and how to implement the project. They grew a relationship with the Honduran people and helped them understand the construction process of the project. They designed a drainage system that can prevent runoff to the town from the hills. When the system is in place they do not plan to just leave it, they will be training individuals from the town to be able to fix it if anything happens. They also agreed to help for at least five years for technical support. Learn more at

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