A Heads-Up Approach to Motorcycle Safety
Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter John Henry. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on March 25th, 2017.
According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, there were 4,586 motorcyclists killed in collisions in 2014. Though this number is down from a peak in 2008, it is still high.
After witnessing a motorcycle crash firsthand, John Henry decided to find a solution. He learned that many car and motorcycle crashes happen because of ineffective brake lights which only light up when the brake is applied and not when a car is decelerating for other reasons. Because of this, drivers may not know that the vehicle in front of them is slowing down, leading to increased risk of collisions.
Henry created the Heads Up Braking System, attachable brake lights that respond to deceleration, not just the application of the brake pedal.
City you live in: Minnetonka
City of birth: Cocoa Beach, Fla.
High school attended: Boca Ciega High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Colleges attended: University of Minnesota, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees
Q. What led to this point?
A. I started Innervision by Henry in 2000. I received my first patent for safety devices for recreational and sports vehicles and their drivers in March 2003. A second patent was granted in 2005 that expands on the first.
Prior to founding Innervision, I served in the U.S. Army. I am very proud of my military experience and very committed to contributing in this area. My inventions will enhance U.S. military capability to provide increased safety in a variety of ways.
After completing my bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota, I joined Best Buy, where I held a sales management position and was responsible for developing many of the earlier sales management procedures for the company. I went on to work at the University of Minnesota Medical School as associate administrator, responsible for operations and grants. While working full time at the university, I earned a Master’s degree in education and management. I held leadership positions in a number of university organizations and was promoted to director of minority affairs in the College of Human Ecology. One of my major accomplishments while at the university was the development and implementation of minority student retention programs and mentoring programs at the university and within the Twin Cities community.
As a top pharmaceutical sales person for Bristol Meyers Squibb, I sold over $18 million for the neural science division, honing my sales skills. I left Bristol Meyers Squibb to devote myself full time to Innervision, the development of its product line, and my patent ventures.
Q. What is your business?
A. Innervision is the result of my creative application of technology to address critical safety issues beyond just vehicles, their drivers and riders. The first of 10 new products, the Heads Up Braking system (HUB system) is one of most advanced wireless braking light systems for motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles. Vehicles often decelerate through dynamic engine braking or down shifting…READ FULL ARTICLE
You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit 1millioncups.com/stpaul.