Janet WOLFORTH: Inventor

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  • Tell us something about yourself, your background:

I am a Licensed Veterinary Technician (since 1986) and a Laboratory Animal Technologist (since 1996).  One decade, dedicated to helping small animals like dogs and cats, the other two decades, spent in medical research helping to find cures for human disease with rats and mice.

  • Tell us about the product you invented with a brief explanation:

Invention to keep employee’s exposure to waste anesthetic gas to a minimum

  • How/Why did you start inventing. What set you off?

My father and my grandfather were both inventors.  I enjoyed working in the shop with my dad on projects that made house-hold jobs easier, like a switch that turned the sound on and off our 1970’s TV.  I love the creative side of inventing as well as the camaraderie.  I have received loads of assistance from retired business people, shop owners, and other builders and makers.

  • How did you get from idea to finished product?

When performing surgery on rats and mice became a prime responsibility of my job, I noticed the exposure to waste anesthetic gas was affecting my body and mind.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require research laboratories keep employee’s exposure to waste anesthetic gas to a minimum. There were no good affordable solutions for me, so I came up with one on my own.  I used it myself for many years.  Along with OSHA and a veterinarian, the idea was shared in a publication which demonstrated how well it works.

Many people encouraged me to develop the idea into a marketable product.  Since I enjoyed creating and building as well as networking and connecting with people, it was a fun endeavour developing a system that worked well, met the needs of professionals, and was manageable for one person to build and sell.  I found a lot of help at a local Maker Space where I had access to laser cutters and 3D printers.  I worked with groups like SPARK, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Works.  Connecting with Veterinarian Technicians helped improve the system.  Small networking groups like Boostrappers gave me ideas and helped me connect with local small business owners for advice and support.    

  • Let us know of useful resources that helped you i.e. Books, websites, software etc

The best help came from inter-acting with others such as retired business professionals who volunteer their time through the Small Business Administration as well as small groups like BUILD.  Toastmasters Club helped hone my pitch and improved my confidence in speaking.

  • Where are you with your product? Where can we buy your product?

I build, package and ship the complete system from home.  My product can be purchased from the website.

  • Social media & website:

LinkedIn: Click HERE 

Website: Click HERE   This site has details on why it is important to have a system set up for reducing exposure to waste anesthetic gas as well as informative videos and articles demonstrating how the system works.

–End of Interview–

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