August 25, 2022
Meet Harrison Hertzberg, a fourth-year student at Drexel University’s Close School of Entrepreneurship. As the son of an inventor, Harrison grew up with an inquisitive mind and a strong interest in building things. Before moving to Philadelphia for college, he spent his time on his family’s ranch in the isolated wilderness of Northern Idaho.
Harrison’s family affectionately nicknamed their home the “Invention Ranch”, and from a very young age, Harrison worked by his dad’s side where he would invent objects created from the natural resources that surrounded him. Harrison refers to his early inventions as “innovations” because they weren’t really revolutionary, but served as improvements to everyday objects. These innovations included the “Soap Stick” (soap molded to a long, handcrafted wooden handle to increase reach), a “Clever Coaster” which solved the perpetual problem of knocking over one’s glass, and designs for imaginative pergolas that utilized lumber that he milled and produced himself.
After graduating from high school, Harrison had his ‘Aha!’ moment, which led him to create the device that is the basis for his current entrepreneurial venture, AreoPest. Harrison describes the moment the idea hit him, saying: “I was on the roof of my dad’s second-story office building, on a steep incline, with my aerosol can in hand, spraying a wasp’s nest with wasps flying all around me on a 100° day. So, I thought, this is a problem… right? Is there a solution? And there wasn’t, so I decided to do it myself.”
His solution, AeroPest, focuses on providing aerial drone spraying systems designed to eliminate and prevent pests in hard-to-reach places. This technology helps remove the need for dangerous ladders used to access elevated pest nests, which is the main cause of significant injury in the Pest Control industry. Additionally, in the Age of Covid-19, a remote spraying drone serves to de-risk physical proximity and the subsequent possibility of viral transmission.
Since joining the Close School of Entrepreneurship, Harrison greatly progressed AeroPest. He has won multiple awards and pitch competitions – including Startup Fest 2019 with a prize of $12,500 and the Ciright Dragon Startup Competition with a prize of $3,000 – and received funding from Drexel Startups Fund. Harrison has been able to grow AeroPest’s technology at The Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship and gained access to the invaluable expertise of professional mentors in the field of entrepreneurship through the program’s resources.
When asked about being an entrepreneur, Harrison said, “An entrepreneur forgoes the path of least resistance in an effort to make and share… entrepreneurship appears to be such a daunting mountain to climb – starting a business, doing anything yourself. The employer/employee track seems a lot easier. But, I guarantee entrepreneurship is more rewarding, even if you’re not successful.”
Written by Melissa Tevere, Program Manager at The Close School of Entrepreneurship, firstname.lastname@example.org