Perspectives

Entrepreneur Ethan Schultz Is In the Vanguard of Innovative Toy Development

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Ethan Schultz graduated from Ohio University in 2015 with a degree in Fine Arts but instead of taking a job with a major company, he decided to start his own creative toy company called Opa.

Opa produces “high quality educational toys, that accelerate early developmental skills in children while remaining fun and engaging,” Schultz says. “Opa sees play as a vehicle for education and provides educators with toys to create games, stories, and beautiful works of art as a tool for playful learning.”

Schultz produces brightly colored wooden pieces of multiple shapes and sizes. The pieces are magnetized and fit on a magnet board either on a flat horizontal surface like a table or vertically like a wall. Pictures of the product are available at https://ethanalexanderschultz.wordpress.com/

The pieces can be used as parts of games, stories or in free-form play. Currently, Schultz is working with child development experts to make sure the wooden pieces are both size and educationally appropriate.

Schultz has had this toy idea for several months. He pitched it at the StartUp Weekend, sponsored by the Ohio University Innovation Center and he won in March 2016. He claims the idea is a melding of fine arts, education, and engineering.

Since winning, Schultz has taken advantage of the many services available through the Innovation Center, TechGrowthOhio, and the Entrepreneurship Center. He is still in the process of developing his business and manufacturing plans.

He also has taken advantage of a facility called The CREATE_space, Ohio University’s interdisciplinary resource in Putnam Hall for creative research to explore Arts, Technology, & Entrepreneurship.

The products are net yet available for commercial markets but Schultz believes they will be within a year.

Opa #1