The Man Behind the Mask
As Jordan Vanderham, Class of 2018, saw workers struggling to breathe in the subzero temperatures of cold storage environments, he invented a mask to combat the harsh working climate and improve their lives as a result. When he became involved in the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Club at Grand Valley State University, his idea began to take form.
“My freshman year I discovered the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Club, which cohesively creates a marriage between engineering and business. With a common group of people that want to bring an idea to life, I learned that entrepreneurship is doing the mechanical things, and then figuring out who will buy it, who will use it, and how the idea can become successful.”
Founder of Orindi Ventures LLC, Jordan created the Orindi Mask. Designed for cold weather industrial workers, the mask helps regulate heat and humidity which prevents from frostbite, hypothermia, and other health concerns.
After receiving more than $35,000 from competitions presenting this new idea, Jordan owes his initial success to the GVSU mentor that steered him towards choosing the university.
“Dr. Paul Lane pushed me to attend Grand Valley and apply to the Engineering program,” he says. “After touring and experiencing what the program had to offer, I immediately fell in love with it.”
His credit to success doesn’t end there, as Jordan says Grand Valley fully prepared him for his competitions and helped progress his idea into a real solution.
“The biggest thing that Grand Valley has done for me is push me to places I didn’t know existed,” he says. “In my competitions, I spoke in front of a group of professional investors and entrepreneurs about the development process, the validation process, and steps towards how we will be able to sell this product in the future. Without the help and guidance I am receiving at Grand Valley, I would not have been able to create my own path to success.”
Jordan believes that without the generosity and desire to help from donors the available support and guidance at Grand Valley would not be possible.
“As students we are young, we are uneducated; we haven’t experienced life. For donors to give us opportunities and allow us to take advantage of them, it’s so powerful. Just being able to have the experiences before we go out into the real world is everything. Thank you.”
Jordan’s path has inspired many, and he hopes to leave behind this example of success to drive his Laker Effect for future students and colleagues.
“I want my Laker Effect to make a positive difference. I want this mask and its success to be a reminder that helping others is essential, no matter who you are. And that when someone asks ‘how do I do that?’ or ‘what next?’ I can be there to help and know others will want to do so as well.”