Barrington, Illinois

Medium: Before we get into your business, what you like to do in your free time?

Wyatt Lindquist: I’m a captain on my water polo team, and I swim for fun a lot. I play Ultimate Frisbee. I’m also in the marching band.

How do you have time for all that?

It’s rough.

Do you like your school?

I really love it. Most of my friends are as involved as me, and I really love the community here.

Your company — the Disc Company — grew out of your school’s incubator program. Can you tell me about it?

Well, I began incubator just because my counselor told me I needed to take a business class once in high school. I didn’t think anything of it, because I wanted to be an engineer or a history teacher at the time. But now that I am in incubator, every day I go to class and get work done with my business partners.

When you started, did you already have an idea for a business?

When I started, we went through a unit called ideation. We all sat down and came up with wild ideas. Our original idea was — we were actually going to make a window defogger for cars. We spent about a month working on that project until my co-founder decided — he’s also a Frisbee player with me — he was like, “We don’t have any Ultimate Frisbee training equipment, and there’s a huge market for this. I think we should definitely try to go into it.” And that’s when our company shifted and really started to take off. We’re about to be incorporated. I just have to get the stuff from the IRS.

Talk about what your group does.

We invented a practice disc. Essentially, it works like a weighted bat in baseball. In Frisbee, you throw a disc, and the regulation discs are 175 grams. However, we thought if we amp this up about 100 grams, players would be able to work out their wrists and get farther throws without sacrificing form, which is often what happens when Ultimate players go to the gym to lift. We thought this was a great way to fix that problem.

That’s awesome. What stage are you at?

We have created many prototypes. Right now, we’re working with a molding company, and they’re helping us get set up for manufacturing.

How has your group been funding this?

The Incubator Foundation every year has a pitch competition. They take five companies that they believe are the cream of the crop from the different classes. On the pitch competition night, we all stand in front of the stage and do a Shark Tank–style thing. And then afterward, they all go into a room and decide if they’re going to fund our companies. We were awarded $14,000 for 12 percent of our company.

Wow.

The Incubator Foundation is the real MVP here.

You said you initially wanted to be a teacher or an engineer. What’s appealing to you about entrepreneurship?

Now that I think about it, I’ve really been an entrepreneur my whole life. I used to be the kid who would sit outside by the lemonade stand for hours every day, trying to make $4. And I always thought, “I’m going to scale my lemonade stand. I’m going to make it huge. I’m going to sell to everyone there ever was,” you know. But this class gave me the opportunity to finally jump on board.

Are you planning on sticking with this company while you go to college?

Yes, that is my goal. I will probably be attending community college to run my company for the first two years, just so I have time to work on it. If I don’t see much success, I may move on to a four-year college. But hopefully I will be able to run my company. I fully believe that my company has what it takes to become one of the best Frisbee companies in the world.

Do you feel like you’re well prepared to accomplish that goal?

I see myself as possibly—I mean, I don’t want to brag—but I think I’m a prodigy at entrepreneurship, to be honest.

That’s fine. You should feel confident about it.

I truly feel that I have the potential to run a Fortune 500 company someday. I definitely feel like when it comes to business, I really am going to become one of the greats in the next few years.


This interview is part of The Edge of Adulthood: Forty-Six American Teens Discuss Their Lives, Their Struggles, and What’s Next.