b'SMALL BUSINESSSRTC Student WinsGeorgia InVenture PrizeB en Huntzinger is proving that necessity is the mother of invention, one wheelchair at a time. After an automobile accident left Huntzinger paralyzed from the chest down, the outdoor enthusiast wasnt going to let a wheelchair define how he would live his life.I built a prototype from an off-road skateboard axel mounted under a wheelchair, he says. I could use it to traverse all the mountain bike trails along the Chattahoochee River near Atlanta.Wanting to open up a whole new world for other wheelchair users, Huntzinger set out to develop a high-quality and affordable off-road wheelchair. Everywhere I went, ideas were jumping out at me, says Huntzinger. I would go to the Tractor Supply Store and just stare at wheels, thinking about how I could use them. While improving his off-road wheelchair design, Huntzinger decided it was time to take welding classes at Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) in Thomasville.I had watched a bunch of YouTube videos about welding, and learned a few things, says Huntzinger, owner of Spartan Wheel Chariots. Then I got restless and decided school might be the answer. On his first day at SRTC, Huntzinger made his way to the marketing department and introduced himself.I told them about my idea of building a wheelchair that could be a complete gamechanger, he says. About two months later, they called and told me about a competition for inventors.Huntzinger entered the inaugural Georgia InVenture Prize, a competition to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among college students. Spartan Wheel Chariots was one of 19 teams selected to present its business idea to a panel of judges, with the STRCfinal round televised on Georgia Public Broadcasting.I wasnt nervous or stressed about the competition, heWinning Idea: Ben Huntzinger, owner of Spartan Wheel says. I just went out there and told them who I was andChariots and student at Southern Regional Technical what I am about. College 26 SG MAGAZINE| FALL 2019 BUSINESS + CULTURE27'