Kaden Sisk has always had an entrepreneurial spirit; He started a lawn mowing business almost six years ago. So, he was excited to learn about the Paradigm Challenge (where students work to develop a socially impactful invention) earlier this school year. He initially proposed the idea of entering this competition to one of his friends in the engineering program Kale Buchanan. Then, they got other friends to join in the project. Caleb Krause, Colin Elmore, and Remy Schupper joined the team. In addition, Erie High School has helped them by connecting them with mentors and by providing the software needed for design and implementation.

For their design, they chose to focus on preserving biodiversity. Given Kaden’s background, he knew that lawn care negatively impacts the environment. For instance, overfertilizing lawns can result in nutrient runoff, which leads to the formation of harmful algae blooms (HABs). They brainstormed solutions to nutrient runoff. After debating a couple of ideas, they decided on inventing an autonomous lawnmower and a fertilizing attachment that can apply granule fertilizer at the user’s desired rate. 

To refine their entry for the Paradigm Challenge, they connected with professionals who have experience in business and hardware/software design. The ensuing conversations with these professionals made them realize they should attempt to bring the product to market regardless of the competition’s outcome.

As such, they started an LLC (Lono Tech) and have recently obtained a provisional patent on their product.

Learn more about their team, product, and vision at: www.lono.tech

Erie High School