From students to start up –Humber grads return as owners of A&P Prototyping Inc.
by Cass Mignardi
It may be common for college students to dream of starting a business with their classmates, but some may lack the resources, practical experience or motivation. This, however, was not the case for Humber graduates, Eric Andrews and Jacob Pranger. It was just a few years ago that these two were working as research assistants on an applied research project while studying in Humber’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program.
Today, you can find Pranger as Chief Executive Officer of A&P Prototyping Inc. alongside Andrews, who is President of the company, and the duo has returned to the familiar grounds of Humber’s Applied Research & Innovation department to undertake the company’s first project. “We started as students involved in an applied research project redesigning a fountain with Crystal Fountains Inc.,” explained Pranger, CEO. “We enjoyed designing and prototyping so much that both Eric and I decided we would form a company focused on doing mechanical designing and prototyping.”
Their first idea was to design and build the Twincharger—an air compressor that improves the efficiency and power output of internal combustion engines. “Our goal was to create a device that harnesses the benefits of using a Turbocharger and Supercharger air compressors while negating the downfalls of each in a single device. The Twincharger is designed to increase the overall power of an engine while simultaneously increasing the fuel efficiency,” conveyed Pranger. With the support of Humber, A&P Prototyping has assembled a prototype and will now begin testing their proof of concept.
Andrews and Pranger expressed that partnering with Humber granted them access to top-notch facilities and resources. Andrews explained that throughout the project, he developed his critical thinking skills, enabling him to design and modify components to better suit the Twincharger. Although the project has taken longer than the team initially expected, they found that working with Humber has felt seamless, especially in dealing with unanticipated roadblocks.
“This collaboration has allowed us to expand our knowledge by working in depth on the full design of a system that needs to be integrated with existing technology. We were able to use the Humber Machine Shop, and this gave us a much more thorough learning experience of those machines,” stated Pranger.
They consider the experience of developing their own project and seeing it through to the end to be immensely rewarding—and it doesn’t stop here for these entrepreneurs.
Pranger and Andrews have big plans for the company. While working on the Twincharger, they have made connections and have gathered a few clients for whom they do design work and prototyping. The two look forward to launching new and inventive projects through continued collaboration with Humber’s Applied Research & Innovation department, the very same facilities where the creative spark began.
Partner: A&P Prototyping Inc.
Project leads: Jacob Pranger, Eric Andrews