12-year-old CEO aiming big with diabetes product

An Australian youngster with type 1 diabetes has become one of the world’s youngest chief executives.
William Gramen, 12, from Canberra, invented a test strip disposal unit to stop him getting in trouble for leaving blood glucose test strips scattered around the house.
William impressed some high-profile entrepreneurs along the way, with the product helping him to scoop a prestigious award at a national children’s innovation competition in 2015.
The Canberra schoolboy created the device in the space of just three days aged 10 with the help of a 3D printer at school.
The product – which costs seven Australian dollars per unit with two dollars donated to JDRF per sale – won first prize and a trip to NASA in the Little Big Ideas Awards. William is also one of the 12 finalists picked from a total of 850 entries bidding to secure an innovation grant from the Australian government.
The “big challenge” of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged five and the continuous need to balance his blood glucose levels has made William even more determined to be a success.
He told The Canberra Times: “I always get in trouble for leaving my test strips everywhere and I wanted something to keep them together. You put the strip i, pull it back and roll it in. I want to sell my product to every diabetic in the world. It’s really exciting for me.”
Diabetes Domination is a family affair, with brother and mother being installed as co-CEOs and also his sister appointed head of spending and social media.
Liz Kobald-Gramen, his mum, said: “He can tell you about patents, injection moulding, pricing a product. We try to keep a good balance and make it a bit of fun. He’s good at switching on and off.”
William follows in the footsteps of fellow Australian innovator Stanley Clark who, in 1979, created the world’s first portable battery-operated blood glucose monitor so people did not need to go into hospital to check their sugar levels.

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