Freshman Max Rothschild has more under his belt than just any freshman engineering major at Boise State. He also has a patented product that has licenses with more than a few of the most recognizable franchises.
The product is called a ZipBin. The idea is that it can be a mat that kids can unfold and play with their Legos or Barbies on and then it can fold back into a bin for carrying toys around or for storing them. Rothschild said the idea came to him and his father when he was about eight.
“My dad had a lot of engineering experience prior to that, so when I told him about the idea, because I wanted to contribute as a little kid, we had to go through a lot of different prototypes to find the right geometrical shape that would zip up and work,”
Rothschild and his father have more than a couple licenses with major brands and franchises such as Lego, Barbie, Star Wars, Lego Star Wars, Hot Wheels, Full Throttle and Go Sport to name a few.
The idea for the ZipBin was anything but an overnight process.
“It takes a lot of time and money to get through the stages of getting your idea patented, so you have to have a lot of patience,” Rothschild said. “You have to get through lawyers to make sure the requirements are specific enough because it has to be really specific to get approved.”
From the time when it was sent out to be patented, the product took roughly four years to actually be approved. Rothschild can’t really compare his childhood to that of a kid without a patented product.
“When you start to grow up with it, I don’t have anything to compare it to. I haven’t lived anything different so I don’t have anything to compare it to,”
According to Rothschild, the most difficult thing they faced were the regulations he had to adhere to and all the trials and errors they faced.
“My dad was more in charge of the actual materials and designing the details, I was more in charge of the fundamental concept of the design itself,” Rothschild said.
Although not too many dinner table business meetings took place, there were plenty that happened in the basement where the design was actually taking shape.
“We’d just go down there and start talking more and messing around with it and drawing out ideas,” Rothschild said.
Rothschild mentioned that there are a lot of politics involved with it and a lot of legalities that he had no understanding of.
“I usually left all that stuff up to my dad since I was about 10 at this point. It’s actually kind of funny because at one point a lawyer needed my signature so I signed my first name in cursive, but I didn’t know how to do a capital ‘R,’ so I had my first name in cursive and my last name was in print,” Rothschild said.
Even though it would be fairly simple to continue the family business with ZipBin, Rothschild clarified that he really doesn’t have the same passion for it anymore and would rather follow his own career path to electrical
“Whenever you find something that you are passionate about, no matter how hard it is, you’ll find a way to make it happen,” Rothschild said.