Michael Ragsdale is a designer/entrepreneur who looks for opportunities within the safety industry for market disruption.
Michael began his studies at the college of DAAP after serving in the US Navy as both a Cryptologist and Search and Rescue Swimmer aboard the USS Preble, followed by a promising career as a Navy Deep Sea Diver. While living in Hawaii on the island of Oahu, he discovered his deep-rooted passion for solving problems and creating products. He realized he needed the skills to do this and he applied for the industrial design program at the University of Cincinnati. He sought an advantage that would allow him to learn the design and prototyping skills he would need to give life to the ideas in his head.
From day one, Michael made it his aim to take a product to market before he finished his five year degree program. He treated every assignment as if it were going to be marketed and sold. Early on, Michael showed great promise in his ability to model and make functioning prototypes by developing his CAD and milling skills. He soon learned that this would give him a distinct market advantage because he could make, test, and research a market product fit without the financial investment most budding entrepreneurs incur. After many assignments and multiple attempts, he developed the first pocket-sized, hands-free descent device for firefighters in life-threatening high-rise events.
After graduation, Michael will continue working and developing his bailout system. It has already picked up considerable momentum, winning both local and national pitch event competitions. While finishing his final year in the program, he secured a manufacturing partnership, created a limited liability corporation, and built a team of engineers, marketing and branding, finance and legal representation with two provisional patents. His product will hit the market in April–May with immediate sales through a distribution network.