Molly Cantillon of Livingston, having been inspired by teen entrepreneurs, wants to inspire other young people. She also wants to have an impact on the world through her ventures.
The Newark Academy sophomore attended LaunchX, a four-week summer entrepreneurship program at MIT. Excited at being with other accomplished teens who had built products and started organizations, she teamed up two colleagues, Victor Cardenas from Venezuela and Ryan Samadi from California.
The three explored many issues and settled on a need for a solution to police brutality “because of its huge impact on American society,” Molly said.
They did market research, conducting interviews with police departments, including the Boston PD, and ordinary citizens.
“The police said that their biggest problem is dealing with crimes happening in rental cars,” Molly said. “We think the problem is caused by the action of reaching over to a glove box to obtain legal documents. This causes ambiguity and instills a sense of fear that the driver could be reaching for a firearm.”
So, the entrepreneurs developed an app that they call “Rentagz,” which “streamlines the process of pulling over rental cars.” It is a real-time database that provides police officers with background information about an individual driving a rental car.
The name stems from an early plan to have information stored on a chip – a physical tag – in the car’s frame. That plan did not work, but the name stayed, and they hired a coder to develop a prototype of the program, which Molly describes as “a two-sided app for police and rental car companies to enter their information and for police to obtain it.”
Molly and her colleagues have talked to the Avis Budget Group and the Los Angeles Police Department about the plausibility of incorporating the Rentagz technology.
“I have been interested in entrepreneurship for an extremely long time,” Molly said. Her earliest venture was using her parents’ eBay and Amazon accounts to sell old books and toys.
She also credits participating in an all-girls robotics team with opening her entrepreneurial eyes. She was in fourth grade at Riker Hill School at the time, and the award-winning team, Exit 5A, built robots, researched issues, and designed products.
Molly recently founded “Techshare Project” to help underprivileged children get excited about STEM and incorporate it in their futures.
She has a broad view of entrepreneurship; she feels it is about “solving the problems you are passionate about... What really got me going was realizing that you didn’t have to wait until college to make an impact. You can do something now, change the world now.”
Just as Molly was inspired by meeting kids who had started organizations and followed their passions to innovate, she said. “I hope through this article to inspire young students just like me to start now. You will be amazed at what you can do.”