Bell is taking on the world
Kapiti’s Benjamin Bell created his first invention when he was just 12.
Benjamin Bell talks about his work so far, and what he plans to do now he’s finished school at Paraparaumu College. He has pitched his invention, Wellbands, to some of the biggest names in health technology at Standford MedX, in California.
You won the Youth award at The Wellys this year – how did that achievement make you feel?
Winning was at first surprising as the other finalists in my category were so talented. It gave me a sense of self-pride to achieve this award.
What inspires you as an inventor?
My inspiration to be an innovator is the ability to create something that has never been created before, that can benefit someone’s life, but can also be spread globally to help people all around the world. We live in an amazing era where you can wake up one day and your life can be hugely benefited by a brand new piece of technology that didn’t exist the day before.
How did you come up with Wellbands?
I came up with my invention Wellbands when I was 12 and my step-dad went into hospital to have surgery. When we went to pick him up it was very hard to find him and we asked three different hospital staff where he was. It turned out he had been moved into a different ward, creating the confusion. It wasn’t till about a week later when I was fiddling with his wristband and realised that these wristbands were plain and pretty useless and I wanted to create something more useful that helped find
Now you’ve finished school, what’s next for you?
In 2017, I amgoing to take a year to work on Wellbands and other possible entrepreneurial projects as well as keeping my eye open for other opportunities, all while keeping my part-time job to save money.
This means in 2018 I will have money for a gap-year trip to Canada for a complete change of scene. From then on I’m not sure where life will take me and as of now I amnot concerned.
What advice do you have for other young people looking to follow in your footsteps?
Take every opportunity that you can because you never know where it might take you. Also to live life to the fullest.
Has your age created any obstacles for you?
Definitely, but age can create obstacles for any person. At the end of the day despite your age you have to demonstrate your experience, courage and skills that make you stand out. I have to admit, being young, it is much harder to get your foot in the door, but you just have to find the right person who is willing to take a risk and let you in.
What music do you listen to?
All sorts, but mainly Drake and G-Eazyy, mainstream rap.
If you could invite anyone, living or dead, to dinner, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Ryan Reynolds. Mainly because it wouldn’t be awkward. I assume he is the sort of person to always create conversation and would be a good laugh. I have always had huge respect for him from a young age.
What would you serve them?
Pizza, because who doesn’t like pizza? And to drink, a lime thick shake.