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Florida woodworker honored by governor

Only 23, Nick O’Donnell has created a successful business using 3-D software to produce wooden furniture, light fixtures and carved structures under the company name Terraform Design. His endeavors paid off when he was recently awarded the “Young Entrepreneur Award” from the Florida Governor’s office.

Nick O’Donnell’s “Terraform Chair.”

The award was developed in 2015 by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to recognize students, college graduates and young entrepreneurs who excel in the workplace and create innovative ideas in Florida.

O’Donnell has a membership at the Suncoast Science Center in Sarasota, Fla. where he accesses 3-D CAD software, algorithmic modeling and laser-cutting equipment to create his products.

“I am incredibly happy to be recognized with this award. I have worked hard to make Terraform Design into a successful business within the newly-emerging field of digital fabrication,” O’Donnell says.

After graduating from Florida State University’s College of Business in 2014, O’Donnell discovered the center’s “Fab Lab,” as it’s called, when he was seeking a location that supports young entrepreneurs and grants access to innovative equipment that startups like Terraform Design cannot afford.

Now in its second year, Terraform Design creates a variety of visually appealing home products that sell from $139 to $4,500. His “Terraform Chair” and “Paravlon Lamp” have been featured in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, respectively.

“Nick is our ideal member and it’s inspiring to watch him use the Fab Lab to turn his STEM education and passion into an award-winning business venture,” Suncoast Science Center executive director Ping Faulhaber said in a statement. “Our mission is to provide young innovators, like Nick, the resources and support they need to turn their dreams into reality.”

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This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue.

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