Founder:Ryan Olliges is an aerospace engineering graduate from the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. His inspiration for 121C came from a trip to a Boeing facility in Orange County where he learned how much excess carbon fiber scrap was being thrown away. He decided to combine his interest in composites with his love of skateboarding while doing so in an environmentally friendly manner.
Co-Founder: Greg Autry, MBA, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship with the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Marshall School of Business, USC. His research context is the emerging New Space industry. Greg is a serial entrepreneur and is active in supporting American manufacturing.
Industry Expert and Spokesperson: Michael López-Alegría is a former Naval aviator and one of America’s most experienced astronauts. He flew on Space Shuttle missions STS-73, STS-92, and STS-113, as well as on the Russian Soyuz TMA-9. Mike also served as International Space Station commander. He holds several NASA records including longest spaceflight (215 days), most Extravehicular Activities (EVA) or “space walks” (10) and cumulative EVA time (67 hours 40 minutes). He formerly served as President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. As a product spokesperson and industry liaison, Mike’s achievements inspire the whole 121C team to reach for the stars.
Co-Founder: Jaysen Harris has many years of entrepreneurial experience in several technology startups. He is experienced in implementing systems throughout organizations large and small. As services manager at Network Corps he led several major projects deployments at Kaiser Permanente.
Ryan spent the summer following his freshman year designing, wiring and building a hot press to make a carbon fiber skateboard. Reaching the 121 degrees Celsius required to cure the epoxy was a real challenge. After conquering that temperature threshold, the name 121C just stuck. Since that time almost two years ago, we have upgraded our old wooden hot press to a newer aluminum tool!
Sticking with the aerospace theme, we chose to name our board after the aileron on an airplane. An aileron is the surface on the back of a wing that allows a plane to turn and maneuver.
Much like the aileron that drives the turning of an airplane, our skateboard is made for smooth turns and a fun cruise.