Max Arndt’s TOEPENER : Use your head…Use your foot


Today I would like to draw my readers’ attention towards an interesting college start-up by University of Minnesota senior Maxwell Arndt who engineered a simple foot lever to make hands germ free and named that as Toepener. Let’s know more about this start-up with  toepener .

Twenty-five students gathered the last fall in a university of Minnesota’s lecture hall where a senior student Max Arndt began to sketch a cube of sorts to be bolted to the base of a door. He explained it can be used in public restrooms, bathrooms, hospitals etc where we do not want to touch the often-gripped germy door handles. Though the design needed structural strength and the illustration needed perfection the name of that thing caught their ears. TOEPENER.

This catchy name came to his mind one late night while considering the mission of his class entrepreneurship in action. Max knew that it was annoying to go to a public bathroom and touch the germy door-handle. He realized that his toepener could replace different ludicrous ways people use to avoid touching the door-handle on their way out of a public restroom. According to Max, he got the shock moment to solve this door-handle problem because of the class and he also said that he used his college dorm bathrooms as inspiration.

Max continued talking about his solution in his class and that is why his every classmate created possible ventures and pitched them to the class. His idea has undergone through a series of eliminations and his advisor signed off on a $15,000 loan to fund the toepener’s first manufacturing order. Thus Max’s idea made it all.

The toepener has made its debut in Northeast Minneapolis – gracing the restroom doors of   the Bulldog N.E. on East Hennepin Avenue. The toepener has made its official debut in St. Paul at O’Gara’s Bar & Grill! Now about 100 toepenersare in use in bathrooms   across   Minneapolis-St. Paul, and   few more around the rest of the country. Orders are piling up and shipment of 500 is underway. The class is also on track to repay its loan and be profit positive by the end of the semester and Max Arndt? ……He plans to start a company similarly geared toward Midwestern college life after his graduation. He wants to do something involving beer, Maxwell added.

This was the story of Maxwell Arndt ‘s brilliant college start-up. This is how his journey has started with this college start-up. Hope he is definitely going to carry on his journey and show his brilliance again.


Aditi Sen
Heritage Institute of Technology, 2012

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