The Washington Roots Award
PRESENTING OUR 2015 RECIPIENT!
YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR, TEJAS SHASTRY, NAMED
AS 2015 WASHINGTON ROOTS AWARD RECIPIENT
A scientist, entrepreneur, and a CEO, former Washingtonian Tejas Shastry can soon add a new title to his grand list of accomplishments ---- youngest Washington Roots Award recipient. Just 25 years old, Shastry was recently named as the 2015 recipient of the honor by the Washington Historical Society, which annually recognizes current and former Washingtonians who are contributing to society around them. Shastry, presently residing in the Chicago area, is the youngest ever to be named and will return to Washington in October for a presentation and open-house reception in his name.
Chosen for his innovations and entrepreneurial spirit, Shastry is on the radar of many in the field of Science and Engineering today with his invention, AMPY MOVE – a wearable device that converts kinetic energy into usable energy which can power electronics such as smart phones and MP3 players. For this, he was recently named to Forbes Magazine’s “30 under 30” list in the Energy category and has been seen across nationwide news networks, being featured on CBS, CNN, CNBC, as well as local news including Fox News Chicago and WMBD in Peoria.
Shastry got his start in science and engineering through the budding childhood his parents gave him in small-town Washington. Moving to the historic town as a mere tot, Shastry went through the typical upbringing of a Washington Panther, attending Lincoln Grade School, Washington Middle School, and graduating from Washington Community High School in 2007. An above-average youngster, he was a bright student throughout his school days, graduating in the top 10% of his class, receiving a Congressional Art Award, and later being accepted to Northwestern University in Materials Science & Engineering. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Shastry returned to Northwestern where he was accepted into the PhD program with a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, of which only 12% of qualifying candidates nation-wide receive. He has also participated in research projects with institutions across the nation, including the University of California (Riverside) and John Hopkins University. He plans to graduate from NU with his PhD later this year.
His revolutionary product, AMPY MOVE, was born out of a class project at NU with two classmates. From NU to the big stage in the engineering world, the three are presently in the final production stage of the product. The device is ideal for active people, collecting energy from activities such running, walking, or cycling, which is then stored up in a battery for future use. It can even track calories burned and energy generated through the newly developed smart phone app, AMPY+. And the whole thing has caused quite the stir. In less than seventy-two hours, the team met their Kickstarter fundraising goal of $100,000, and followed that up with $300,000 total to cover initial production costs.
Throughout all of the success and attention, Shastry remains a humble man and stands by his simple message: if you have a winning idea and the willingness to work hard, you will succeed, even if you’re from a small-town like Washington, IL.
Tejas Shastry, the Washington Historical Society’s youngest Washington Roots Award recipient will be returning to Washington in early October, where he will give a presentation and be honored with an open-house reception. He is the third to receive this award, with former honorees including Dr. David R. Hunt, anthropologist for the Smithsonian, and Dave van Dyck, famed Chicago sportswriter.