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October 19, 2022 | Shannon Smith

Vol Court | Anthony Do’s life in Hawaii and passion for cars inspired SeaShade

By Shannon Smith, Teknovation Assistant Editor, PYA

What if your car windows could tint darker automatically when the sun was too bright? And then lighten again at the push of a button?

That’s the idea behind SeaShade, an automatic window tinting system you could control from your phone.

“SeaShade is a dual-functioning automotive window tint that could change transparency to become lighter or brighter automatically and manually,” said founder Anthony Do. “And it’s created from sustainable plastics or recycled plastics from the ocean and runs on renewable energy.”

It’s all in the ideation stage right now, but it’s something Do, a freshman at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) is passionate about.

“I came up with this idea, or it came to me while I was at Governor’s School,” said Do. “I had a passion for cars and I also used to live in Hawaii. So I was like, let’s see how I could combine the two. I really feel like window tints could be made better and innovated. We went to the whiteboard, did a little bit of engineering, and came up with a blueprint. From there, we may Seashade, a window tint that can change transparency that also saves our oceans.”

Do would want to use plastics gathered from ocean cleanups in his tinting product.

“SeaShade takes plastics from our oceans and beaches and changes them into an automotive window tint that changes transparency for you manually and automatically,”said Do. “Meaning it could increase your privacy and security. It could save your car’s leather from being overheated, and saves you gas because you don’t have to use as much air conditioning during the summer.”

It’s his passion and ideation that attracted the judges of Vol Court, an annual speaker series and pitch competition through the the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Haslam College of Business at UTK.

Do walked away from the Fall 2022 Vol Court Pitch Competition with a second-place win and check for $1,000 to invest in the creation of SeaShade.

Anthony Do, Taylor Gingrich, and Tanner Hawkins are the Vol Court Fall 2022 winners.

“Vol Court really offered me a platform to get myself out there,” he said. “It’s definitely a great opportunity for people that are trying to grow their business and grow their network to just meet people, people that could help you.”

The freshman finance major has time to keep growing SeaShade from an idea to a product. He said entrepreneurship is his passion.

“Growing up, both my parents owned a nail salon, ” said Do. “I grew up learning the inner workings of a small business. My goal is to work corporate for a few years and eventually just create tech startups and go from there.”

That starts with SeaShade

Do wants to go that route because in his eyes, startups “marry time and money.”

“So that I can have time to start a family and money to enjoy my life,” said Do, who’s proving to be a lot smarter than many of us were at 18. “My parents call me an old man. I actually have a lot of gray hair already.”

Vol Court is just the start of the business and entrepreneurship world Do can’t wait to break into.

“SeaShade, I’m very passionate about it,” said Do. “There’re a lot of obstacles, but I’m taking it one step at a time, and seeing where it takes me. And overall, I’m excited to see what the future holds for me.”

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