Getting a Feel for TriSense

JA aims to cultivate the next generation of business leaders through real-world entrepreneurial exposure


Benjamin Bliss ‘23, Editor in Chief

Last year, Nicholas Ternullo ‘23 cofounded TriSense alongside several of his peers through a program called Junior Achievement, or JA for short. JA aims to cultivate the next generation of business leaders through real-world entrepreneurial exposure; the program offers resources, capital, and mentorship to its high school participants as they build their own company. Ternullo will be attending the Wharton School of Business next year to continue his business pursuits, but before graduating he agreed to share with The Eagle his commendable TriSense experiences (including back-to-back trips to JA Nationals).


What was the inspiration for TriSense? Could you elaborate on the company’s history?

TriSense was an idea created by Matthew Hurley ’23 who has volunteered at a non-profit called the House of Possibilities which is dedicated to helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through his service, he found that there wasn’t an all-in-one solution for these volunteers to help people who were having sensory overload episodes. The idea revolves around a kit that contains various tools to mitigate the effects of sensory overload in public situations (excess lights or noise for example).


What does TriSense sell, and what do you aim to accomplish with your product?

TriSense sells a variety of different products to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We sell these individually, in kits, and through a donation program with the House of Possibilities. We aim to make the world more accessible for all people.


Who are some other BC High students on the TriSense team, and what are their roles?

This year, our team is made up of 7 BC High students: myself, Jimmy Yan ’23, Matthew Hurley ’23, Tony Nguyen ’23, Sean Coughlin ‘23, Kevin Wang ‘23, and Will Benson ‘24. We don’t really operate the team with roles since there are so few of us. We all work on every aspect of the company with different people taking center stage depending on the scenario. For example, Jimmy played a large role in gathering suppliers and materials for our products, while I led the creation for our various reports, pitch decks, and social media posts.


Congratulations on qualifying for the JA national competition for the second year in a row! Which of TriSense’s strengths have contributed to your consistent success as a JA juggernaut?

I think we found success in JA since our product has a mission focused on helping people. Compared to other products that are only looking to make a quick profit, many judges told us that we stood out because of our dedication to our mission.


Conversely, what has been the most challenging part of producing and selling your kits? 

Last year, we struggled to find reliable suppliers that wouldn’t randomly double our shipping price after we already paid for the products (true story). This year, we had some issues manufacturing our own products from scratch. We had to find the right resin printers with the right film.


Are there any plans to continue TriSense after this year?

Not right now. We all agreed that it wouldn’t be worth it to work on TriSense with all of us at different colleges.


Finally, is there anyone you would like to shout out for their hand in the TriSense dynasty?

All of our mentors at JA, especially Michael Kelly (The GOAT). Mr. Gardner for pushing us to do JA and always supporting us with his advice.