Young entrepreneur recognized
LORETTO – Jonathan Miller said he is both humbled and embarrassed.
Miller, 27, Chest Springs, was recently named as Western Pennsylvania Small Business Administration Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He received the same honor last year from the St. Francis University Small Business Development Center. Miller also serves as an adjunct instructor at St. Francis.
The Cambria County commissioners have declared Thursday as Jonathan Miller Day honoring him.
“I am a private individual. It is kind of embarrassing, but I hope it helps bring awareness to other entrepreneurs to see what they can do regardless of age or location,” Miller said.
In 2011, Miller, who holds bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and chemistry and an MBA from St. Francis, joined with his mother, Mem, also a St. Francis graduate, to start a business called “Dimples,” which helps individuals and organizations to conserve ink and toner when printing documents with its unique perforations, or dimples, method.
“We make ink-saving computer fonts. We add dots to the fonts and that makes them consume less ink and still retain legibility,” Miller said.
The idea stemmed from another business he and his mother had started that involved the printing of numerous documents.
“We couldn’t reduce the amount of paper, but we could reduce the amount of ink,” Miller said.
Dimples uses 31.8 percent less ink/toner than regular fonts, and some customers have reported a 40 percent savings, Miller said.
The product also is good for the environment.
“It reduces CO2 emissions and reduces the amount of ink and toner that gets into landfills. It is like a one-two punch,” Miller said. “It helps save money and helps the environment in its own little way.”
Dimples is a beneficial product, said Ed Huttenhower, SBDC director.
“Dimples is a product that has great benefit to businesses and organizations that do a significant amount of printing of draft documents,” Huttenhower said. “If there are large amounts of drafts being produced, then there can be substantial savings in toner and ink.”
John Miko, associate dean of the School of Business, loves Dimples.
“It is the best kind of innovation, not only does it save money for the user, but it also reduces waste. It’s a win-win.” Miko said.
To show their appreciation for the university’s support, the Millers donated the use of Dimples to St. Francis computers. All St. Francis undergraduate students are issued laptop computers, which are preloaded with the Dimples ink-saving software.
“At heart we are philanthropists. We wanted to be nice to the community that helped us. We also got a lot of valuable feedback. It was more like a two-way thing. We also got something out of this,” Miller said.
Miller believes there is a large market for his product which can be downloaded from www.getdimples.com for $15.
“We see a large market for reducing ink and toner costs at large businesses, colleges and in large corporate environments,” Miller said.
Miko believes Dimples has a bright future.
“However, in general, consumers are generally not aware of the benefits of his product and much has to be done to increase consumer awareness of his product’s benefits,” Miko said. “My hope is that a large partnership will help his product reach a tipping point and become mainstream.”
St. Francis officials are proud of Miller’s accomplishments.
The St. Francis University Small Business Development Center is honored to have one of our small business awardees recognized for the work that they do,” Huttenhower said.