Fate brought Grant Moore ’12 and Blake Hudson, two driven inventors, together in an intellectual property class at Auburn. The two passionate minds instantly bonded, taking them down a road of innovation and development.
This mixture of passion and friendship led the two friends to start their own business in 2016, called Fly All Flags, which uses a machine of their design to fly flags indoors or in windless conditions. The idea came about in November of 2016, when Moore was driving and saw a flag hanging on its pole on the side of the road.
“I thought ‘This is ridiculous, we live in the 21st century, why can’t a flag always fly?’” Moore said. “Blake and I had a lot of ideas, and we stored them all on our computer and we ranked them. This was an idea that we had that we thought we could pursue with limited time and resources.”
And thus Fly All Flags was born. Hudson and Moore then began spending all of their free time and weekends finding a way to make a flag fly indoors or without wind, turning the product into what it is today.
While they were still at Auburn, Moore and Hudson put their inventive minds to use, starting clubs for other students who wanted to create. Moore founded the Innovative Humanitarian Products Organizations (IHPO) which developed products for the developing world, focusing on water purification. IHPO created water purifiers and sent the products to countries such as Tanzania, Mexico and Uganda. Hudson founded the Auburn Student Inventors and Entrepreneur Club in 2009, where like-minded student inventors could discuss things such as how to write a patent application.
Hudson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering while Moore was still pursuing his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and the two started an LLC called Initiate Launch as a way to protect their ideas and store intellectual property. For a while, they worked on a chair with a built-in cooler for fans to bring to tailgates, but they ran into trouble on the production side and put the idea on hold to pursue Fly All Flags.
The two were already off to a great start, but the best was yet to come. Four short months after pursuing their idea, they found out Dr. Bas Nair was working on a similar product. They decided to collaborate with Nair in order to create the best version of the product they were both trying to perfect.
“At the end of the day, Grant and I are fulfilling what we ultimately came to Auburn to do,” said Hudson. “We’ve always been passionate about entrepreneurship and inventing things, and it just really fired us up.”
Moore works on the engineering and sales side—going out and trying to find distributors who would like to sell the product, while Hudson acts as the VP of New Business Development, making sales and networks. They have big dreams of a patent being granted world-wide to protect their idea.
“There’s something beautiful about watching something begin as a thought, and then making it a reality. It’s one thing to think of a product doing something, but there’s something else about making it actually happen,” Moore says.
Moore’s goal for the years to come is for Fly All Flags to become a commonplace product. He wants to make it so that countries and brands can fly their flags no matter the conditions.
“It’s more than just flying a flag indoors. That’s physically what’s happening, but at the end of day flags are a way to represent a cause, a movement. They represent passions and parts of us,” says Moore. “To be able to represent your brand or company or university in this elegant way, well there’s a lot to that.”
By Anne Dawson ’18