why he's interesting LeMieux, a mechanical engineer and former Navy reservist, founded Tremont Electric in 2007 to develop a device that could convert a person's kinetic energy into electricity to power hand-held mobile devices.
Putting it all together A Westlake native, LeMieux enjoyed exploring the suburb's undeveloped land and tinkering with garage sale lawn mowers and small appliances.
Taking the long road But the idea for the nPower PEG came in college during a 1,500-mile hike along the Appalachian Trail. It took just 40 miles for LeMieux to rethink everything: the huge backpack bouncing up and down, the frequent stops in town for batteries, the saddle sores on his sides. "You start understanding that there's a direct correlation between the amount of weight I'm carrying and how beat up I am at the end of the day."
The reward After a miserable, rain-dreched seven-day stretch, LeMieux came to an overlook in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Across the mountain range, a massive waterfall had formed. Just then, the sun came out. "It was like 10 minutes of absolute bliss."
Power Up The nPower PEG, which can recharge an iPhone 4 to about 85 percent, has been popular with outdoorsy people, big-city commuters and folks preparing for the worst. It's also drawn interest from the military, which is evaluating all forms of renewable and alternative power gereration. "This is about making sure we're able to defend our freedoms."
Always be prepared LeMieux always keeps a backpack stocked with three days of supplies. When time permits (it rarely does), he hops an Amtrak train to Harpers Ferry, W.Va., where the Appalachian Trail is just 100 yards away.