San Diego is Wandke’s favorite travel spot. Sunshine and better-than-average accessibility. But he’s traveled across the country for work and pleasure, including rock climbing in Lake Tahoe, Calif., and navigating the subway systems in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Boston.
“I’ve put myself out there for every opportunity,” said Wandke, who has Cerebral Palsy. “You never know what will happen.”
Wandke at the beach in San Diego using a power beach wheelchair. (Wandke Photo)
Last year that included winning the Bellingham Startup Challenge with his pitch for an AbiliTrek prototype. This year, AbiliTrek won “Best Consumer Product Idea” at the University of Washington Business Plan Competition.
Wandke attended Western Washington University in Bellingham, earning a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s of Business Administration. It was through Western that he met Flint and Travis Heller, who works as AbiliTrek’s CTO. While a student, Wandke started the university’s only club for students with disabilities and helped create its Disability Outreach Center.