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BumpOut: The Expandable Portable Speaker

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Take your music everywhere with BumpOut, the portable speaker designed for versatility. That was Zac Pierce’s initial idea when creating the technology. They hit an early milestone by reaching their crowdfunding goal on Indiegogo in 4 days, pre-selling the speaker at a discounted price to backers. What’s neat about the speaker is it’s Motorized Expansion Technology™, where it expands to generate high quality audio and rich bass. It connects through Bluetooth with a range of 30 feet and runs for 7 hours before the next charge. You can attach the speaker to any smooth surface with the BumpOut coins, including your phone. We connected with Zac Pierce and the BumpOut team to learn more about the innovative technology behind their portable speaker. 

How would you describe BumpOut?

BumpOut is a portable Bluetooth speaker that can fit in the palm of your hand and attach to any flat surface, including smartphones, mirrors, refrigerators, etc. The most unique feature is the speaker’s Motorized Expansion System. With one click of a button, the center of the speaker raises, generating high quality sound & bass that drowns out most competing product.

What is BumpOut’s mission?

Inspire and innovate for those that boldly do what they love, not just what they are told. BumpOut as a verb. Be inspired and work hard as it inspire others.

How does BumpOut differentiate from competitor portable speakers?

The main differences are portability and innovation. We have engineered a speaker with a  sleek design that fits comfortably in your pocket and can attach directly to your phone or case. Truly portable. Our patented Motorized Expansion Technology™ is an audio industry breakthrough. With the push of a button, the casing of the speaker expands, creating an acoustic chamber that results in powerful, high quality sound, and rich bass response. We then paired this technology with BumpOut Coins that feature a patented repositionable adhesive that allow you to attach the speaker to any smooth surface, even your smartphone.

When you look at the crowded space of Bluetooth speakers there is a lot of “stuff” under $50 that leaves you wanting more: not loud enough, does not connect to your device easily, poor sound quality, etc… OR if you are willing to spend north of $150 you can get something that might meet your needs but is a big investment. We believe, after extensive research, that you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get the results you are looking for. There is an opportunity in the market for a quality portable speaker under $100.

portable speaker

Who is the ideal BumpOut customer?

Anyone who listens to music on their smartphone and wants the latest innovation in audio at an affordable price. We are proud that we have been able to incorporate game changing technology into BumpOut, but the #1 focus is “quality of music”. That is why we partnered with the top audio engineers in the country and hired a high end audio manufacturers to make BumpOut. It needs to sound great and your listening experience needs to be enjoyable.

Describe the use of the coin mounts.

BumpOut comes with coins that can be placed on any smooth flat surface so you can have your soundtrack at home or on the go. Coins have a repositionable adhesive that can be removed and repositioned. BumpOut speaker connects directly to the coins. Our test markets showed us that most youths will place the coin on the mirror in the bathroom so they can connect the speaker (to the mirror) while showering or getting ready for school or going out. Most parents said they will place a coin in the kitchen on the refrigerator so they can attach the speaker and listen to music while making dinner. Almost everyone we surveyed will place a coin on their smart phone for true portability and improve the “sub par” audio quality and volume smart phones currently provide. Speaker does not need to be attached to the coin to listen to the music. The coins provide an extra feature to mount your speaker in various locations or, if attached to your smartphone, allows for easy portability.

What are some perks of crowdfunding?

Customer engagement. We have been working on this project for 2 years and have spent our own nest eggs on getting to this point. Crowdfunding has allowed us to engage with our customers and backers and bring validity to all of our efforts. You never really know what you have until you “flip the switch” on sales. To hit our Indiegogo goal in 4 days confirms everything we have been working towards.

What are some challenges you’ve come across along the way?

The biggest challenge with hardware is capital. It is very expensive to manufacture product, which is why Crowdfunding is such an important process. Also, finding helpful resources for hardware development in Philadelphia is a challenge. We have kept our resources very organized and hope to be able to aid others in the city.

What is your team like?

The core of the team is Founder Zac Pierce and partners Brian Zamrowski and Mat Chacko.  We have surrounded ourselves with high level specialists to ensure that we are delivering the best possible product for an affordable price.

What is BumpOutU?

We believe in today’s youth. By providing guidance and exposure to career paths that foster individual talents, we aim to make a meaningful impact on the Creators of tomorrow. Our first live event held on October 8th brought community leaders, entrepreneurs and students together for a day of bumping music and breakout sessions developed to inspire creativity and ideas backed by positive action. With our backers’ support, our commitment to BumpOutU, and proactive approach to making a difference will scale along with our company.

How did you advertise?

On a budget! In these earliest stages, we rely heavily on PR and focus on technology and audio outlets.

What are some tips you can give to entrepreneurs looking to crowdfund?

It is a LOT of work but, if you go into it with a plan of what you want to learn from the process, it is extremely helpful. You learn about what features really resonate with your consumers.

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

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Business

0 – 100 With Peter Hwang CEO of Bite App Inc.

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bite app inc.

0 – 100 With Peter Hwang CEO of Bite App Inc. Exclusive interviewed Peter Hwang, current CEO of Bite App Inc., a startup company based in Philadelphia that’s changing the way you discover your next meal.

“Bite is a mobile app that makes deciding what to eat easy by mitigating the time and energy required to evaluate a restaurant dish. It also provides a platform for users to share useful, concise reviews that help improve others’ dining experiences.”

 

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Lifestyle

Adventure Assist Travel Journal Is A Must Have For Trips

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adventure assist

A twist to the classic notebook, Adventure Assist is a modern travel journal perfect for the before and afters of your trip. Mapping out your trip and keeping memories the old school way. Jot down the most important details of the trip as you are planning so you are ready once the time comes. Create a list of things to remember or missions to complete. Be ready for the accomplished feeling you get when you physically cross these things off your list. Keep quotes of silly things that happened along the way. Relive doodles of the funny dog you saw or the breathtaking view from the end of your hike.

The notebook was created by two adventure seekers, Jake Pritchard and April Onebane. Both studied abroad and have a passion for traveling with a purpose. Their mission is to “ better connect travelers to their destinations by inspiring authentic and purposeful travel experiences through streamlining planning and organization.” With that mission in mind, the Adventure Assist notebook was created. A heavy duty notebook with strong covers and thick sheets made to withstand the suitcases, backpacks and adventures it will be a part of.

Broken down into seven section, the notebook helps travelers organize and keep track of the basic necessities when traveling. The sections starts with “packing” and moves onto “to-do”, “transportation”, “accommodations”, “calendar”, “contacts” and “journal” with journal being the largest section. Each section is divided as an easily identifiable tab to quickly navigate to the section.

 

Packing

The first tab in Adventure Assist, Packing, tells you to “list adventure gear, regional specific clothing, travel documents and entertainment essentials for your journey.” With four pages to list what you are packing, you definitely won’t miss a thing or over pack. A couple of things we would recommend: S-hooks, ziplock bags, mini-tripod.

adventure assist

To-Do

Next, To-Do, is 10 pages, each page broken down into two sections. Each section is broken down into boxes: destination, attractions, activities, food and drinks. What are some things you want to do, see and eat at the destination? You will have an endless list of things you want to do on your next adventure but writing down the top 10 will help you keep track of the most important. Keep a smaller list for a higher chance of accomplishment while pulling from your bigger list when you run out. Nothing digital will ever replace the satisfying feeling of physically crossing something off of your Do-To list.

adventure assist

Transportation and Accomodations

Where are you staying each night? When time do you have to get there, get out and who do contact if you have a question. Necessary, if not the most important, information of every trip. Now that you know where you are staying, how are you getting there? Getting around in big cities is easy if the language is one you speak and the technology available is similar back home. The difficult but somewhat exciting times when you are visiting somewhere completely different than what you are used to, transportation will not be so easy. You may need to catch a ferry, jitney…donkey?! Keep track of what time departure and arrival is and any additional notes like how many stops until your destination.

Calendar and Contacts

The calendar section provides blank monthly calendar views for you to see your month at a glance. There is a column for notes where you could draw a map key, like emojis, and add the keys to your calendar. Contacts – great for noting who the people from each destination to call in case of emergencies. We have so many contacts in our phones we don’t remember. When a panic situation happens, you have the information you need. In a more likely situation, you lose your phone or it runs out of battery. Now you have the contact information and can borrow someone’s phone.

Journal

This is where you log your memories and experiences. The reason you are traveling in the first place. Write, draw, sketch, whatever you want in this section. Anything that will bring back the best memories from your journey when you discover this notebook on your shelf when you are 80. Instax or Polaroid would be perfect for this section. The two envelopes on each end of the notebook are great for storing tickets, airport stamp tickets, napkins with doodles on them or anything else relatively flat.

We will have our digital photos, videos, social media accounts to look back at. But the feeling from something handwritten or hand drawn is much more powerful and memory provoking than anything digital. Adventure Assist is personal and once you start writing, you won’t want to stop.

 

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Startup Central

Defining Street Style with Wise Guy USA

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Wise Guy Apparel
Photo by Jeez bin Laden

Defining Street Style with Wise Guy USA. The mission is to create a revolution amongst the streetwear scene. Founder, Terohn Hyatt, officially launched Wise Guy USA on April 2014, and has been working towards a community with no social or racial divides through apparel, photography, videography, and music. From the city that never sleeps to the beaches of Miami to the streets of Toronto, Wise Guy has been infiltrating the minds of millennials to create a lifestyle that is all-inclusive. Wise Guy USA began as apparel, and has grown to be about culture and creating a community where artists can come together to achieve success.
Terohn’s love for street fashion started when he was very young, and his creative abilities were noticed by a friend in high school, who pushed him to pursue his brand. Since then, he taught himself all the skills needed to be an entrepreneur, including photography, apparel design, and videography. He created Wise Guy USA and has produced sold out pieces since conception.  The
Wise Team are a representation of the brand, filled to the brim with remarkable skill. Their never ending commitment and perseverance is an indication of their work ethic and has been the fuel to their success.

The apparel produced by Wise Guy is exclusive to a specific amount of pieces, where once sold out, will no longer be available. Windbreakers have been a popular item, which has sold out three days into its launch. The style is fun, yet mature, where art has been a huge influence in the direction of each piece. The Wise Guy brand is expanding, infiltrating everything under the sun, from YouTube to music, there are no bounds. What they create will provide inspiration to the dreamers and entrepreneurs looking for a community. Fashion is a competitive industry, and Wise Guy is here to change that, unifying creatives instead of playing survival of the fittest.

Wise Guy is worn by free flowing individuals, those who are not afraid to express their opinions through creative outlets. Inspired by 90’s cartoons, the apparel is a bit nostalgic, speaking to millennials across the country. The lifestyle has a sense of rebellion, for those who are trying to set themselves apart from the masses. The brand has expanded into a community within their own, calling themselves “The Wise Nation.” These are the people who are at the shows, the collection of creatives, the fans who follow them on social media. Giving them a lifestyle is what the apparel is for, helping them feel like unity is a touchable thing.

Social media has also been an outlet for Wise Guy, reaching the urban streetwear market. It is no surprise that 90% of his customers are from Instagram. It has opened up opportunities they are increasingly grateful for, from connecting with fans to setting up shows in various cities. Recently, Wise Guy went on a summer tour called In Between the Lines. They traveled through Atlanta, Toronto, Philadelphia, New York, and many other cities. Each destination had its own vibe and rhythm, which helped enhance the culture behind Wise Guy USA. The lines produced is a representation of the people that they have met along the way, cultivating an urban feel with a hint of rebellion.

While some people dream, Terohn and his team are out there with their brand that never sleeps. No matter which city they end up next, Wise Guy USA will be sure to impress. The brand is about community and joining hands with other designers, musicians, photographers, and creatives to shake up the industry that is known for being ice cold to competition. These millennials are changing the fashion scene, not only through apparel, but also through individuals that share the same vision. There seems to be no stopping Wise Guy, with new products launching this coming November, there is much more to be excited for.

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