Student Agencies
Entrepreneurship at Cornell

eLab Alumn BrewJacket Advises Specdrums

Matt Skeels and Steven Dourmashkin of Specdrums have been hard at work making improvements to their smart ring and have added crowdfunding in the future to their timeline. To help the with this endeavor, eLab alumni, Aaron Walls, Cornell MBA ’14, CEO and Cofounder of BrewJacket, advised Specdrums on successful crowdfunding.

If you want to see Specdrums’ high tech ring for yourself, join us for Demo Day, April 14th from 4:15 to 6:15, free and open to the public in the Statler Auditorium here on Cornell campus. Register Now for Celebration 2016 to attend the whole conference!

Matt Skeels, left and Steven, right work on their smart ring in the Rev Prototyping Lab

Matt Skeels, left and Steven Dourmashkin, right work on their smart ring in the Rev Prototyping Lab

BrewJacket, eLab company Class of 2014, initial crowdfunding campaign failed. Learning from their mistakes, a second shot at funding the premier product BrewJacket Immersion in June, resulted in reaching $108,351 – more than double their $45,000 goal.

“We had a list of over 1,000 emails for the second campaign,” said Aaron, “and spent on advertising, coinciding with the launch.”

BrewJacket recently launched the Immersion Pro on Kickstarter on February 16th, 2016 and Aaron was “up-to-date on the latest” in crowdfunding. This time around they are starting with a list of 2,000 emails according to Aaron.

Aaron Walls, CEO and Cofounder of Brewjacket and the Immersion Pro

Aaron Walls, CEO and Cofounder of Brewjacket and the Immersion Pro

“Aaron told us to focus on one customer segment to begin with,” said Steven, “and to choose the segment based on who shows the most response.”

Steven said Aaron shared the same crowdfunding checklist BrewJacket is using for their current campaign.

Specdrums is producing a smart ring that translates the colors of surfaces into sound, a mobile drum kit. They have made several working prototypes assembled from pre-made circuit boards and are now working on a fully custom board as part of their first true minimum viable product (MVP). As part of the MVP design, the ring will comfortably fit all finger sizes. Armed with their MVP, Matt and Steven will be able to narrow the customer segment. Aaron recommended MVP testing to discover the most enthusiastic customer segment before adding new features. New features should be chosen based on what the customer wants.

Full custom circuit board in testing

Full custom Specdrums circuit board in testing

“Aaron provided a wide variety of advice,” said Matt, “from crowdfunding and customer development, to insights on moving a product through various stages of the technology adaption curve.”

“Aaron’s was really helpful,” added Steven, “We will definitely keep in touch and tell him how our progress is going.”

Aaron also connected Matt and Steven with BrewJacket VP of Engineering, Evgeniy Tkachenko to consult on manufacturing in the future.

If you want to see Specdrums’ high tech ring for yourself, join us for Demo Day, April 14th from 4:15 to 6:15, free and open to the public in the Statler Auditorium here on Cornell campus. Register Now for Celebration 2016 to attend the whole conference!

Brewjacket was founded by Aaron Walls who graduated with an MBA from Johnson Graduate School of Management in 2014 and Matthew Goff who graduated with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell Engineering in 2015.

According to Matt, Aaron also emphasized the difficulties of transitioning from rapid prototyping on 3D printers to injection molding and the importance of reaching out to manufacturers early on in product development. He also recommended that Matt and Steven produce the first batch of rings in-house in order to eliminate any design flaws before sending out to get the rings mass produced. “We are definitely looking forward to speaking with Evgeniy to gain more in-depth insight.”

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Steven Dourmashkin component testing in the Rev Prototyping Lab

If you want to see Specdrums’ high tech ring for yourself, join us for Demo Day, April 14th from 4:15 to 6:15, free and open to the public in the Statler Auditorium here on Cornell campus. Register Now for Celebration 2016 to attend the whole conference!

 

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