WEST CHESTER >> Zac Pierce has sold everything from golf ball cleaners to commercial real estate.
In his latest venture, Pierce and partners Brian Zamrowski and Matt Chacko plan to make a lot of noise with a new speaker designed to turn cellphones into high grade audio devices.
The BumpOut, a speaker that uses a motor so it can be expanded and contracted to make it more portable than other Bluetooth speakers on the market, has been unveiled with a good deal of fanfare on social media.
In their first two weeks of taking pre-orders, the company, which also is called BumpOut, has generated more than $60,000 in sales and has captured the attention of many, including the well-known “Shark” Mark Cuban who retweeted the company’s information and placed a preorder.
“The process is great,” Pierce said Tuesday. “We’re on a platform (Indiegogo) where we can constantly update our customers about what is going on with the product. We’re showing them the process as we go through it.”
BumpOut was engineered to fit comfortably in a pocket but “generates shockingly powerful and quality sound from a compact design,” the company says in its promotional materials. They’ve paired the speaker with what they call BumpOut Coins that feature a patented, repositionable adhesive that act as a mounting system. They can be placed most places around the home, office, locker room or wherever the customer wants their music.
“A lot of people tell me they want it in their bathroom,” Pierce said. “I put mine on the refrigerator so I have music while I’m cooking.”
Pierce said the company plans to roll out a full line of products once its first is established.
All three partners grew up in the Philadelphia area – Pierce and Chacko in Upper Darby and Zamrowski in Malvern. That is why they plan to keep and grow the company in West Chester, Pierce said.
“People always say you have to go to New York or Los Angeles to do something like this, but I want to create jobs in West Chester, not in New York or Los Angeles,” Pierce said. “Our goal is to stay right here and reinvest back into the community.”
The partners started doing that with an effort they call BumpOut U. Their first event was held on Oct. 8 at Upper Darby High School. About 100 students showed up on a rainy Saturday morning to attend an event with music pumping and six local entrepreneurs and community leaders sharing their stories with high school and college students.
“I tell them, do something you love,” Pierce said. “If we support each other locally and lead by example, the business and community leaders of tomorrow will emerge.”
The company has worked with Walnut Street Labs, a support organization for high-tech startups in the area. The group created the marketing video for BumpOut and is helping get the word out on social media, according to Pierce.
The speakers are being built in China. A speaker will retail for $89.99 but can be purchased for between $50 and $60 online in a pre-order. The first speakers should arrive in May.
While the pre-orders are helpful to the fledgling company, starting a new line is not cheap. Pierce said he has invested $100,000 and the company raised several hundred thousand from angel investors.
“Before we get a product out, it will be a half a million dollars,” he said.
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