Drexel Startup Changes the Game for Motorcyclists' Audio
August 23, 2017
Two Drexel University alumni hope to revolutionize the way motorcyclists listen to music. And their company is attracting buzz and funding.
Alperen Topay, a Mechanical Engineering grad, and Emin Faki, a Business Administration and Marketing alumnus, saw a problem in their day-to-day lives. They couldn't find earbuds that provided clear audio, comfortably fit under their helmets and still allowed them to be auditorily aware of surroundings. Their company, EAOS, hopes its flagship product will improve the music-listening experience for bikers.
“We wanted to solve this problem once and for all,” said Topay. “We wanted to create the best set of earbuds for riders.”
Before creating SlimBuds, Topay and Faki searched through dozen of articles and Reddit forums to find a product with these qualities, but found nothing. They saw an opportunity to change the motorcycle market, and created EAOS’ flagship product: SlimBuds.
The entrepreneurs launched a website to gauge interest and receive feedback from their desired market during the minimum viable product (MVP) stage, the portion of development when the product has enough features to satisfy early customers. Each earbud set was handmade, through 3D printing technology, then sent to around 100 parties for honest feedback.
Since the majority of responses were overwhelmingly positive, the founders launched an Indiegogo fund to support the company during its next phase of development. Less than 24 hours after the startup launched the campaign, it reached its goal of $30,000. SlimBuds broke the $75,000 mark with a week left of the campaign - and earned over $106,000 by the end of the campaign
“These funds will be used to manufacture, test and deliver SlimBuds as the high-quality product we want it to be,” said Topay.
SlimBuds has been refined since its MVP stage. The current SlimBuds prototype features Bluetooth earbuds that lay against ears so they don’t fall out, a microphone on a chin piece and an accompanying awareness and communication app.
The earbuds’ microphone sits on your chin, allowing for phone calls and easy communication with your friends without having to look away from the road or shout.
Inside the chin piece is a secondary microphone dedicated to listening to the environment. It sends real-time information to your phone where the co-pilot feature evaluates it. If it senses something important, like sirens or horns, it will playback the surroundings to the rider.
Topay and Faki continue to fill Kickstarter orders and work on their up-and-coming company in the Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship, an incubator for Drexel University’s student entrepreneurs.
“[The Baiada Institute] is a warm, motivating environment that includes talented students who share our ambition. We couldn't have come this far without all the advantages Baiada provides us. We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to be part of this great community,” says Topay.
The Drexel startup is gaining market traction in the tech scene and was recently
featured in Technical.ly
Sarah Temple, Communications, Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship