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Startup Central

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.

Lifestyle

8 Easy Habits To Adopt In Your Workplace To Boost Your Health

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boost your health

Working a desk job is not the best for your health. However, many jobs require work on the computer that it feels unavoidable. If you work at a desk in an office, there are things you can do to boost your health physically and mentally. You may not be able to completely ditch your desk, but you can create a more health friendly environment in the office.

Clean your desk

desk

How are you with distractions? Are you someone who is bothered by every little sound or are you someone who would not notice if the filing cabinet was engulfed in flames? Just because you can work in a messy environment, doesn’t mean you should. Walking into a neat cubicle or office will help you remain on task and complete your work. Wiping down your keyboard and mouse will help prevent the spread of germs. Keeping your drawers organized will make locating paperwork more automated and will save time and drama. The same can be said about organizing your desktop. Keeping well-labeled documents and files on your desktop helps you navigate your computer quickly. That way, the next time someone emails you one minute after they need something emailed to them, you can drag and drop without a second thought!

Stock up on healthy snacks

Health habits

Healthy snacks sometimes feels like an oxymoron in a work setting. The standard snacks in offices are often leftover bags of chips, cookies, and soda from conferences and meetings. When that afternoon energy crash comes your way, you may be inclined to reach for some type of caffeine and a sugary or crunchy snack. To avoid the draw of Doritos in the break room, stock up on your own snacks to boost your health. If you are looking for crunchy, try some hummus and veggies or trail mix. If you looking for a sweet treat, reach for a piece of fruit and pair it with yogurt or nut butter for more satiety. Many healthy snacks can be purchased pre-portioned so you won’t be tempted to mindlessly devour a whole jar of peanut butter at your desk.

Bring your reusable water bottle

water bottle

If your workplace has a filtered water dispenser or a classic water cooler, you can use your breaks to walk over and hydrate. By bringing your own water bottle, you can reduce waste and monitor your water intake. If you use a smaller water bottle, it will allow you more opportunities to get up and fill up. If you use a huge bottle, you may be getting your steps in on the way to the restroom. Either way, stay staying hydrated is super important if you want to boost your health.  

Set timers and get up

regain confidence

People only have so much mental stamina when it comes to tasks. Setting timers is something that can help motivate you to completely dedicate yourself to a single project. When you know you only have 30 minutes of concentrated effort before you earn a break, it becomes easier to power through. When the timer goes off, give yourself a five minute break to walk around, stretch, or use the restroom. Use the break to tear yourself away from the screen and give your eyes a rest. This habit helps break up the day and drives productivity.

Headphones On Om

belkin

Working at a desk could have you feeling super plugged in all the time. This is a fact of the current workplace and it is pretty unavoidable. A lot of people turn to playlists and podcasts to get into their flow state. It is important to be mindful about what you are listening to. There are a ton of apps and podcasts that offer guided meditation and motivational soundtracks. You do not need 8 hours of guided meditation everyday but it is nice to break-up the trap music with some super positive vibes and take time to breathe and be in your body.

Ditch take out

morning rituals of entrepreneurs

While healthier options at restaurants are on the rise, packing your lunch is still the way to go. This is a habit that starts at home and carries over to the office. By bringing your lunch, you can tell exactly what is in it, control the portions you eat, and save some money. Eating complete meals that include protein and healthy carbs and fat can help your energy levels remain steady throughout the day. If you need more meal prep ideas to boost your health, you can find them here.

Eat somewhere else

smart food

Whether you pack your lunch or pick something up, try to sit somewhere that is not your desk. Aside from the fact that your keyboard and desk is really germy, it is just healthier all around to have a designated eating area. If your work doesn’t have a designated eating area, maybe you can duck into an open office or conference room. When the weather is nice you can try to get outside and boost your Vitamin D. Bonus points for inviting your coworkers and having a face-to-face conversation with them instead of messaging them back and forth on G-Chat.

Stand, Sit, Walk?

Vanguard

Desks are becoming more versatile these days. You don’t have to sit all day anymore! If you work from home, your desk situation may be more mobile, but office workers may not have that flexibility. Many offices are encouraging employees to get desks that adjust between sitting and standing. You may even work somewhere that allows desk treadmills to boost your health. Even if sitting is your only option, there are free online guides and resources on how to adjust your posture to alleviate neck and back pain.

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Business

7 Things To Do To Have A Productive Meeting

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Productive Meeting

The objective of many meetings is to discuss things that pertain to the business or company. It could be about raising productivity, troubleshooting or just brain storming. Whatever the reason, meetings need to produce positive results so that it can impact business in a good way. With this in mind, here are some things you can do to have a productive meeting.

Start On Time

If the meeting is scheduled for a certain time and most of the people are already there, close the door and start on time. Why should the whole group wait 5 to 10 minutes for stragglers? Waiting for latecomers will only reinforce lateness in the future. If your employees and co-workers know that a meeting always starts on time, they will make sure to be there at the appointed schedule.

State The Objective

Tell the whole group what the purpose of the meeting is. Going to a meeting without an agenda is a waste of time. Stating what you want to achieve can shave as much as 17 minutes off your meeting. State the objective at the start of the meeting to ensure that your meeting is effective. To keep everybody informed beforehand, share the agenda via emails and ask your group to bring important documents to save time from going in and out of the conference room.

Be Exclusive

Try to keep your meetings as exclusive as possible. Inviting many people to the meeting turns participants into spectators. Most of the time; office politics dictates who gets to be there. Get this, Google limits attendees to 10 and Amazon has a 2 Pizza rule where meeting should be limited to the number 2 pizzas can feed. Essentially, what these companies are trying to do is to limit meetings to people that need to be there.

Timed To The Second

Nicole Steinbok’s 22 minute meeting idea is brilliant. According to her, a 22-minute meeting prevents inefficiency from attendees. 22-minute meetings are ideal for companies because it keeps everybody conscious and focused from beginning till end. Many people fill their intended time so nothing is wasted. You will find that you will accomplish the same things with a 22-minute and 30-minute meeting.

Ditch The PowerPoint

Ditch the powerpoint presentation as much as possible. Most of the time, the presenter just reads off his or her presentation anyway. A powerpoint presentation is a visual tool, not a crutch. The presenter should know what he or she should be presenting without having to need life support from a visual aid.

Keep Notes and Circulate After

Keeping notes and circulating them after the meeting is one of the best ways to maximize efficiency. This will help keep everybody on track and solve potential misunderstandings. The minutes of the meeting should be circulated within 24 hours so that everybody is clear about deadlines and responsibilities.

Change The Scenery

Being cooped up inside can strain creativity, so if you find that your group is lacking in inspiration, take the meeting outside for a change of pace. Walking can rejuvenate creativity while a nature-setting can help release stress. Aside from this, outside meetings can help with privacy if you have an open office concept.

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Startup Central

Top 5 Coworking Spaces in Philadelphia

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Looking for a great place to build your startup or run your company?  Renting an office can be expensive and eat up a lot of your mental real estate causing unnecessary headaches.  Instead give shared coworking spaces a try.  The idea is simple, coworking space is an open-concept office that everyone shares.  There are private offices, but most of the common areas and resources in the office are shared.  We’ve gathered a list of the top 5 coworking spaces in Philly for you to check out and grow your business.

WeWork Philly

Benjamin’s Desk

Pipeline Spaces

Indy Hall

City Soho

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