Entries in Entrepreneur (5)


Otoscan Wins Best New Product 

Otoscan, the 3D ear scanning technology I have been working on, won best new product at the world's largest audiology conference, Audiology Now 2012 in Boston, MA.  We received a lot of attention at the show:

And some press afterwards:
    Hearing Review
    Hearing Health & Technology Matters
    Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine
    PC Werth


TAG Top 10 Innovation Award

ShapeStart was recently selected as one of TAG’s (Technology Association of Georgia) top 10 innovative technology companies in Georgia.  As a recipient of this award I was given the opportunity to present at the Georgia Technology Summit, a gathering of executives, entrepreneurs, and academia with over 1,000 attendees this year.  

All of the Top 10 companies were given 3 minutes and 3 slides to tell their story.  That meant I had to boil all of ShapeStart down into a three minute pitch.  I ended up with the following three slides:

Slide 1

- ShapeStart is developing a direct in-the-ear 3D scanner called LaserFit Hearing
- This will replace the silicone impressions necessary to produce hearing aids,
    hearing protection and custom fitting head phones.
- The hearing aid industry takes about 10MM silicone impressions every year
- The DoD spends over a billion dollars a year on hearing loss disability payments,
    which is why they are funding us to develop a custom hearing protection

Slide 2

- We have a solution for all this silicone.  LaserFit Hearing, a direct in-the-ear 3D

- The process is similar to an otoscope examination, the probe is inserted into
    the ear.  LaserFit captures the shape and size of the ear canal and concha bowl.  

- The data can then be immediately transferred to manufacturers
- This process is faster, taking just a few seconds
- Results in a better performing in-ear device
- Is more comfortable for the patient and clinician
- All while reducing the cost!

Slide 3
- Our small diameter 3D scanning technology will revolutionize the way in-ear
    devices are made

- We then plan to take this technology to other industries such as endoscopy,
    dental, and even industrial inspection applications

The Georgia Technology Summit turned out great for us and we very much appreciate the opportunity to present at the event.  We made a lot of great connections and will continue supporting TAG as we move forward.

Here is a picture of me with accepting the TAG top 10 award with Tino Mantella, TAG’s president & CEO.



StartAtlanta - Markit8dude

Over the weekend of Jan 28-30th I participated in StartAtlanta.  It was a great time, the event started with a presentations of about 30 business ideas to a group of about 150 developers, engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs.  The group voted and whittled the ideas down to 12.  We then broke into groups and began building companies. This was Friday at about 9pm.  I ended joining a group that was trying to build a bowling score tracking app for smartphones.  I joined because, one I'm a bowler (2009 league champ), and two because the app was to include OCR (optical character recognition) of the score using a smart phone camera.  OCR is something I'm interested in learning so I decided to join.  

We ended up working 30-40 hours over the weekend to build a minimally functional version of markit8dude.  I built a quick OCR application in Matlab (I'll post more on my OCR development sometime).  Here is a sneak peak of the markit8dude app.


Why Grow?

I had some experience with growing too fast in my first start up.  It was painful, luckily we made it through.

I see growing too fast as both one of the greatest temptations and killers of start up companies.  As an entrepreneur my first instinct is always to say yes we can do that work, and thanks for the check. Unfortunately, growth is not always the best choice.

Tim Ferriss has a good article on start up growth, as well as some other useful insights: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2010/03/08/why-grow-and-other-wisdom-from-37signals/


Series Seed Financing Documents

I just came across this group who is attempting to standardize the angel round of investing, dubbed the Seed Stage or Series Seed Financing. Hopefully these will actually catch on one day. http://www.seriesseed.com/

A note from their website about the documents: The Series Seed Documents are a standardized set of documents that can be quickly and easily deployed for a seed investment:  to help get a company financed properly, legally quickly and intelligently.