For most people, the opportunity to own their own successful business is only a dream. The reality is that the average college graduate will spend years working their way up the corporate ladder with only a select few making it to the very top. Even more disheartening is that many will wind up struggling just to find a job that pays the bills. But for those who think outside the box, the opportunities for success can be endless. Just ask Jason Lucash, who was recently named Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneur Magazine.
Lucash, 29, graduated from UC Davis in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Managerial Economics. He had dreams of working in sports marketing and interned for the Sacramento Rivercats and Oakland Athletics while in school. Upon graduating Lucash was hired by JanSport where he worked as a marketing coordinator for just over 3 years. During his time with JanSport, he and buddy Mike Szymczak constantly traveled and wanted an easy way to listen to music on the road. The two collaborated and came up with OrigAudio, an eco-friendly, portable solution for listening to music on the go.
Backed by an initial investment of $10,000 from Lucash’s parents, OrigAudio’s first innovation was “Fold ‘n Play”, a pair of foldable speakers made from recycled materials. The speakers were made out of paper, modeled after Chinese “takeout” boxes and required zero external power, and earned a spot on Time Magazines “50 Best Inventions of the Year” in 2009. From there, OrigAudio launched Designears, the world’s first customizable headphones, as well as the Rock-it 3.0, a small device that turns any object into a speaker. The Rock-It 3.0 earned Lucash and Szymczak a spot on ABC’s hit TV show “Shark Tank” and a subsequent $150,000 investment from billionaire Robert Herjavec, not to mention a huge boost in sales after the show aired.
Read a full interview with Lucash on The California Aggie.
Do you have an innovative business idea like OrigAudio? Or would you simply want to learn how to manifest a concept into a tangible and profitable reality? If so, check out Athgo’s 5th Global Innovation Forum held in Washington D.C. from May 22-24. The forum unites 200 young entrepreneurs from around the world to form startup teams and build constructive business concepts.