Entrepeneurship

Start-up focuses on easy-intro electronics

On September 23, Robert Barron ’14 and Brian Bradley ’14, co-founders of Embedit Electronics, watched as their Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $20,000 ran out, underfunded by $5,677. Instead of being discouraged by the unsuccessful campaign, the duo was optimistic about the future of their invention, RPiSoC.

In short, RPiSoC is a development platform, operating on its own or with Raspberry Pi, on which anyone can create technology, letting anyone interact with the world of electronics. In January, the project originated as a capstone project. Since then, development has progressed beyond the classroom as the pair graduated in May. According to them, substantial growth has been achieved in the five months since their graduation. When asked why they thought the Kickstarter didn’t reach its goal, they cited missing their market definition, originally gearing the campaign toward experienced individuals. Barron and Bradley said that the people most excited about the product have been teachers and young children who get to play around with it. The duo never imagined kids working with RPiSoC and eluded to a potential Kickstarter re-launch with a revised target audience. They will be giving 10 boards to the RPI design labs for the RPI community to experience. They say that the design environment is the same as a commercial one, making it a beneficial tool to learn and know, making experience with it look great of a resume. Looking to the future, the boards would be sold directly to students of all ages. The goal is to make the technology integrated for lab material and used for multiple curriculums. This would make every new student a new customer.

The pair has been working with the
Design Lab at Rensselaer and the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship to develop both the product and a business model for the product and conduct numerous interviews for enhanced customer discovery. Of the Severino Center, they say, “Don’t be afraid to pitch any idea and don’t be afraid to ditch any idea,” adding on, “RPI is very supportive of entrepreneurs,” noting the low risk for potentially high reward. The Severino Center is recognizable around campus as the sponsors of the Entrepreneur of the Year Celebration and Foundry-RPI. They also administer the twice yearly Change the World
Challenge. Located on the fourth floor of the
Pittsburgh Building (next to the Lally
Galley), the Center strives to find resources to support the entrepreneurial spirit of RPI, from contacts with successful entrepreneurs to assistance with funding.

For more information on Embedit Electronics and RPiSoC, visit: http://www.embeditelectronics.com/. For more information on the Severino Center, visit: http://scte.rpi.edu/