CLEVELAND, Sept. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Fresh off a winning appearance on Steve Harvey's Funderdome, Cleveland-based Studio Stick has announced a Kickstarter campaign to raise the final amount needed to launch its product—the world's first portable recording studio for smartphones and tablets.
Founded by 25-year-old Cleveland rapper Brandyn Armstrong, Studio Stick is a small, 20-inch container that opens and extends to reveal a microphone, pop filter, mic stand, reflective filter and phone holder. Combined with the proprietary Studio Stick music app, artists have everything they need to record, mix and distribute high quality audio instantly, wherever they are.
"Having the audience choose Studio Stick as a winner on Steve Harvey's Funderdome was definitely an amazing moment, both for me and for our company," said Armstrong. "Combined with a successful crowdfunding campaign, we'll be able to manufacture and deliver our first commercial units."
Studio Stick will retail for around $300 and units can be preordered for $249 through Kickstarter, a significant cost savings over professional studios, which often cost hundreds of dollars per hour to rent and do not allow for instant capture of creative ideas. The low cost and portability of the product are important to Armstrong, who first began recording music at age 13 and started his own record label as a teenager.
"One of the biggest frustrations my friends and I faced as young musicians was not having the money for studio time, or the flexible transportation to get to and from the studio," he said. "Studio Stick was born out of that frustration. It's the solution I wish I had when I was starting out."
Born and raised in poverty in East Cleveland, Ohio, the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur hasn't been easy for Armstrong. At the age of four, his father was killed and he moved from house to house as a child. His musical group and record label both folded while he was still in his teens after the death of a group member. He later dropped out of high school and found himself going down a dangerous path.
"I was going to end up either dead or in jail," said Armstrong. "I knew something had to change so I decided to enroll in Cuyahoga Community College and get my G.E.D. That was an important moment for me. Everything that came after started right there with that positive decision."
Armstrong went on to receive two associate degrees and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in business administration from Cleveland State University (CSU).
The idea for Studio Stick came from Armstrong's imagination, but turning that idea into a successful company began when he entered CSU's annual business competition, StartUp Vikes. Not only did he win $1,500 at the April 2015 event, but he also met two engineers who would come to join his team. After exhaustive research, he wrote his own patent for the product (to save money) and used his prize money to obtain the patent, trademark and other business essentials.
He then connected with mentors from Cleveland venture development organization JumpStart Inc. and joined their Core City: Cleveland Impact Program, where he received intensive business assistance to help him organize and market his business and got connected with Great Lakes Innovation & Development Enterprise (GLIDE), who eventually awarded Studio Stick $25,000 in funding.
As he works to finalize his fundraising efforts with his Kickstarter campaign, Armstrong hopes his story will be an inspiration to other entrepreneurs who have hard circumstances to overcome.
"I'm not only doing this for me, but for my city and the students that I go talk to in schools who look up to me," he said. "I want them to know that anything is possible. I am a living example of that."
To learn more about Studio Stick and contribute to Armstrong's crowdfunding campaign, click here.
JUMPSTART INC. unlocks the full potential of diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs to economically transform entire communities. For more information, visit www.jumpstartinc.org and follow @JumpStartInc on Twitter.
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SOURCE JumpStart Inc.