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During our February Rotary project in Antigua one of the students, Andrew Nguyen, constantly had a portable speaker box with him. It turns out that he, and his business partners, started a company to make these speaker boxes, which connect by Bluetooth to iPods, iPhones and other music devices. They are cool speakers that you can use anywhere. They have rechargeable batteries and because they connect with Bluetooth (and by cable) you can keep your device in your pocket and the speakers within 30-50 feet.

The company name is Reis Audio and the product is available atwww.zaarly.com/reisaudio. You can read a little more about them on the website and they are also at¬†facebook.com/ReisAudio.¬†Following are some insights into a high school student’s business venture.

How did you come to start the business?

It’s a fun story. I was trying to impress a girl last summer and, “it’s always a girl that starts everything.” I wanted to make a Ruben’s tube, which is a sound driven flame tube with speakers. It’s a device that shoots flames through the tube and is driven by music. To do this I had to make my own speakers

When did it become a business?

September 2, 2012 because after just two days we realized we had a business. People liked what we had made, even with used components. We now use new components.

How did you determine the price?

We talked to people about it and found what they were willing to pay. Also, that they would pay more for custom engraving of their logo.

How is the business doing?

Very well over the first six months. We’re a corporation now and have a backlog. The main reason for the backlog is that I’m on this trip. (Andrew realizes the production is highly dependent on him.)

Have you had any price resistance?

No, most of our current customers are adults and startup businesses that want their logo on the box.

What’s the next step?

To design our own circuit boards and have them manufactured in Asia. We have two investors to fund our own space (they are now in a student R&D shared space facility). We also want to get our own laser cutter when we move out of the student R&D space.

Where do you see the business in one year?

Ten times as big, selling retail, having new products and projects and selling on Amazon

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