Not trying only to spend a lifetime of asking ‘what if?’ is infinitely worse than failure. I expect Synergy to become a success, but if it doesn’t, I will happily wake up in the morning knowing that I tried and refused to quit.
Austin, Texas (PRWEB) October 09, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas – Cell Innovations CEO/Founder Daniel D’Agostino, creator of the Synergy™ line of wireless chargers, launched his month-long Indiegogo campaign October 1, just in time for the Austin City Limits Music Festival, a multi-weekend event that started Oct. 4.
The ACL Festival is just the kind of event where performances and festivities are being documented with smartphones, so D’Agostino, an engineer, rigged himself up as a human billboard to promote his crowdfunding campaign for a better wireless smartphone charger.
ACL Festival is a two-weekend event featuring more than 130 musical acts of all genres that attracts nearly half a million people over both weekends, blanketing the 46 acres of Zilker Park. There are 75,000 people at ACL on any given festival day.
“When we arrived, they wouldn’t let me in, which was expected. I was, after all, wearing a 12 foot billboard around my body. But I didn’t expect to be escorted off the grounds completely or restricted from any public areas near the entrances of the festival,” he said. Not deterred, D’Agostino walked the outer perimeter for hours answering questions and demonstrating Synergy. “The billboard was a last-minute idea, but I’m pretty persistent, so I’m planning something for this weekend that will get more attention and will allow me to get into ACL. Entrepreneurship is a never-ending lesson in persistence. Not trying only to spend a lifetime of asking ‘what if?’ is infinitely worse than failure. I expect Synergy to become a success, but if it doesn’t, I will happily wake up in the morning knowing that I tried and refused to quit.”
Crowdsourcing Part Deux
D’Agostino says his second crowdfunding campaign is yet another lesson in persistence and he has plenty of do’s and don’ts from both campaigns to apply to a third, if necessary.
“This summer, I was able to raise $30,000 or a fifth of my Kickstarter goal as a one-man show working around the clock and making mistakes along the way. I don’t consider it a failure at all because I learned a ton – good and bad – about crowdfunding and pitching,” said D’Agostino, a multiple patent holder and pioneer in the vehicle event data recorder industry. “In between Kickstarter and Indiegogo, I made it to the ‘Final 10’ at a Central Texas Angel Network pitch event, got word Synergy will be in one of the most coveted spots at CES and was invited to the next round of auditions by ‘Shark Tank’ producers for Season 6.
Austin transplant D’Agostino says he got his dogged persistence from Mrs. D’Agostino, a single mom of six boys. The oldest, he often watched his mom struggle to put food on the table. Later as an adult, D’Agostino would volunteer at ARCH – Austin Resource Center for the Homeless – during a 2 ½ year period when he was nearly homeless himself and plans to start a non-profit late next year to distribute leftover food from companies to people in need, help adults get back on track and offer tools to parents to better prepare their children for college. Growing up in the Boston public school system, D’Agostino knew he wanted to be an engineer in 5th grade and by high school graduation, he had a full scholarship to Boston’s Northeastern University. As a sophomore, he earned $60 an hour consulting to companies designing products using advanced surfacing, design for injection molding and failure analysis using non-linear Finite Element Analysis software. After graduation, he worked as a mechanical engineer for Abbott Laboratories where he developed their flagship Glucose Meter and secured multiple Utility and Design patents while maintaining nearly a 4.0 GPA with the Evening Graduate Engineering Program at Northeastern University.
In 2004, he founded Advanced EDR Systems (AEDRS), where he pioneered the video event data recorder industry. The envisionCAM, a dual lens HD video camera, recorded accidents and aggressive driving 20 seconds before and 30 seconds after, included WiFi, GPS, an accelerometer, night vision, HD video with a nearly 360-degree field of view, custom event management software, and automatically sent events to the user’s computer wirelessly. D’Agostino – who currently holds 14 patents and provisional patents – had to defend his flagship product when the engineering company he was working with failed to deliver a working product then allegedly used D’Agostino’s trade secrets and proprietary information to develop their own product, forcing him to have the design issues fixed elsewhere. Even though there was a settlement18 months later in D’Agostino’s favor regarding the first lawsuit (Cause # D-1-GN-07-002383) and a second active lawsuit (Cause # D-1-GN-09-002843) surrounding the allegation that the company created a nearly identical product, mounting manufacturing and legal bills, combined with The Great Recession, forced D’Agostino into bankruptcy. “Instead of taking one of those full-time six-figure jobs offered to me, I chose to be nearly homeless for several years because I was still supporting customers and nearly all sales revenue went back to the manufacturer. But still I was committed and would not quit. I had to file bankruptcy when I received notice that someone would be at my home that next Monday to take possession of my belongings. I had a family when this happened, so accepting this in the name of my company was not something I could allow. By then, I couldn’t keep AEDRS open, even though we had created a very viable product. At the time, filing for bankruptcy was my greatest disappointment but looking back I know that even the best entrepreneurs out there, like Henry Ford and Walt Disney, have had to regroup financially at one point or another.”
Let’s Meet Synergy
After the setback, D’Agostino weathered the economic downturn and began thinking about a better smartphone charger. What resulted was an innovative first-of-its-kind portable home-to-car charger and companion furniture and wall chargers. “Smartphones have evolved, but chargers haven’t and that drove me nuts. As an engineer, I spent 16 years designing products from concept to production mostly for other people. I knew I could create a better charger, so I spent nearly every day from 7PM to 4AM for about a year doing just that,” he says. “Synergy is the world’s best wireless smartphone charger you can take from home to car or embed in furniture or walls in the home. I keep hearing I’ve got the next billion dollar idea, but one thing I know without question, there isn’t anything out there like Synergy.”
MEET SYNERGY, the World’s Best Line of Wireless Smartphone Chargers:
Home & Vehicle Wireless Charger:
- Solid 1.5 pound tabletop base with easy-release button makes Synergy portable from the home base to the vehicle base
- NFC tag automatically performs tasks and launches apps on NFC-enabled phones, such as night clock, alarm, maps, Bluetooth, radio or driving mode (perfect for keeping teen drivers safe)
- Proximity sensor-activated LED ring around the charging surface “Lights the Way” at night
- Latest Qi-compliant wireless charging technology
- Rare earth magnet, coupled with a special foam pad, ensures superior hold
- Stunning cast metal body comes in five colors
- Synergy™ includes a receiver for the iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 or Galaxy Note II and works with any other Qi-compliant wireless phone receiver.
Furniture Wireless Charger: permanently seal to table or desk; easy to install; low-profile design; waterproof for easy cleaning.
Wall Wireless Charger: built-in NFC tag automatically performs tasks on NFC-enabled phones, such as alarm, silence volume and night clock (eliminates nightly ritual before bed); held by a magnet with micro-suction foam pad; includes proximity driven night light.
… all while charging wirelessly.
See more at Indiegogo: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/synergy-line-of-wireless-chargers-for-your-smartphone
D’Agostino’s Crowdfunding Tips
- Before starting any crowdfunding campaign, build an email list of people who support you and ask them to motivate their networks to join the list.
- Three to six months out, foster relationships with key local, regional and national journalists, as well as bloggers – do your research and find reporters and bloggers who write about your industry and make contact.
- Don’t just pitch – add value by offering expertise, information or story ideas that could include your product or service.
- Send updates when you have them, i.e. news release, funding campaign launch, product upgrade.
- Create LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles and build your social network.
- Answer every question honestly and post updates frequently.
- Focus on finding those places online – groups and sites where your future customers hang out – that will easily recognize the value of your product or service.
- When you finally get to crowdfunding, set a realistic goal. If you set the bar too high and don’t reach it, you might end up with nothing after the campaign, depending on the funding site.
- Be prepared to make marketing the product a full-time job before and after the launch.
- If possible, bring in partners to help – the reality is there won’t be enough time to do everything yourself.
- D’Agostino’s experience with advertising was that his dollars would have been better spent elsewhere, so the tip here is that if something isn’t working, recognize it quickly and then prioritize what is working and dump what isn’t.
- On their own, crowdfunding sites are platforms and don’t necessarily generate traffic to you. Traffic comes from the campaigns themselves and it’s up to the fundraiser – you – to move eyeballs to your page.
- Missed your goal? Try, try again – most well-known entrepreneurs failed (some of them epic) before they succeeded.
Support the Synergy Indiegogo Campaign:
The company is taking pre-orders for a limited time and will deliver Synergy products between December and January 2014.
Cell Innovations will be exhibiting its Synergy brand line of wireless smartphone chargers at the Consumer Electronics Association’s 2014 CES International tradeshow in Las Vegas January 7-10 in the coveted Eureka Park TechZone (Venetian, Level 1, Booth #74505), the premiere destination for attendees looking for new products.
‘Shark Tank’ 2014
D’Agostino auditioned in D.C. last month for “Shark Tank” Season 5 (http://bcove.me/26lvvid8 0:39 - in line; 0:41 - pitching Synergy) and the show’s casting director says Synergy is in the mix of products being considered for Season 6 of the popular Emmy-nominated product pitching/business funding show and will move on in the casting process next spring. “After the audition, I met Mark Cuban at the Kingonomics convention. He seems like a genuine and compassionate guy that refuses to forget where he came from by putting his money where his mouth is … just look at the starting prices for Dallas Mavericks tickets. I respect that and I hope to see him again next spring in the ‘Shark Tank.’”
Manufactured by Austin-based Cell Innovations, the patent-pending Synergy™ line of wireless smartphone chargers exemplify beauty, brains and brawn, and are the world's best smartphone wireless chargers for your table, desk, nightstand, vehicle, wall or furniture. Built from cast metal, made with the latest Qi-compliant wireless charging technology and boasting a world-class stunning design, there is nothing like it. Passion Drives Innovation.
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