About the team== Winning Concepts consists of four members: Jean Ray, Tim Devino, Matt Fling, and Stuart French. Our team formed part way through the class after Tim's partner withdrew from the class. Tim had an idea for a product that could attach to the back of your smart phone or mobile device that would keep your earbuds tanlge free and damage free. Once Tim's partner dropped he needed help to get off the ground so we joined forces and got to work. We called our idea the Bud Hub. Our hope is to continue to sell beyond the class and meaningfully innovate a product that solves a simple problem many of us have in a simple way.
Our primary resource can be found in the basement of ISAT, the 3d printer/prototyper. We contacted Joh Wilde, head of the machine shop, to use the machine and he was very helpful. The machine turns 3d software designs into plastic parts. The plastic is strong and durable. We were able to use this machine for all of our prototyping for free, and then once we began using it for production we simply had to pay for the plastic material and mothng more. This allowed us to custom design our product and manufacture it for a very low cost.
Our next most valuable resource was people. We often utilized the expert knowledge and skills of friends and family and even strangers to help get our venture going. For example we enlisted the help of a physics student for consultation on all the prototype designs as he had some engineering know-how and was a very talented drawer (which helps for blueprints), he also helped create our logo and various other things. We also needed an engineering student to put our blueprints into the 3d design software so the machine could print it. We also used family and friends for all those random questions that come up.
We used FedEx kinkos to get our basic sticker/labels made for our packaging it was fast, reliable, and cheap. We got our packaging bags in bulk online for a quick cheap solution. We went to walmart, michaels, home depot for other various things like paint, adhesive, and other things.
We used some valuable online tools that helped expand and grow our business. We wanted to get our sales available online thorugh our weebly website, so we used a free service called bigcartel.com to setup a custom designed shopping cart. Basically you can upload 5 photos of your products for free and customize the layout and look of your shopping cart so customers have an enjoyable experience checking out. It looks great and we like it. It is run through a paypal account so you'll need that set up first. The best part is we linked it straight to our weebly page and it takes customers straight to the shopping cart site without popup windows or tabs. check ours out at : http://budhub.bigcartel.com
Problems / Issues / MistakesEdit
- 1) ISAT Printer- the machine is a blessing and a curse when it comes to production. We used this machine to produce because it allowed us to lower costs, but unless your product is smaller than a quarter it takes a while to make. Our product makes 6 at a time and each batch takes 6 hours to complete, 2 hours to remove the surfacing material, 3 hours to sand/paint/package. Also it is difficult to knock out a lot because the machine is only open when we have access and that can be tricky if they are using it for something else or aren't there.