Successful crowdfunding campaign speaks volumes about suitcase soundsystems

11:29AM | Friday, 28 November

Forget about vinyl – the next big thing among audiophiles could be suitcases reinvented as speakers, with a Melbourne-based startup raising $17,370 for the devices (against a target of $16,000) in just days on Pozible.   Son Valise cofounder Vincent Corneille created the JukeCase – a set of speakers in a repurposed suitcase – after noticing portable MP3 players and smartphones with headphones encouraged people to listen to music in isolation.   He knew he was on to a winner after seeing the look of joy on people’s faces while taking a prototype of the device to the Fitzroy Gardens. Son Valise soon began selling custom-made JukeCases through a shop on Johnstone Street in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Collingwood.   Corneille told Private Media after making the devices for four years it became clear Son Valise needed a standardised version of the device.   “About four years ago we started to make JukeCases. We wanted a portable music player for phones that sounded amazing and nothing else was quite there. So since then, we’ve been upcycling vintage products with vintage hi-fi components,” Corneille says.   “We found we had a lot of interested customers, but we had a high price-range because of the time we took sourcing parts, which put off a lot of customers.”   According to Corneille, it took a year to find the perfect component supplier.   “We designed a standardised range with our brand look and feel, and after a year of sourcing supplies, we added the JukeCase Mini,” he says.   “We needed startup capital for components and will construct them in Australia. So we decided to go down the crowdfunding route to gauge interest. It’s been a great response – we met our target in nine days.”   When it comes to crowdfunded hardware, a perennial risk is that the actual process of manufacturing and shipping products ends up being far more difficult than entrepreneurs anticipate. This can lead to frustrating delays.   “One of the beauties is that we’re standardising production and we’ve already been making these units for quite a while now, although we might step-up production by hiring extra hands,” Corneille says.   “We’ve been quite transparent. By saying we’ll ship them in February 2015, we have time to iron out the bumps.   “People asked if they’d be available at Christmas, and at one point we were looking at the turbo-charge option, but we didn’t want to risk causing someone to miss out on their present.”   Having met the initial target, Corneille is looking at stretch goals such as creating a range of colours, with standardisation also paving the way to mass-distribution.   “We want distribution in Australia and abroad as one of the next steps. We have been talking to distributors in Asia. We did look at distribution for our bespoke product in the past, but that was difficult to manage,” he says.   Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

I’m getting a bit of traffic to my site but it isn’t converting into sales. What should I do?

1:54AM | Wednesday, 23 January

This week’s Secret Soloist is answered by digital marketing expert Adam Franklin.   If your web strategy is working people will be arriving at your website via a Google search, a backlink, a tweet, an email or a Facebook comment and regardless of where they’ve come from it is great news that they have arrived at your site.

Start-ups warned about borrowing from friends and family

4:29AM | Monday, 23 April

Start-ups are being encouraged to think twice before borrowing money from loved ones, with a new report revealing 20% of Australians have lost friends over borrowed money.

Selling without a strategy

3:06AM | Friday, 23 March

Selling your wares online is an instant recipe for success, right? Not according to Pierre Boutros, who learnt that even the most straightforward business needs strategies in place to secure sales.

News Corp-backed Beyond Oblivion bankrupt before launch

3:30AM | Monday, 11 March

New York-based digital music start-up Beyond Oblivion has filed for bankruptcy before its launch, despite financial backing from News Corp and nearly $90 million from investors.

MP3-enabled badges the next Legacy

10:37AM | Thursday, 13 October

Legacy badges traditionally come as pins to stick on your clothes, but now they’ve entered the digital age with new MP3 “buttons” or virtual badges.

10 start-up lessons to take from Steve Jobs

5:49AM | Wednesday, 2 May

The announcement of Steve Jobs’ decision to quit as CEO of Apple may, on reflection, not be entirely unexpected, but it draws to a close one of the finest chapters in entrepreneurial history.

BHP policy highlights office dos and don’ts

8:40AM | Tuesday, 23 August

An etiquette expert says start-ups should ensure office etiquette is outlined from day one to avoid bombarding staff with rules further down the track, in light of BHP Billiton’s strict new employee policies.

Four ways to turn web visitors into real buyers

7:06AM | Monday, 11 July

If your web strategy is working people will be arriving at your website via a Google search, a backlink, a tweet, an email or a Facebook comment and regardless of where they’ve come from it is great news that they have arrived at your site.

Musical beach towel

6:20AM | Monday, 27 June

A new beach towel, with built-in speakers that connect to any portable music player, could take the beach party concept to a new level.


6:59AM | Monday, 20 June

Launched in April this year, ReGadget is an online service providing cash in return for old electronics, including mobile phones, digital cameras and MP3 players.

Audio High School

5:13AM | Thursday, 26 May

Nathan Murphy is gearing up to launch Audio High School in July, following six months of intensive planning.

Headphone hoodie could be music to a start-up’s ears

2:35AM | Thursday, 3 February

Hats have been merged with drinking devices for some time, but a company is now looking seriously at the opportunities in matching up clothing with music.

Musical moments for mums and babies

12:43AM | Friday, 3 December

Much has been said about the effect of music on babies in the womb, but does music really make your baby smarter?