UB engineering and MBA grads Ryan Jaquin and Shane Nolan launched their music electronics startup Bitcrusher (later renamed Algorythm Technologies) last year. The company, now known as Aviate Audio, develops next generation music electronic devices designed to elevate the player's performance. UpstartNY originally interviewed the two business partners and music technology pioneers in May of 2018. Since then, a lot has changed.
After winning the Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition, the creative duo won several more prize contests, both in Buffalo and around the state, including the New York State Business Plan Competition. They’ve branded their company as Aviate Audio and they’re planning to launch their first new product, the Airpatch.
“We really refined our product vision and product strategy,” Jaquin explained. “We came up with a really good go-to market plan and tried to carve out our own niche space in the market.”
Finding their place in the music technology scene isn’t the only achievement for the startup founders; Jaquin and Nolan also traveled to the National Association of Music Merchants show in Anaheim, Calif., where they promoted their product and received overwhelming positive feedback from the show’s attendees.
Jaquin said that the business partners have been busy promoting their product and brand to both a local and not-so-local potential customer base.
“We've been building out our website, getting our social media up and running and trying to do as much marketing push as we possibly can,” he said. “We're doing a lot of customer discovery, talking to local musicians as well as people all the way up to nationally touring musicians to get their feedback on our product.”
Jaquin and Nolan feel that support from the Western New York entrepreneurial community has been critical to the company’s early success. That effort included the business incubator at the University at Buffalo, the Western New York Incubator Network (WIN), the New York State Business Plan Competition, FuzeHub, and many more.
Nolan pointed out that the support they’ve received from other entrepreneurs and mentors in Buffalo has helped them enormously. “It goes beyond the prize money, that only gets you so far. I think the connections that we've made here have really led to a lot for us,” he said.
Nolan added that the critical support network available to new startups in the Western New York area makes it much easier for them to thrive in Buffalo, not only in the beginning stages, but throughout the life of the business. “What's great is that there's kind of a general entrepreneurship ecosystem in Western New York. No matter what space your startup is in, or what stage you're in as a company, there's something of value to you that's being offered and lots to be a part of.“
Jaquin and Nolan plan to start a Kickstarter campaign for Airpatch, as well as other products they plan to launch. While they don’t have a definite date set, prototypes are ready to go, and the two plan to engage in end-user testing to perfect their offerings. In addition, they’re transitioning their website and web address from www.algorythmtechnologies.com to www.aviateaudio.com. Within a month or two, the old site will no longer be available, but customers can find what they’re looking for and much more at the new site.
These two talented tech founders can’t wait to get going with their new products and plans.
“We're just excited about letting everybody know what we've been doing through customer engagement and being a part of the industry now with the NAMM show,” Nolan said. “So, all of that's leading up to us launching our product this year. We're going to start off the Kickstarter campaign, and we're going to make our presence known at future trade shows, as well.”