In the world of entrepreneurship, time is of the essence. It’s no wonder that Clément Perrot and David Zhang decided to make their first venture, after completing Tech Transfer’s Startup@Berkeley Silicon Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, a new take on instant photos called Prynt, a smartphone case that prints photos instantly.
After learning the basics of entrepreneurship from world-class engineers, designers, marketers, investors and attorneys and successful entrepreneurs, Perrot and Zhang successfully found an opportunity: iterated it quickly, sought customer feedback along the way, and gathered people around them to create the project.
“I think all the projects we made during our program were truly where I learned entrepreneurship,” says Perrot. “This was really the first time in my studies that I had to work with a team of different skills, and that the main purpose was "getting out of the building.’”
Once Perrot and Zhang experienced the immersive, intense and hands-on learning involved in the Startup@Berkeley program at UC Berkeley, they were ready to try their hand in a new venture that was near and dear to their heart: instant photos.
Fans of the old-school Polaroid insta-prints, but lovers of the small, compact camera phones, the duo created Prynt. The startup company devised a slim case that hooks up to iPhones and android smart phones to print photos in about 20 seconds. The beauty of the technology lies in the zero ink paper, which removes the need for an ink cartridge because the color is already in the paper
Prynt will launch their Kickstarter campaign in January 2015 and start shipping cases in summer of 2015.
Prynt and Berkeley startup Clarity were featured at HAXLR8R’s fifth demo day as startups to watch:
The genesis of the idea came from Lu, after air pollution in Shanghai, China left him sick after only one day in the city. He wanted to know how to find the balance between daily life in the city and protecting his health. He turned to his colleagues at Berkeley to devise a tool to let people know what they are breathing and avoid hotspots of pollution.
The team came up with the Clarity, a wearable device that measures air quality, humidity and temperature. A companion app alerts the wearer when surrounding air is smoggy and connects them to a crowd-sourced map of air quality in the surrounding area.
“Getting accepted into the Foundry@CITRIS was a huge boost for our company,” says Talwar. “The experience of being able to work on a product or cause while still being in school is what has made my experience here at Berkeley so unique. This has given me an insight on what all goes into making a consumer product and it has made me realize how different that actually is from what we learn at school.”
Through Foundry, the group connected with a network of mentors and rapid prototyping resources, including 3D printers, laser cutter, circuit board plotters, co-working office and workshop space and free AWS service. They had access to two full-time mechanical engineers and an experienced VC. They also had regular mentor sessions on topics from scaling up in manufacturing to how to navigate legal services.
The company plans to launch the product in China in May 2015.