- Pocket Sky was founded by two innovative entrepreneurs Michael Geyer and Mark Wallerberger in 2014. Mark is an industrial designer and Michael is an electrical engineer.
- Together they developed their first product, the world’s smallest and lightest energy-light device which will be launched early this year. This technology can help with conditions that are caused by limited sunlight, such as seasonal affective disorder, or issues with circadian rhythms, such as jet lag or shift work disorder.
- The device is worn like a pair of glasses and emits blue light, without the harmful ultraviolet component of sunlight. Weighing just 12 grams, wire-free charging and a battery life of up to 2 weeks is the perfect portable light therapy solution for any user.
For this section we had the opportunity to interview Mark Walleberger, the designer behind PocketSky.
1. How was CES?
- CES was really good for us. It was the first we presented in such a big fair. We recapped amazing feedback specially from B2B and B2C perspectives. People understood our product immediately. Men’s Health magazine published an article including us as the top 8 wearables to see @ CES 2019. We had other media articles which are coming out in the next weeks. We showcased a really innovative wearable that emits lights and is by far smaller and more convenient than our competitors. In general the feedback from the customers from CES were amazing.
2. Can you introduce about you and your company. (The technology behind and your background)
- We started in 2014 in Vienna, Austria. We’ve developed the product and now we are in the sale process. I’m an industrial designer and my co-founder is an electrical engineer. Our third partner is mainly in charge of the business aspect of the company. At the beginning of this year we finished our product which is ready for mass production and we are currently launching a Kickstarter campaign in about a month. The advantage about this product is that we offer one size that fits all. So it’s very easy to sell it online. Everybody knows that it will fit for sure. This product is designed especially for people with jet lags and shift workers. Now we are getting ready for a big launch at the beginning of April. In general, we are looking forward to raising USD 120K, mainly to raise funds for pre-producing the first batch of products.
3. What ignited the spark in you to start a this business venture?
- Michael and I had a lot of experience miniaturizing electronics. We believed that we had the knowledge to take this type of devices to the market. Our product is needed for Scandinavian countries where the sunlight is not available for some time during the year. We started this project to get a solution for those countries that were in need of this type of technology. The challenge was to bring it in a user-friendly way. We wanted to make it convenient for those users that were looking for this devices. We are bringing light therapy for the regular users. For us it was senseful to create this for them.
4. How did you decide on the location for your business? Are you planning to expand?
- We want to expand as we have several products. The most popular lighting glasses fits for 70% of regular optical glasses. We also have a second product that will be ready soon which will fit 100% for regular optical glasses. On the other hand we have two other important products in the pipeline that will help you fix sleeping patterns and to block blue lights. We are definitely expanding to other markets. As of now, we are shipping our products while we are getting certified for the US market and some big Asian countries. We are proud to say that our product is 100% Made in Austria.
5. What are the biggest challenges you experienced? Any issues with prototyping?
- The biggest challenge was the miniaturization of the device. We went really to the limit by getting that small and lighter and also the cost factor. Especially when you are assembling the product here in Austria, the prices are not as competitive as in other places. Here, you need to create an assembly line where you can develop the product and deliver fast. But in general the biggest challenge was making it smaller and convenient.
6. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- As an entrepreneur you need to think if the product makes sense. If the product is not really good, you shouldn’t start. At the moment, we tried to make everything very lean. But, it’s hard to enter the market so you need to prepare yourself for marketing and sales. In our case, the development took a lot of time but at the end the customers were really happy with the product. We were happy with the response from the consumers at CES 2019. In general, we are pretty pleased that we took the time to develop a reliable and good product. So for the future we are sure that users will be satisfied with it.
7. How do you define success?
- By revenue. Definitely. In the end everything comes to how much money you make with the product and this defines how many people are using it.
8. Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
- Hopefully as market leaders for the category of light management. We want to be consider as the number one for the light management wearables.
9. Anything else you want to add
- I want to thank your team for taking the time for this interview! I look forward to reading it soon!
Visit their website: https://www.pocket-sky.com/
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