Featured Startup: FuelBox
This week we talked to Dan Friedman, the co-founder and chief marketing officer at FuelBox. FuelBox is an at home and on-the-go charging solution designed to keep mobile devices charged wherever you go. Dan was nice enough to share the company’s story and the business lessons he’s learned along the way since launching.
FuelBox traces it’s roots from a college entrepreneurship program. Two friends, Dan Friedman and Robert Herr, were tasked with coming up with a viable business idea. The goal was to create a business that you could feasibly run by the end of the semester.
So, the guys started to think: What’s a common annoyance we all share? What’s a simple, but persistent, problem that really needs to be solved? Then they had their lightbulb moment.
One universal issue everyone has experienced at one point our another is either losing a phone charger or dealing with a dead phone when you’re not anywhere by an outlet. Thus, FuelBox was born.
FuelBox is portable charging solution that allows you to essentially take a charging outlet with you wherever you go.
Coming off of a successful Indiegogo fundraising campaign (the guys raised $75,000 without a marketing budget — they simply shared their product on Facebook with friends and family), FuelBox is now in full production and the business is growing every day.
Co-founder Dan Friedman was happy to share the ups, downs, and everything in between since developing FuelBox.
“Most of the time when you ask for advice, you get money. When you ask for money, you get advice,” Dan said, rather wryly.
In all seriousness though, Dan was adamant about asking for advice.
“It’s probably the best tip I can give to entrepreneurs.”
You’d be surprised, he revealed, how open and willing people are to offer help.
Dan also shared the best and worst parts about running a business. While being able to wake up whenever you want, setting your own dress code, and not having to follow all sorts of restrictions are great perks, his favorite is having the ability to do something on the fly.
The freedom to test and experiment without having a boss breathe down your neck is incredibly liberating.
Of course, he emphasized, being an entrepreneur has it’s challenges.
“You need to be resilient. The amount of challenges you need to adjust to at a moment’s notice can be intense,” Dan said. “Every day is a new challenge and you need to power through it no matter how hard it seems.”
Dan also expressed the importance of launching quickly.
“If you’re going to fail, fail fast,” he explained.
People put too much time into development and nothing ever happens, their idea just burns out, he said.
“Don’t waste time, launch!” Dan stressed. He is strongly in support of getting your minimum viable product out and scaling if it garners interest.
While he admits it’s challenging for first-time entrepreneurs to manufacture a high-end product, he believes that if there’s a real need for the product then it’ll work out.
“People can appreciate innovation,” he said.
Dan’s parting advice for budding business owners was to focus on online marketing and to make sure they’re putting together a product pipeline.
For example, he explained, FuelBox eventually wants to start offering more wireless charging options.
“Put together a plan and have a vision for the future,” he said.
As for making unique partnerships and reaching out to potential customers, the importance of online can not be overstated.
“Online marketing is easy to learn and is great for reaching out to potential partners,” Dan explained. “It really allows you to make connections you otherwise may not have been able to make. It helps you bust down some doors.”
But above all, he said, is having a good idea and the desire to put in the work.
Interested in checking out FuelBox? Have a peek over here!