Monday, October 1, 2012

KC Startup inCharge Seeks to Solve Cellphone Battery Issues; Think Big Ventures Invests

The first prototype of an inCharge
charging station.

It’s happened to anyone with a cell phone:  Just when you need your phone the most, you look up at the top right hand corner and gasp; you only have 3% battery left!

What do you do?  Do you power the phone off and save the battery’s juice for when you really need it?  Do you run to the nearest outlet (who knows where that’s located!)?  Do you plug important contacts in your friend’s phone just in case?  Do you just let your battery die and try to survive? 

The truth of the matter is, there is no good option.  Until now.

Introducing: inCharge, a new Kansas City startup that aims to provide an easy charging solution for dead cell phone batteries.

Founded by Kansas City entrepreneur Bryan Richard, inCharge LLC aims to place free charging stations for mobile devices in public places such as train stations, shopping centers, sports facilities and other locations with high foot traffic.  According to The Kansas City Business Journal, inCharge will “plug a gap in developing countries between use of cell phones and easy access to electricity to keep the device charged.” 

The inCharge charging stations are currently being designed and manufactured here in Kansas City with help from BareSkull Innovation Inc.  The charging stations will incorporate charging “wheels” and plug-ins for all different kinds of phones—Androids, iPhones, Blackberries and even standard flip phones.  Each wheel can hold up to four phones.  Additionally, inCharge charging stations will incorporate interactive advertising opportunities.  With this opportunity, advertisers will attract highly engaged audiences and have the chance to form new types of communication with potential customers. 

BareSkull and Richard are currently building two prototypes, both of which will be tested in the Kansas City market.  One will be tested at a local high profile stadium and the other at Kansas City’s Power and Light District. 

In addition, inCharge will be installing a trial charging station in Hyderabad, India at the GVK One shopping mall on November 1, 2012.  Because of India’s high population, high teledensity and inconsistent electrical infrastructure, inCharge hopes to gain valuable insight into its new product. 

“I went to school for architecture, but it’s been a long time since I could actually design and build something and see it come to life,” explains Bryan Richard, founder of inCharge.  “That has been the most exciting part of this process.” 

Think Big Ventures I has taken a lead investor role in the startup with its $50,000 investment in inCharge.  The startup has also received $25,000 from an unnamed private investor and has bootstrapped $50,000.

“Ultimately, our goal is to keep customers connected and to eliminate the problem of dead cell phone batteries,” says Richard. 

Update October 1, 2012: inCharge just launched its first charging station at Livestrong Sporting Park this past Friday!  According to Brian Richard, Sporting fans were waiting to charge their phones before the station was even plugged in.  The charging stations are now being pursued by other high traffic locations such as the Power and Light District.  Stay tuned! 

1 comment:

  1. Does your blog have a contаct рage?
    I'm having problems locating it but, I'd lіke to send you аn е-mail.
    I've got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.
    My web site: Limpieza Empresa