Jason Lucash, a 27-year-old Danville resident, has already been featured in TIME magazine and will soon make his way to prime-time.
The San Ramon Valley High grad and co-founder of OrigAudio will pitch his innovative line of portable speakers on ABC's "Shark Tank" on Friday, May 6 at 8 p.m. Now in its second season, the reality television show pits hopeful entrepreneurs against five billionaires who may bankroll their creative enterprises.
"('Shark Tank') was probably the coolest thing that I've ever done in business," said Lucash, who just arrived in Danville from Japan. "It was super cool to be in a room with five billionaires and have them get excited about what I was saying. It further validates that my concept is ready for the world to jump on it."
With his partner, Mike Szymczak, Lucash presented the Sharks with three OrigAudio products, including personalized speakers, a portable vibration audio system and Fold n' Play recycled speakers, the duo's first product. Lucash and Szymczak hoped to solicit a $150,000 investment from the Sharks for a 15 percent take in Origaudio.
"The plan was to try to fund new products, one is related to headphones and the other part of the cash is to expand our sales distribution by allowing us to purchase more supplies from China," Lucash said. As a new business, Origaudio is often strapped for cash when they receive large orders.
Business-minded since fifth grade, Lucash established Origadio with Szymczak in 2009 when Lucash came up with an idea for eco and transport-friendly speakers.
"I'm a huge music person; I've played the guitar from quite some time always going to concerts. I'm also big travel nut," said Lucash. "I was on a beach in Thailand, lugging these big speakers around and folding a Chinese takeout box and thought 'What if you had speakers like that?' It was a eureka moment."
Several years later, the company is doing well and has products in Crate & Barrel, American Eagle Outfitters, QVC and several mom-and-pop eco-friendly stores. Origaudio recently signed a contract with online retailer Zazzle.com and will be the first-ever electronic featured on the website.
"The ideal goal is to grow this thing as much as we possibly can, then sell it and do things not related to audio," said Lucash, who would like to work in marketing.
Lucash and Szymczak filmed their episode of "Shark Tank" in October; while they aren't allowed to discuss the outcome Lucash said the two learned some valuable lessons and got to meet an entrepreneurial idol.
"The thing I learned is that people in business, especially Sharks, are brutally and blatantly obvious. They either love your idea or hate your idea," he said. "The thing I learned from (Dallas Mavericks owner and HDNet founder) Mark Cuban is thatÂ… it's not always about paying yourself, it's about making your dream a reality."