Start-Up Intensive Graduate Sees Opportunity in Digital Eyewear
October 26, 2016 by Jamie Storrow and Lori Ridgway
“Life happens in an instant, don’t miss it,” is more than a slogan for the start-up company Hind-Sight Industries. The phrase speaks volumes of founder Bob Fuziak who walked away from 12 successful years as general manager of Snake River Brewing in Jackson, WY to follow his entrepreneurial heart.
“My inspiration came from a very personal experience,” said Fuziak who founded his first company, Hind-Sight Industries, after he was nearly hit by a truck while riding his bike. Hind-Sight’s sunglasses act almost like a rear-view mirror for athletes allowing them to see what’s behind them and help prevent accidents.
The glasses spawned a new idea: how could he better integrate digital technology into a pair of glasses? But Fuziak needed help turning his dream into a reality. Enter Central Wyoming College’s and Silicon Couloir’s Start-Up Intensive.
I wanted to take the digital eyewear to the market, and knew I needed more than small business grants. I needed to communicate succinctly to sell my product and the business. That is when I decided to enroll in the Start-Up Intensive. ”
With the help of a scholarship from Central Wyoming College, Fuziak enrolled in the Start-Up Intensive, an accredited business development and entrepreneur program. He would be focusing his time during the 10 week, 200 hour course on a product he was calling the FaceShot. “The FaceShot is all about capturing life’s spontaneous moments,” said Fuziak about the design. The eyewear features an easy to access docking video camera in the frame of the glasses. A sports enthusiast himself, Fuziak thought how great it would be to provide users with an easy access camera while enjoying activities like biking, climbing, fishing or golfing while wearing something they probably would be already - sunglasses.
The Start-Up Intensive would be the push Fuziak needed to commercialize his creations. “Liza Millet and Sandy Hessler gave us everything to do to develop the business plan,” Fuziak said. “My pitch was well received on graduation day and I was fortunate enough to take the skills I had learned to pitch the idea in other settings.” Fuziak pitched his concept in Boise, Idaho, began showing prototypes, making connections and found a dedicated investor. “At the end of 2015 I found my business partner and it was all systems go,” Fuziak said of jump-starting the next phase. He formed another company called Omni Wearables with his new partner to commercialize patents made by Hind-Sight Industries.
“I learned how to pitch my ideas and really sell them, which has made all the difference to my business,” said Fuziak of his experience at the Start-Up Intensive. He expects to launch a crowdsourcing campaign in early 2017 on Kickstarter for the FaceShot camera glasses.
Additionally, he has since chalked up another win at a Google pitch weekend in Eastern Idaho for a bedside holster. ArmsReach Industries’ Night Caddy bedside organizer is now live on Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects
With the level of creativity and drive Fuziak has shown this is guaranteed to be just the beginning of success he will realize during his entrepreneurial career.