Entrepreneurship is the vehicle by which innovation provides benefits to many. Paul Moon, a Barrett Honors student in his 4th year of Mechanical Engineering, developed his understanding of this concept through a course offered to both engineering and business students known as FSE 301/ ENT 360: Entrepreneurship + Value Creation. A popular class among students from both the Fulton and W.P. Carey, the course offers students the opportunity to collaborate in teams to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and undertake the process of building a real startup.
With his own team, Paul began research in a stage of entrepreneurship known as customer development. Through multiple interviews, he and his team found that getting locked out of a car or house with no keys while not a common occurrence, can ultimately cause immense problems when it does happen. Further research found the response times for AAA and locksmiths did not provide a reliable and quick means of solving this problem.
In one interview, a 26-year-old high school teacher Chris Jaurigue told Paul of his 45-minute daily commutes to work at Poston-Butte High School. Before the drive home one day, he realized he had locked his keys in his car at the start of the day to get to a meeting on time. As a result, he had to wait 2 hours after school had ended before AAA assistance arrived. AlarmLock LLC’s device was perfect for him, and in his interview, stated that he would be eager to use it for other items such as rock climbing gear.
Paul and his team eventually launched a venture known as AlarmLock, LLC. Under this title, the company’s sole goal was to address this problem and find a way to provide a means to avoid forgetting keys in the car or house for any individual. The prototype device is a multi-function tracker attachable to a keychain and is meant to alert the user the moment he/she moves further than 1-2 feet away from the tracker. Additional features include crowd-sourced location assistance and usability with other items.
To Paul, having a chance to work in an interdisciplinary team helped him understand aspects of startups that he had never considered: “So many people think that a successful startup comes from a single great idea and that people will automatically just throw money at you when they hear about it. The truth is, most people have never even considered what you propose and ultimately won’t listen to you if you venture out with a ‘salesperson’ mindset. It is all about listening to the customer’s woes and addressing their needs.”
Concept Images for the AlarmLock Software Application
Click here to watch Smart Security Solution’s pitch for the AlarmLock device