After spotting a gap in the market, Raphael decided to put his business skills to use and create a good quality speaker product.
He created Show Speak with his business partner Aron Elbase. The product uses Bluetooth and the pair hope it will change how people listen to music.
“We tested 15 different products but we were never fully satisfied,” explains Raphael. They found each device would have something specifically wrong with it; whether it was low quality sound, bad manufacturing or inefficient waterproof systems. Using their research, the team resolved to create a high quality product that not only plays music, but can also answer phone calls.
The MSc Management programme creates a stepping stone
Raphael explains that studying the MSc Management programme has helped him grasp all aspects of launching a company. By learning subjects such as marketing, project management and finance he says he has been able to establish the link between the modules and an entrepreneurial project.
“Without studying at Imperial, we would have struggled to set up the company properly.”
After focusing on the electronics and ensuring they selected high quality materials, they added an extended battery life, real waterproof protection and a shock resistance.
Raphael had a background in engineering before he arrived at Imperial. He realised that he wanted to gain a business perspective before launching his products, “I chose MSc Management at Imperial College Business School as it was the best programme in terms of course offering. I really enjoyed my experience at Imperial. It’s one of the best schools in the world, now I’m leaving I already miss my time there”.
The Imperial advantage
The Show Speak was launched towards the end of the programme. Raphael says he got other students on board to help him promote the product. “Once people bought the product we asked them to promote it on social media,” he explains.
“It was an incredibly successful way of launching a word-of-mouth campaign. We received so many inquiries that in 10 days we had sold out.”
Raphael says he was encouraged by the support Imperial gave other students and in this knowledge knew the Show Speak would receive brand awareness just via the Imperial name.
A key part of the MSc Management experience for Raphael has been working with a diverse group of fellow students. “Meeting and working with interesting people from many backgrounds and learning new subjects with a broader angle has helped me to open my mind”.
“London is an amazing city, so dynamic, constantly moving. It’s a city full of life and ideas. Studying and living in London has helped us to develop the Show Speak”.
What next for Show Speak?
The team now face one big issue: satisfying demand.
The team are encouraged by the results so far and believe it has potential. They are working with Festicket, a booking platform who would offer their festival attendees the opportunity to buy Show Speak.
Their ambition doesn’t end there, “In five years’ time we’d like to be taking over Beats,” Raphael says confidently, referring to the market-leading headphones made famous by rapper Dr Dre.
“We are currently working with the patent holder to develop and create a broader range of products”.