Written by Robert Leitch.
When talking to investors, Kapture co-founders Matthew Dooley and Mike Sarow often call their product the “Instagram of audio”. Similar to the popular photo-sharing app, Kapture’s software will allow users to edit an audio clip, add a picture, apply audio filters and then share it. The end goal is for consumers to view Kapture as a meaningful way to tell the story of their lives.
“You build a relationship over time. They aren’t built over text messages or Facebook status updates,” said Sarow. “Relationships are built mainly by face-to-face conversation and understanding where people stand and taking the time to be vulnerable. We wanted to allow people to take something away from those important engagements.”
In addition to Kapture’s software component, they also just started shipping their first hardware devices, which are the tools that allow users to record their conversations. With a simple tap of the wearable device, Kapture saves the last 60 seconds of audio to a user’s mobile device for sharing with others or saving for personal use. More than 1,200 people pledged $162,386 to a Kickstarter campaign to help the company both develop and manufacture their product. Kapture’s goal is to fulfill its several thousand pre-orders and be available to regularly process new orders by June 2015.
With the increasing number of wearable devices in the market from power players like Apple and Samsung, Kapture hopes to one day enable its mobile app to be flexible and receive audio from any wearable device.
“Right now, our wearable device is an important tool because very few things exist that allow you to save and record what you just heard,” said Dooley. “But given how quickly technology is changing, we don’t want to be tethered to any one particular piece of hardware.”
The company currently works out of Cintrifuse, which has connected Kapture to different potential customers, venture capital firms, individual angel investors and potential talent as they grow. Kapture’s lead investor is CincyTech, the southwest Ohio partner of Ohio Third Frontier.
“CincyTech believed in us. The leap of faith they take is so important to startups because you can never have enough data or proof that what you’re doing is going to be some highly successful company down the road,” said Sarow. “There are so many companies in town that wouldn’t have gotten off the ground if it wasn’t for the belief of CincyTech.”
In addition to the support from CincyTech and Cintrifuse, Dooley and Sarow have felt the support for Kapture from the Cincinnati community at large.
“When our product was featured on The Price is Right, people in the city were so supportive,” said Sarow. “That encouragement goes a long way because the startup process is a total grind. It takes people being behind you, patting you on the back and helping you out instead of trying to be better than you.”
For those thinking of wading into the startup waters, Sarow urges future entrepreneurs to go with their gut and accept that starting a business is not something you can always painstakingly plan out.
“Embrace the ignorance and let the passion shine through,” said Sarow. “If you stop and try to map it all out, you won’t even get going. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. You need to rely on that background and aptitude to get you through.”