Students with ties to WKU create own tech company
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Most college students at the age of 20 to 21 are busy taking classes and figuring out what they want to do after they graduate.
That’s not exactly the case for one current and one former Western Kentucky University students, though. Instead, the duo teamed up to launch their very own tech company.
The idea for the company actually started in the most innocent of places – grandma’s house.
“My grandma was working in the house and it was really hot,” said 20-year-old BioTek founder Jacob Haskamp. “I said, hmm, it’d be nice if she had a jacket that could cool her because she doesn’t have [air conditioning].”
Then, after eight months and several pitches, that simple idea led to the creation of BioTek, Inc.
“We came up for the idea of the name,” Haskamp said. “It was really a joke at first. Oh, we’ll call it the ‘AirBox’ and we’ll name the company BioTek and it materialized slowly into this could be a legitimate business.”
A business that is in the process of collecting the necessary resources to release its first product – the aforementioned “AirBox.”
“Essentially what it is, is a small box that will fit on your side, kind of where you put your phone, that will then push warm or cool air into your clothing, depending on your setting,” added Liam Seymour, the other co-founder and chief engineer for BioTek.
Seymour said this product would be designed for specifically made undershirts and jackets. In order to collect the necessary funds (around $40,000) to really begin production, Haskamp said BioTek is launching a Kickstarter campaign to get the ball rolling.
“The Kickstarter will launch March 1st,” said Haskamp. “We’re really hoping that will be our kickstart into the market.”
Even though they’re in the early stages of production for the AirBox, the company already has some potential clients lined up to invest in this small device, namely, the Western Kentucky football program.
“Right now it’s looking like athletics seems to be the most useful market to go in to,” Haskamp said.
While both Seymour and Haskamp have a lot on their plate, they said there’s no better time to invest in a venture as exciting, and challenging, as this.
“We have nothing to lose,” said Haskamp. “We can only go up from here.”
If they do go up, it sounds like Haskamp’s grandmother might get her own cut of the profits, too.
“We should give her some equity,” Seymour said with a laugh.
“We should,” Haskamp agreed as the two shared a laugh. “Write her a check.”
More information about Biotek and their Kickstarter campaign can be found on their website.