How a Danish Garage Startup Broke Through International Barriers
Hjalte Wieth, Chief Brand Officer of Soundboks, an Audio company focused on breaking through the noise joins Enterprise Radio. Their flagship product, SOUNDBOKS is a Bluetooth performance speaker.
Listen to host Eric Dye & guest Hjalte Wieth discuss the following:
- Tell us about SOUNDBOKS and how you started it?
- What was most important to you when developing the brand?
- You started with crowdfunding on the ground and then crowdfunding online. How has the crowdfunding experience shaped the way you engage with your community?
- What are three important things you’ve identified building a lifestyle brand versus just focusing on just launching products?
- What is the most important lesson that you’d want to share that you have learned as a startup so far?
SOUNDBOKS began as three high school friends in Denmark. We wanted to break through the noise of Roskilde Festival with the loudest music and the best parties. So we designed and built a speaker that would outlast the wildest nights and take anything our favorite week-long, outdoor festival could throw at it.Turns out, a lot of other people wanted to do that too.
At first, we were just building speakers for people like us who didn’t want to worry about durability and performance. When we found a way to make a battery that could make the party last forever, we knew that we had something truly unique. We decided to go all in.
We called ourselves SOUNDBOKS, borrowed money, bought the materials for 400 speakers, and took out some ads online. Sales took off, especially in the Roskilde community. We gathered 24 friends and worked day and night for two weeks in a small garage, and delivered the last speakers just days before it started.
We’d opened up an office in Copenhagen, but we saw a chance to go global. We took a chance, applied to Y-Combinator and became the youngest Europeans to be invited. We moved to San Francisco, launched a Kickstarter and raised $780,000. We expanded operations, made a lot of friends and a few mistakes, and discovered our second home in Los Angeles.
Today, there are over 50,000 SOUNDBOKS speakers in over 40 countries, and we are on a mission to connect a community that is pushing the possibility of what can happen when awesome people and great music come together in epic locations.
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