Hardware Accelerator Participant Debuts Audio Earring Innovation
Tech startup Teqnizan, a member of Rev’s 2021 Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator cohort, is bringing style to wireless headphones. The Minnesota-based startup makes lightweight music earrings that provide clear, loud sound that is only audible to the listener.
“We found the space where we think we have a good product and we are clear on what the advantages are,” founder and CEO Rama Prasad said.
Wearing Teqnizan’s sleek earrings, users can enjoy high-quality audio without disturbing others or hurting their ears. The earrings have a six-hour battery life and produce sound only within two inches.
The earrings are made up of small Bluetooth speakers that rest in gold-plated brass or sterling silver wire casings. Prasad said she hopes to offer more styles, including dangle earrings and different colors, as she works on the next generations of the product.
“The goal is to do a lot of different designs because jewelry is a lot of different designs,” she said. “Artists have their own style, so we want to cover as big a space as possible with the earring design and still have the wireless audio function.”
After earning her engineering Ph.D. at Cornell University, Prasad started her career at Hewlett-Packard. By mid-career, she had developed a desire to use her engineering expertise to invent her own technology and enter the startup space.
“I think around age 45, I was like, this seems like a really great challenge, and I think I want to try it,” she said.
When the idea for audio earrings came to Prasad, she felt confident that she could build the technology and find a market for her unique product. She took a leap of faith and founded Teqnizan in 2016.
“There’s a lot of earbud companies, but not very many earrings,” Prasad said. “All the earring companies are also still smaller, early-stage, like my company.”
Thrilled to learn that her alma mater partnered with Rev to administer the Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator, Prasad applied for the 2021 cohort and was accepted. Teqnizan officially launched their product halfway through the 60-week program, which wrapped up last month.
Teqnizan aims to grow sales and raise more funding over the next year. The startup is also already working on the next generation of the technology, which will be a dangle earring utilizing the latest Bluetooth technology.
Ultimately, Prasad said she hopes to expand the design options and partner with well-known jewelry companies to sell them customized designs.
“I’m really an engineer,” she said. “That’s what I’m good at, and there are so many jewelry brands out there that specialize in how to sell and go to market, so they can own that part of it and I can supply this new and exciting product.”