Rev’s summer Hardware Accelerator is in the middle of Sprint 3, the phase in which member teams work towards prototyping their product ideas. Teams are engaging in one-on-one work with mentors and technical instructors, as well as collecting insight from successful local hardware-based startups. As the teams work toward their final product concepts and prepare for Demo Day on August 11th, we’ll be sharing profiles of them and the story of their progress.
If you’ve ever been to Times Square, you’ve seen the famous digital ticker tape: bright red or blue or yellow lettering traveling across stretched screens displaying stock information and the latest news. When Cameron Burbank visited Times Square and saw this, he wanted a digital ticker tape in his own room. After some Internet sleuthing, he found he couldn’t afford the expensive models on the market. And that’s when ProjecTicker was born.
“I can take any information you want, be it stock data, sports data, current weather, recent news, anything, and I can project it on your wall in banner form,” explain Cameron, a rising sophomore at Quinnipiac University, “And I can do it for far less.” He cites Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick’s office ticker tape display, which allows citizens to send messages directly to the mayoral office, as an example of the kind of service he can provide.
ProjecTicker is an ambient, wall-based display system connected to the user’s phone via an app, which allows him or her to select the information they’d like displayed. Their target market? It depends, says Cameron. He expects businesses small and large to use his product; sports bars looking to display the latest sports data or restaurants projecting their daily specials could benefit from the affordable solution. They’re also looking to sell directly to the consumer, for whatever information they might want displayed consistently in their home or office. “People always want to know the latest and greatest,” Cameron notes. “And this is going to give it to them, without them having to scroll through their phones.”
This isn’t Cameron’s first entrepreneurial effort; last year, he worked on another project independently. To get more information about support for startups in Ithaca, he signed up for the Rev newsletter. When he decided to prioritize ProjecTicker, he asked for guidance from Rev Entrepreneur-in-Residence Brad Treat, who advised Cameron to join the 2016 Hardware Accelerator program.
“I’m a bit different than the other companies,” says Cameron of his fellow 2016 Hardware Accelerator teams. “They’re all making new pieces of hardware. I’m taking three or four existing pieces and integrating them with my software.” He explains that the mentorship he received through the Hardware Accelerator has been invaluable to his process. “I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without it,” he admits. “It’s allowed me to put this hardware together.”
Cameron — who was born and raised in Ithaca — champions his hometown as a prime spot to start a business. “There’s a good set of incubators here, and there’s a lot of mentorship stemming from the fact that we have two good business schools in town.” He adds that the city is encouraging to startups like ProjecTicker. “It’s pretty much better than every other place,” he adds, laughing.
What will ProjecTicker’s next step be? Cameron hopes to build his team, adding a CTO to help develop the microcomputer needed to get the product to market. To see ProjecTicker in action, join us on August 11th for Demo Day. For more information about the Hardware Accelerator Program and its 2016 teams, click here.