Innovation and Startups Collide at Wright Brothers Day
A swarm of students bustled about Oct. 5th at the Wright State University – Wright Brothers Day sponsored by the American Marketing Association WSU chapter. Surrounded by companies who represent the true innovation spirit of Dayton, students, faculty, and staff members were able to see why the entrepreneurial spirit and startup revolution is coming to the Miami Valley. Numerous technology based startups that Dayton Tech Guide promotes were able to make it out and show off their products. These startups include Galatune, an action packed anime battle card game, Marxent, a virtual reality and augmented reality based company who is offering ways for companies to allow their customers to see and visualize their products before they purchase them, and finally, Obi, a robot feeding device designed for at-home care. These companies are currently leading the way for Dayton-based technology companies, and are making their mark on the Gem City startup scene.
Scott Stone, VP of Customer Experience at Obi, says, “The Wright Brothers Day and a fair centered around innovation, especially in the mid-west region, is really cool. If you look at the Wright Brothers and how they got their start, it shows other people that it is possible to start a company and follow your dreams if you want.” Obi is a robotic dining companion that allows people, who can’t feed themselves, to enjoy some of the freedoms of self-dinning. It is extremely useful for people suffering from debilitative diseases such as ALS, MS, and Cerebral Palsy. The team at Obi is here to show people that “robotics is here, and is here to do useful things” he states. “People want to see the life-like version of Rosie from the Jetsons, and we are really here to help make that happen.” Scott goes on to explain that “I think things like the Wright Brothers Day, and Dayton Startup Week, really show that there is a real community with entrepreneurial drive. With events like this we are really inspiring not only college kids but the whole community to rally behind the entrepreneurs who are driving the city of Dayton.”
“The Dayton area is in a really exciting time to have a resurgence of innovation. We have had a hard time in the economy but on the flip side, it is creating some new opportunities” says Adam Wik, Founder and CEO of Galatune. “Dayton Tech Guide has been phenomenal with carrying on the spirit of the Wright Brothers. In Dayton you really have the support you need as a startup. You have the startups that seem like their corporate spinoffs but then people like me, who had a dream as a kid to create their own business, and in Dayton you get the support you need and feel the heart of entrepreneurship. Galatune really started that way. Back when I was 10 years old I was drawing up my own game but didn’t have the vehicle to get it going, until now” Adam explains. He confirms that since he has been at Wright State he has had the opportunity to expand his business and be paired with business mentors, and gather seed funding to really get Galatune off the ground. Adam reveals Galatune products will be on the market in December, near Christmas. He is now working on grassroots connections in the local Dayton region and in the background they are looking into what it takes to takes to move Galatune to the national stage.
Matthew McKelvey and Jordan Shmuckler, from Marxent, were both present at the Wright Brothers Day. The Marxent table featured virtual reality and augmented reality demos for the attendees to try out. Matthew, a Wright State Alumni, says “I am really excited to see Wright State putting on events such as these to celebrate the sprit of innovation”. “Here at Marxent Labs, we are working in mixed commerce to help companies find different ways to use virtual and augmented reality, to create new shopping experiences and help customers visualize products before they buy them. For example, you could build your kitchen with VR/AR before you buy the products necessary to do so that way you can see it before investing the time and money. We have a number of different apps from other companies that function similarly and its all to the end of revolutionizing that retail space. It is to make consuming easier,” he says.
Jordan explains, “The Wright Brothers were innovators and we are here as innovators of the current time. We want to change the way mixed commerce works just as the Wright Brothers changed the way things work in flight”.
Overall, the success of the local technological startups is becoming clearer as we recognize the change in the Dayton community. The Wright Brothers day is just one of many events in the region that pay tribute to this. To see more about what is happening in startup community in Dayton, follow us on Twitter or Facebook and subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
Written By: Austin Rains
Marketing Associate for Dayton Tech Guide