CINCINNATI, OH -- (Marketwire) -- 03/01/13 -- CincyTech announced today it has invested $100,000 in nugg-it, a Cincinnati-based startup creating a wearable device that records 'nuggets' of conversations, as part of a $600,000 seed round.
Another $150,000 toward the round comes from Design 2 Matter, a Silicon Valley-based industrial design firm that is designing and building the device.
Nugg-it's founders are former Procter & Gamble brand marketer and engineer Mike Sarow and social media entrepreneur Matthew Dooley. Sarow started the idea while traveling with a friend in San Francisco and wondering how he could preserve the stories and inside jokes.
"It occurred to us that there are a lot of circumstances in life where we want to remember and share something that was just said -- a clever phrase in a meeting, something adorable from our 3-year-old, words of wisdom from a mentor -- but we can't 'capture' it," Sarow said. "Now you can."
Dooley added, "We all engage in amazing conversations every single day. We're just not equipped to do anything with them."
The wrist-worn device is meant to be worn all the time. Once someone decides to save part of a meaningful conversation, he or she touches the device to save the last minute of buffered memory and send it wirelessly to the user's smartphone. The user can then edit, save, and share the audio file through social media channels or in an email or text message.
With the design process underway, the nugg-it team is focused right now on aesthetics. "We know it has to be impeccably designed in order for both men and women to want to wear it on their wrists everyday," Sarow said. D2M has narrowed the design to two final concepts and will produce a prototype this month (March).
The company hopes to begin manufacturing in late fall.
Nugg-it represents the first investment for CincyTech in a consumer electronics device. CincyTech Executive-in-Residence Doug Groh said he thinks the market opportunity is strong.
"With the rise of the Nike FuelBand and smartwatches such as Pebble, wearable technology is projected to be a $7 billion market by 2017," Groh said. "We expect nugg-it to help drive that growth and to do for short audio files what Twitter has done for 140-character content."
Nugg-it is an always-on wearable device that is ready to capture the most quotable moments in our day-to-day lives. Its recording technology ensures that the last 60 seconds of conversation is always being cached and is ready to archive with a touch of the wrist. Once the sound bite is captured, it is automatically transferred wirelessly to the nugg-it mobile app, where you can edit, save and share it.
CincyTech is a public-private seed-stage investor focused on technology-based startups in Southwest Ohio. From 2007 through 2012, it had invested $15 million in 43 startups in enterprise software, consumer Web and the life sciences and attracted another $170 million in private venture investment into those companies. It is an Entrepreneurial Signature Program of Ohio Third Frontier, a state initiative that is devoting $2.6 billion into research institution work and technology-based entrepreneurship.
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