“If Startup Vikes didn’t happen – I don’t know where I would be right now.”
Brandyn Armstrong is a Cleveland State University business student majoring in Management, a musician and rapper who had an idea for a portable music studio. Now he can add business owner to his resume.
At the age of 13 Brandyn had his first studio experience. He had been rapping since he was five or six years old but was unable to afford studio time until he was a teenager. After that studio experience, Brandyn had the idea for a portable music studio but wasn’t completely sure how he would bring the idea to life.
“I always saw myself as an entrepreneur,” said Brandyn. “When I was 10 years old, I would go to the Plaza and sell mix tapes and CDs of music that I made. When I was 16 and in high school in East Cleveland, I started a record label.”
“Startup Vikes gave me the extra confidence that I had about my product to be able to take it to the next level,” added Brandyn. “I met two engineers at Startup Vikes who believed in me and in my idea and they are still on my team.”
Since Startup Vikes, Brandyn works on his business every day and now has a working prototype. Brandyn is now a junior and part-time, however he is determined to graduate within two years and stay on track for his degree.
Studio Stick is working on their financials and actively seeking additional investors in order to manufacture the product beyond his prototype.
Part of that funding included his prize money and time at the Cleveland State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The staff at the SBDC helped Brandyn produce a video that he will use to launch a crowd-funding campaign in 2016.
“Getting the initial dollars for funding the LLC was great, it gave me a hand up,” said Brandyn. “The assistance from the Startup Vikes team connected me to resources and solutions – I had a logo designed for me which I was not expecting and the help in identifying competitors was great.”
Since Startup Vikes, Brandyn has been working with JumpStart, spoke at Startup Scaleup (June 2016), had an appearance on LeBron James' Cleveland Hustles received an [M]Spire grant from MAGNET to assist with production of prototypes and working models (October 2016), and in September 2017, he was awarded $50,000 on Steve Harvey's Funderdome. In December of 2017, Brandyn was named one of the five disruptors in Cleveland to watch in 2018 by Cleveland.com Tech Czar, Michael DeAloia. Watch the short documentary here.
He is now working on his crowdfunding Kickstartr campaign here and was recently interviewed by ideastream and Cleveland.com. You can view his ideastream interview here and his Cleveland.com interview here.
(Pictured Above, Right to Left, Brandyn Armstrong and Thomas Hayes)