This is the story of Senstone told by company’s founder and CEO Nazar Fedorchuk.
The idea of Senstone came to me in the summer of 2014, when I was in the park with my friend. As we were walking, we were discussing ways to tackle forgetfulness and convenient note-taking.
At that time I worked at the US Department of Justice. My job required a creative approach, so I worked outside the office a lot. I often went on walks to the park nearby to sort out my mind. These “creative hikes” have led me to many great ideas, but there was just one problem – there was no convenient way to write them down. Moreover, I could never keep all the different small things, like ideas or tasks, in my mind, although many of them could be very important. I had a “gallery” of stickers, sheets, e-mails, and reminders in my phone – and somehow it didn’t work. And if only I were the only one irritated by it; my former co-workers weren’t fond of it as well.”
That’s when I realized: there’s a need for a small yet smart voice recorder; something simple and straightforward, something that would conveniently capture thoughts and life experiences on the go.
The idea started as simple reminder button that evolved to the voice recording device with quite a few functions.
Right after a few conversations with friends who work in technology, it became apparent to me that the necessary technology is out there. But we were not sure that the parts will work together as we expected them to. The concept was not simple; we had to make a nifty little thing, give it a brain, and make it listen to, and most importantly, understand you.
Meanwhile, Markiyan Matsekh, a tech and marketing geek, who has already been working with wearable tech for a while and was recognized as an opinion leader in the industry, joined the team to reinforce the technical side of the project:
“I tried to use wearable tech to solve the problem of forgetfulness and short attention spans. But smart watches were too cumbersome to record small random thoughts, which left me frustrated. So this sparked the idea of a simple device with a single function – jotting down notes with voice.” – Markiyan says. “This idea remained an idea for about a year until in the summer of 2016 I met Nazar, who was halfway into making it into reality. He then decided to join efforts and bring this shared vision to life.”
It took about 8 months and 3 trials with three different teams of hardware engineers to create a prototype and finally try the first version of Senstone. I remember testing it out with my wife Orysya; amazingly, the device was able to recognize her rare Ukrainian name.
In the beginning, I have invested my entire retirement fund into the project. And in July 2016, we have found an angel investor – about the same time Markiyan had invested his savings in Senstone. We managed to finalize the prototype and build a marketing strategy for the product to prepare for the launch.
In February 2017 all our efforts were rewarded with a very successful crowdfunding campaign. After only 36 hours we reached our funding goal, raising over $370 000 totally – seven times more than planned.
It’s unbelievably exciting and challenging to understand that there are a couple thousand people who share the same values as us and expect an idea to come to reality as much as we do.
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