Before venturing into the world of start-ups and Kickstarter, we first became friends as randomly assigned freshman roommates at Harvard. We came from very different backgrounds, Jason from a cattle ranch in Montana and Trevor from the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, but we soon found common ground in our interest in engineering. During the spring of our freshman year, we both enrolled in an introductory electrical engineering course and came up with the idea to use some of the skills and concepts we’d learned in class to make a frequency responsive light show as our final project. After countless hours in the lab working with our professor and a few more late nights than we would’ve liked, our first prototype was born. With wires running everywhere and too many ridiculous looking knobs and switches, it was certainly not a model of industrial design, but it worked.

Evolution of all 3 major Rayger Prototypes

Evolution of all 3 major Rayger Prototypes

The very first prototype in 2012 on our dorm room floor workshop.

 

After finishing the class, we kept the project and began using it at our own dorm parties. Whenever we pulled it out,  people were blown away by the unique music experience and would ask if we planned to make more for purchase. Finally, after we realized its popularity we began to devise plans for improving our project and spreading our light show to other college campuses and anywhere else people might like it.

Balancing our coursework and extracurricular commitments with working on the project, we ended up lugging breadboards and toolboxes full of electronic parts around the country with us, from school to summer internships and jobs, making the best of whatever workspaces we could find. We worked to improve the original design and functionality while adding features and reducing costs.

Bedroom workbench

Bedroom workbench

Some of the completed first run prototypes

Some of the completed first run prototypes

We worked and reworked our ideas, contacted supply companies, acquired samples, and evaluated our top suppliers. After creating our final prototype model, we soon realized that our greatest hurdle was getting enough money to buy the components in bulk to make the price affordable for anyone on a high school or college budget. That is where the Kickstarter campaign came in. Now, after the successful campaign we are expanding the company and working on designs for a second Kickstarter campaign in 2016 with new, exciting products.