Kenneth Carter, ENG ’11, was headed out on a trip with friends. When walking up to the airport terminal to meet the group, Carter noticed that he and his travel companions were all wearing almost identical-looking headphones.
He became inspired to create a set of headphones that cater to a person’s individuality.
“I thought, ‘What can I do to make headphones that will give people a feeling of individuality?’” says Carter. “Music is all about self-expression. So why shouldn’t the device you’re using also be about self-expression?”
And that is how his newest venture, Abstract Soundz, came to be.
Carter went to the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) for help turning his idea into a product. He previously participated in the Be Your Own Boss Bowl® (BYOBB) with a different venture called The Kraftsmen. The BYOBB is a competition dedicated to helping Temple-made startups advance their venture through both in-kind service packages and cash prizes worth up to $200,000. He knew with the help of the IEI, he could pivot his ideas and further prove his creative entrepreneurial skills.
“Even if you don’t feel like you’re as ready as you want to be, you have to take that initial step in the entrepreneurial journey,” says Carter.
Carter and Abstract Soundz competed in this year’s BYOBB. Abstract Soundz took home second place in the upper track, which is comprised of competitors who are Temple graduate students, alumni, faculty or staff.
Besides his BYOBB® win, Carter has focused on spreading awareness about his product and connecting with people in the industry who inspire him as he expands his business.
“The design is very unique and really stands out. So people will constantly stop me to ask about the headphones. They always spark a conversation,” says Carter.
Carter creates his headphones one layer at a time, using a process called additive manufacturing, which makes the headphones more durable and unique than traditionally manufactured headphones. His product also includes true wireless technology. The sound quality and durability of the headphones rival the best ones already out on the market.
Carter plans to focus on scaling his business and marketing the product to consumers. Their stylish look and high-quality sound are both showcased on their Instagram page. Customers can also buy the products directly from their website. To see his pitch at this year’s BYOBB®, check out the recording here or visit iei.temple.edu/byobb for more information on the competition