Jake Reisch is the founder and CEO of Eversound, an audio technology company that designs products for the unique ergonomic, auditory, and aesthetic needs of older adults. Selling directly to senior living communities, Eversound’s wireless headphone system allows individuals in an audience to adjust sound to their own preferences, helping seniors engage in group events or activities. Jake will be joining us as a panelist at the 2015 GlamourGals Leadership Training Institute (GLTI), a day-long training and skill-building conference for GG volunteers in New York City.
We sat down with Jake to learn more about managing a business and how that related to his time at Cornell University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science and participated in their eLab startup accelerator program.
Jake’s own grandparents were the inspiration behind Eversound. Jake founded a different kind of audio company, Party Headphones, which sells products for silent discos. But when his grandparents and other customers started requesting products for senior living, Jake explains, “we fully recognized the opportunity, [and] we dove right in!”
Product development was one of the biggest obstacles to starting his own business. Jake’s team had the product idea - specialized headphones - but he notes that, especially for seniors, “one of the major concerns in designing Eversound headphones has been simplification.” His team had to work to keep the product quality high while keeping the features easy to use. This simplification, Jake explains, is “one of the major reasons the seniors find success in using our products.”
Another challenge Jake had to solve on the road to entrepreneurial success was time management. His first company, Party Headphones, took off during Jake’s time at Cornell. Realizing its massive potential, he decided to take some time off from school. “I made sure to finish my degree a few years later, but growing a business is equivalent to multiple full-time jobs. If you’re dead-set on doing both, I recommend you get good at calendar management and saying no to parties.” He jokes, “you also may want to check in advance to make sure your health insurance covers therapy.”
How does he organize his time? A well-maintained to-do list!
Jake’s advice for GG volunteers applying to college is to remember that your interests and major will likely change - multiple times. “Find a school with a good reputation in multiple programs. [...] Don’t feel pressured to have your life laid out for you, because opportunities arise and those that claim to have it all planned out may actually not.”
Want to help out at GLTI on Saturday, November 21? Click here for more info and to sign up!
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