Idea Turns into Invention with Help of Penn State REV-UP Center
More than a decade ago, Wayne Frick was struck with an idea for an invention, an idea that always lingered in his mind. He enjoyed listening to the sound of birds at his birdfeeders, but as the weather got colder, he couldn’t have the windows open. It would be great to be able to hear the birds from inside, he thought.
There was nothing on the market that quite fit the bill, though; wired speakers were too cumbersome, and, at that point, wireless technology was unreliable. Frick had to put the idea on hold, but the seed for Chirpsounds had been planted.
The pieces started coming together, but Frick needed help solidifying his vision. He reached out to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s SCORE program, a network of volunteers who help mentor prospective entrepreneurs. As the SCORE members helped Frick refine his idea, they directed him to Penn State Great Valley’s REV-UP Center for Entrepreneurship.
As he began to work with REV-UP, his vision for Chirpsounds became clearer. One of his biggest sources of support was Leo Daiuto, REV-UP’s entrepreneur-in-residence, who helped Frick develop some of the more technical aspects of Chirpsounds. “He helped me get clarity and guided my thinking in a lot of areas.”
Daiuto encouraged Frick to participate in Lion Cage, Penn State Great Valley’s annual entrepreneurial pitch competition. The “Shark Tank”-style event has participants present their ideas to a panel of judges, who then ask questions and provide feedback. The top three finalists receive cash prizes.
He came in third and earned his first revenue for Chirpsounds.
Since Lion Cage, Chirpsounds has made some key strides. Frick doesn’t have a launch date set, but Chirpsounds is close to becoming a reality, thanks to support from friends and family. REV-UP has provided invaluable help with numerous aspects.
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