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What do you do if you're a musician and you want to practise singing at home in your flat without disturbing your neighbours? Why, you develop a portable song studio with professional sound quality of course! At least if your name is Philip Olsson. His product Isovox is now launched on the market while he's balancing his education, the business and music.
Philip Olsson is a second year student in the Innovation Engineering programme at Halmstad University. For many years, music has been his main interest. He plays in two different bands as a guitar player and singer and also works as a sound technician. The idea to develop a studio for home use came to him a few years ago, when he lived in a flat in Stockholm.
– I couldn't practise at home and I couldn't find a product in the market that solved the problem. So I decided to come up with my own solution. I usually get very involved in my projects, so it didn't take long before I was planning to take the project all the way, from idea to market, says Philip Olsson.
At first it was simply about finding a way to isolate the sound, but fairly quickly new functions and finesses were added, such as the possibility of making professional recordings with an Iphone.
– It started with a box on the head which was isolated with pillows, but developed into a professional vocal booth where you can do almost anything like in a professional studio. Technically it's been tricky to optimise shape and acoustics. The studio has to work in a home environment when it comes to size, portability and design, but at the same time be technically advanced. It's also been a lot of work with design protection, brand registration and patent application, says Philip.
But with the last part he's had some help from Halmstad University. For Philip, the Innovation Engineering programme was close at hand, as it fitted with his plans to produce a commercially viable product.
– Music is very important to me, but the education is perfect as I get to create what's in my head. It's sort of the same as with music. The programme was a good match with what I wanted and it was natural to choose an education with a focus on entrepreneurship and product development, says Philip.
– But it's a challenge in itself making school work alongside working with the business. However, the University is very good at supporting students who have ideas to develop them further, and provide them with the conditions to complete their studies as frictionless as possible, he continues.
Since eight months, he's also tied to the University's incubator activities for students who want to develop new businesses. There he has help from business developers and other experts, who offer advice and support in different areas of business.
So far it's all gone very well. The studio is already for sale in ten shops, from Stockholm in the north to Helsingborg in the south. It also recentely started selling in Germany, through Europe's largest internet shop for music products.
Philip Olsson feels that the biggest challenge right now is to reach out with his marketing, without having a large budget. But he's not really that worried about the future.
– There should be a great interest considering how many people dream about becoming artists through different TV shows. Now everyone can develop as singers much more easily. In the future, I want everyone to be able to sing as loud as they want at home, any time of day, without disturbing the neighbours!
The programme was a good match with what I wanted and it was natural to choose an education with a focus on entrepreneurship and product development.