By Chuck Crumbo
Published Sept. 23, 2015
(From Sept. 14 issue of Columbia Regional Business Report)
At first glance, Anthony Nedd’s Rooster Booster doesn’t seem to have much to crow about.
From outward appearances, the contraption is just two yellow cables with orange and black clamps extending from a black tool box.
Inside the box, though, is the “secret sauce,” Nedd said.
|Anthony Nedd said he came up with the idea for his Rooster Booster battery charger while working on another project. (Photo/Chuck Crumbo)|
“This idea came to me – like a lot of good ideas – when I was working on something else,” Nedd said during a recent pitch about his company at 1 Million Cups Columbia. Backed by the Kauffman Foundation, 1 Million Cups is a weekly gathering at Cromer’s P-Nuts, where local entrepreneurs discuss the challenges and issues of launching a business.
Nedd, a Navy veteran, describes the Rooster Booster as “advanced technology to store and release energy from the (car) alternator.”
He declines to offer more details other than to say it’s solid state and that he has applied for a patent. But he serves up a number of advantages to the technology:
• Solid state technology offers a number of advantages over conventional batteries including the fact that won’t get hot or possibly catch fire.
• The Rooster Booster can be charged with a solar panel small enough to be placed on top of the dashboard, he added. And the technology won’t lose its charge until it’s used again.
• The light-weight technology can be configured into a small enough encasement to slide under a car seat.
• It also tends to have a very long shelf life. “I can use this 100,000 times,” Nedd said. “The switches will wear out before it does.”
Nedd said he had been working on the project for some time but didn’t give it a real-world test until one morning when his car wouldn’t start.
“I left the dome light on in my car and killed the battery overnight,” he said.
Nedd first used a conventional battery charger that required it to be charged by plugging it into a wall socket. “I hooked it up and after about an hour, the green light came on but it didn’t work,” Nedd said.
Nedd then remembered he had a “toy” that he had been playing with for a couple of months. “I hooked it up to my car and it worked instantly.”
The Rooster Booster that he showed at the 1 Million Cups gathering was the fourth iteration. He plans to make further refinements such as adding an on-off switch, a polarity detector, and a power meter.
Nedd incorporated his company, Rooster Booster LLC, with the S.C. Secretary of State on April 1. Now, he’s in the process of putting together a business plan and finding a company to manufacture the technology.
“I’ve only been in business a few months,” Nedd said. “I know the technical side. The business side – the legal, financial, sales – that’s where my big learning curve is.”
Tentatively, Nedd expects to sell his product for between $65 and $75, making it competitive with conventional battery chargers that range from about $35 to $400.
For now, Nedd said he’s taking his time to refine his product before pushing it out to market.
“I want to make sure it’s rock solid,” Nedd said. “I don’t want you to buy something that doesn’t work.
“If it has my name on it, it should work.”
Sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation’s Entrepreneurship.org, 1 Million Cups meets at 9 a.m. Wednesdays at Cromer’s P-Nuts, 1700 Huger St. For more information, check the group’s website at http://columbiasc.sites.1millioncups.com.