Like many great ideas, Catchbox was born out of something boring. As students, we found ourselves stuck in a particularly dull University Q&A session. The problem wasn’t the subject matter, but the process of passing the microphone from speaker to speaker. It was so clumsy and time-consuming that you could almost feel the entire room lose interest. Students who wanted to ask questions gave up and those who had been listening started to disengage. Surely there had to be a better way to get people talking?
After the lecture, the three of us started to think about how it might be done differently. Using foam toys, a Bluetooth headset and quite a lot of hot glue, we hastily put together a prototype for a microphone that could be thrown. The initial idea was to try and make participating in lectures a little bit easier but after putting the prototype to work at a larger event, we realised that it could do so much more. Our soft, cube-shaped microphone didn’t just speed up participation; it lightened the mood, broke the ice and encouraged people to speak up and feel confident when sharing their ideas.
From Prototype to Product: Bringing Catchbox to Life
Whilst we had a great idea (and even a handful of preorders), we were still a long way from transforming our vision into a finished product. For starters, we had no manufacturing experience or financial backing to start a business with. Yet the three of us were desperate to bring our idea to life. Faced with now-or-never, we decided to take the plunge and put everything we had into developing a manufacturable prototype.
This second prototype was followed by a successful crowdfunding campaign - which in turn gave us a real obligation to deliver on promises made to ourselves and our initial backers. After navigating quite a few hurdles and enduring many sleepless nights, we assembled our first 300 units, which were delivered to customers in the summer of 2014. What started as a big gamble on a great idea had transformed into a journey to create the world's first throwable engagement microphone - Catchbox!
A Commitment to Quality
We’ve come a long way since those early days, but at the core of what we do is a commitment to making great products. Since the first prototypes, we’ve squeezed, dropped and thrown our products thousands of times to ensure that you can too. We subject every Catchbox component - be it sensors from America or magnets from Germany - to rigorously high standards. We are incredibly passionate about what we do, so we only work with the leading suppliers and manufacturing methods to ensure the best quality end product.
The first Catchbox was put together in a dimly-lit basement by the three of us and a few friends from University. These days, we employ a skilled team of engineers, printing, sewing and assembly staff, as well as customer support, sales and marketing specialists, all working from our European factory and shipping centre in Riga, Latvia. Though we’ve grown quite substantially since our basement days, we remain firmly committed to collaboration and a tight-knit team ethic. Keeping everything ‘in-house’ at our HQ creates an environment ripe for innovation and new ideas. We regularly see amazing ideas and developments emerge over a cup of coffee or cross-department catchup!
In many ways, human beings are better connected than ever before. At the same time, we find ourselves increasingly distracted, disengaged or disinterested with what’s happening around us. This problem is becoming a major concern across the world for businesses, schools and universities - institutions which depend upon cooperation, interaction and discussion amongst individuals.
Catchbox empowers engagement through meaningful participation. By adding a unique fun factor without diminishing the importance of the topic, our products allow everyone to unleash their creativity and feel at ease throwing bright ideas into the room. Our aim is to make participation something everybody is comfortable with; to make asking a question to a packed out conference or lecture hall no more stressful than chatting with the person sitting next to you. By breaking down barriers to engagement, Catchbox can help you transform your organization into an environment where ideas can thrive.