Robert Herr and Dan Friedman were both looking for a dare to be great situation when they met their second year at Santa Barbara City College. Both were ambitious, and both were looking for something to start and grow into a business. They became engaged with the SBCC Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, learning from experienced entrepreneurs and benefiting from entrepreneurial programs. From the education they received, Robert and Dan founded FuelBox, a consumer electronics development company. Now nearly three years later, the company is on the verge of launching its first product.
“Since I was a little kid, I knew I wanted to be an inventor,” said Robert Herr, co-founder and chief executive officer for FuelBox. “I was always tinkering with things. I liked to take computers apart and was interested in finding out how things worked, and why they existed. I was really curious when I was young, and that just never stopped. As I grew older, I knew I wanted to pursue invention as a business, and with my life.”
For both, the decision to attend Santa Barbara City College was based on affordability and access to resources. “Growing up, I felt that I wanted to go to college,” said Dan Friedman, co-founder and chief marketing officer for FuelBox. “But coming out of high school, I just did not feel mentally prepared to go to a four-year university. I was not ready to pick a major right away, and needed time to figure out what it was that I wanted to do with my life. City College was the perfect place for me to dip my toe in the water, and figure out what inspired me.”
During their time at SBCC, Robert and Dan utilized many resources in the development of their company including asking teachers for help with their first patent, and how to develop their company into a brand. “There are so many challenges that go along with making a tangible product,” said Robert. “Dan and I utilized several resources on campus that prepared us to build our business, and now, two years later, we have raised seed capital, hit major milestones, and are moving forward with retail distribution and production.”
Robert and Dan believe Santa Barbara is becoming the next tech hub of California, and find the creativity in this community very inspiring. They are set to launch their first product this summer. The FuelBox powerStation is a redesigned outlet with charging cords for every different type of device built in. It also has a mobile battery with the same cord system built in so wherever you go, no matter what device you have, you always have access to power. They have many products in development, and hope to continue to release the highest quality items available on the market today.
“We started FuelBox in a classroom on the City College campus less than three years ago,” said Dan. “Today, we are a multi-million dollar company. We would not be here without City College, and for that, we will always be grateful.”
Learn more about FuelBox at myfuelbox.com. Look out for the FuelBox powerStation coming this summer to The Home Shopping Network and other major retail stores! For more information about FuelBox or its products, please contact Dan Friedman at Dan.Friedman@myfuelbox.com.
Author: Jessica Tade