Brandyn Armstrong is not your average 24-year-old. In fact, the young inventor has the potential to turn the music industry upside down with his product, the Studio Stick, a portable recording studio coupled with a mobile app.

Brandyn is also part of JumpStart’s Core City: Cleveland Impact program, an intensive business assistance program designed to support the development and growth of businesses located within some of Cleveland’s most underserved neighborhoods.

We recently had an opportunity to chat with Brandyn about the inspiration behind Studio Stick, the challenges he has faced along the way and the plans he has for the future of his product.

What inspired you to create Studio Stick? Where did the idea come from?
Well, I’m actually a musician myself. I wanted to record a song, but I didn’t have access to any recording studios. I thought something portable would be cool— it would solve my problem and the problem of many other artists and musicians. About two days after I thought of the idea, I heard of a business competition at my school, Cleveland State. I won $1,500 there, and ever since then I have been putting Studio Stick in motion.

What market niche does Studio Stick fill and what are your future plans for the product?
The Studio Stick solves the problem of having to wait to go to a recording studio, and it also solves the problem of the high costs associated with a studio. The Studio Stick allows users to capture their ideas and their songs as soon as they are inspired. It also allows them to capture them at an affordable price.

We plan to launch by the end of this year, and we plan to continue upgrading the Studio Stick.  We also want to continue to add to our mobile application to make it more efficient for the user. We want to have a database where you can go in and buy instrumentals and producers can sell to the musician. I’ve also been speaking to other potential partners and I’m trying to set it up where we could have completed songs automatically mixed by computer generated algorithms, making it more efficient to record.

How did you connect with JumpStart’s Core City: Cleveland program and what do you think so far? Have there been any surprises?
I met Lamont Mackley at a JumpStart event, and we have stayed in touch ever since. It grew from there. Overall, I’ve been loving the program. I’ve been learning a lot, and the mentorship with Lamont has been great. I can call him and ask him anything at any time. I’ve also been utilizing the office space in the back, so I get a lot out of just being around like-minded people. I guess the surprise has been the awesome people I’ve been able to surround myself with since I’ve been here.

Are there any unique challenges you feel you’ve had to face as an African American entrepreneur?  
As an African American, there have been many challenges as a youth, especially living in an environment of poverty in East Cleveland. A lot of negative things go on around us. Just making my way to avoid the negative situations was a challenge I had to overcome.

As an African American, I do believe that sometimes I have to work two times harder to get where I need to go. But I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t like challenges.

We ask all the entrepreneurs we speak with to give us examples of failure or setbacks they experienced. Anything come to mind for you?
I’ve had a couple, but I really don’t believe that failures are really failures. I believe that failures are part of the journey to success. I believe that failures teach you more than they bring you down, it just depends on how you look at it. So, the next time you have a failure, don’t look at is as a failure, look at it as a part of the path to success.

Watch Brandyn’s elevator pitch for Studio Stick below. To learn more about the Core City: Cleveland program, click here.

Gloria Ware
Gloria leads the KeyBank Center for Technology, Innovation and Inclusive Growth, a component of the KeyBank Boost & Build program, designed specifically to accelerate the success of women and minorities as entrepreneurs of high growth firms.

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