CEA's Innovation Entrepreneurship Awards Program recognizes the contributions of individuals and small businesses in the consumer electronics (CE) industry that demonstrate innovation, dedication to the industry, community outreach, and the tenacity to persevere through business and economic challenges. These are our 2012 finalists.
2012 Small Business of the Year Finalists
Audio Video Interiors
In 1999, Michael Pope purchased Securitec, a custom AV installation company. It wasn’t until 2003 that Securitec Inc. formally changed its corporate name to Audio Video Interiors Inc. The team at Audio Video Interiors, led by Pope, has built a premier custom integration installation company in northern Ohio. The company specializes in the design and installation of customized low-voltage electronic systems for businesses and residences.
ecoATM, originally called reMobile, was founded in 2008 by Tom Tullie as an automated eCycling Station for eWaste recycling. Its automated kiosk buys back used cell phones, MP3 players, iPods, iPads and game media and provides cash or an in-store credit.The company incentivizes consumers to participate in reselling and recycling to cut down on CE eWaste.
GrandCare Systems integrates daily activities, telehealth monitoring, social networking, medication management and cognitive assists into a user-friendly touch-based system for seniors. Charlie Hillman, founder and CEO, originally created the system to help his great-aunt live independently. The system connects to the Internet allowing caregivers to communicate with their loved one.
iBiquity Digital Corp.’s HD Radio Technology helped to bring AM and FM radio into the digital 21st century. The technology enables broadcasters to offer new HD2/HD3 FM channels through multicasting, crystal-clear sound and data service on both the AM and FM bands all free, with no subscription fee. The mission of iBiquity Digital is to drive consumer mass adoption of HD Radio Technology worldwide through HD Radio-enabled products. It plans to build HD technology into smart phones and other mobile devices by year-end.
2012 Small Business Executive of the Year Finalists
Sandy Gross is co-founder of Polk Audio, Definitive Technology and his latest business, GoldenEar Technology. At Polk he was in charge of marketing and product concepts. In 1988, Gross left for a stint in Hollywood, then founded Definitive Technology in 1990. The company designed high-end models of center channels and surround sound speakers. He retired as president in 2009 and started his third loudspeaker company in 2010, GoldenEar Technology. Gross is often called upon by other entrepreneurs, in the early stages of developing their companies, for advice.
David Lorsch founded DBL Distributing, one of the most successful wholesale distributors of CE accessories. DBL’s original marketing strategy was to create a direct mail, wholesale catalog and mail it to independent CE retailers in 13 western states. By 1994, it was mailing to the entire country. In 2007, Lorsch sold the company to IngramMicro and today, DBL is the largest distributor of CE accessories in the U.S.
With a $10,000 loan, Jake Sigal combined two passions, engineering and music, and started Livio Radio in 2008. Today the company is a leader in the car Internet radio industry. The company has created customized radios for NPR and Pandora, an iPhone app to listen to Internet radio in the car, and Carmen, a physical product to listen to your radio and music in the car or anywhere with power.