Protean is a reactive, open API RGB Tenkeyless mechanical gaming keyboard that allows each key to be completely customised by you.
Briefly explain your business/business concept and the problem it aims to solve:
Protean is a reactive, open API RGB Tenkeyless mechanical gaming keyboard that allows each key to be completely customised by you. Be empowered to create your own unique interface, modifying key layout and function for any scenario. In-game events generate real-time visual feedback through programmable adaptive keys. With Protean we can drastically reduce learning curves for software applications and games. You can display shortcuts directly on your keyboard to seamlessly execute functions or prompts.
How did you come up with this idea?
I spend a lot of time on different games, software programs, even typing in different languages. I realised my peripherals weren’t helping me stay on top of this, to perfect rotations, adjust to ever changing game dynamics, and left my skills suffering whenever I was out of flow. I wanted peripherals that worked with me, changed with me and improved me, and I wanted that for every gamer and PC power user.
What stage is your business currently at, and what are your plans moving forward?
We have successfully finished the third prototype and are gearing up for a Kickstarter campaign. The concept is working really well and we can showcase game integration as well as integration with software programs. There is still a long way to go regarding the software and quality testing of the keyboard at mass production, but we are confident once we secure funding that we will be able to deliver on this by summer 2017. Beyond that, we aim to design and manufacture an array of peripherals aimed at providing each user with their own personal experience able to interact with their PC in their own way.
What do you feel are your three biggest successes with your business so far?
Well we could just say all three prototypes, as each one took time and effort to build and improve each step of the way. Each had a myriad of issues, but once overcome, we found ourselves in a better position than before. In addition to that, building a team that is so passionate and committed to the project, and that is capable and willing to deliver this to the end. Finally and possibly most importantly would be the reaction we see on gamers faces when they see Protean in action. It never ceases to amaze us and always spurs us on further.
How has being a student at City helped you to develop your idea?
Developing the business, especially those with complex products requires the expertise from diverse backgrounds to bring a project to fruition. City, University of London provided us with the access to great programmers and product developers who are part of our team. In addition to that, CityStarters played a key role in providing necessary training, networking opportunities and initial funding to keep us going with our idea.
What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurial students at City?
Bridging the gap from the idea stage to the final product is quite challenging and requires not just lots of hard work with the right people, but also targeted effort. It all comes down to just doing it rather than simply talking about it. At the end of the day, with a great team, hard work and commitment, this gap disappears and the progress made makes you feel amazing.
If you are seeking help or investment - let us know what you need to help your business grow?
We continue to seek funding to push our project through the final stage and into mass production.