TurtleCell, creator of the first protective case for the iPhone 5 and 5s with retractable headphones, graduated from its incubator space in SPARK Central to a new office in Ann Arbor, Michigan
The company developed the first case of its kind with premium, in-ear headphones built into the case. The headphones can be extended to any length for convenient, on-the-go listening. When finished, the headphones are easily retracted by pressing a button on the side of the case.
TurtleCell said its new offices, located in Kerrytown, offers the space it needs to continue to hire and grow. The company expects to add three more employees by the end of July and is looking to have a total workforce of 10 to 15 in the next 12 months. Specifically, the company is looking for talented engineers, product designers, creative marketers with technical skills and project managers.
"TurtleCell is a prime example of how, when offered the right ecosystem and support, young talent will choose to stay in the Ann Arbor region, and create jobs here," said Paul Krutko, President/CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. "TurtleCell is also an example of how innovation is about finding a solution to a common problem – in this instance, tangled headphones. This young company shows that this region has the elements in place to nurture a business from its earliest days to it bringing a game-changing technology to market. It's amazing to have seen TurtleCell startup, graduate from the university setting, tap in to local and statewide resources and achieve success, all from the SPARK Central incubator."
Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction and retention, supported TurtleCell through a range of entrepreneurial services. Not only was the company incubated at SPARK Central, Ann Arbor SPARK helped it refine its business plan and pitch, ultimately helping the company become better positioned to win the "People's Choice" award at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. TurtleCell has also been able to raise more than $350,000 in seed funding.
"Before Paul and I brought TurtleCell to Ann Arbor SPARK, we knew that we were missing something," said TurtleCell Co-founder Nick Turnbull. "We always felt that Ann Arbor had the talent we were looking for, but we didn't have a way to utilize it. SPARK was the bridge that connected TurtleCell to our great community. This connection led to us finding our third partner, Jeremy, and numerous other organizations, some of which were funded for us through Ann Arbor SPARK's business accelerator grants
. We know that SPARK has been instrumental in our success up to this point."
Prior to SPARK Central, TurtleCell, which was founded by graduates from the University of Michigan, was incubated at TechArb.