• 05-27-2010

    Dare Music: from bootstrap to going global

    Thursday, May 27, 2010, 10:23am CDT | Austin Business Journal - by Sandra Zaragoza Staff Writer


    Dare Music: from bootstrap to going global


    Dare Music Group, an Austin-based maker of a new device for guitars, has signed a distribution agreement with D’Addario & Co. that will place its products on shelves around the world.

    Dare's O-Port product —a patented device placed inside an acoustic guitar — is a plastic, non-electric tool that alters the air flow in and out of a guitar to achieve better quality and louder sound, according to the company. Under the distribution agreement, D’Addario & Co., which manufacturers a line of accessories under its Planet Waves brand, is placing the product in stores in 120 countries.

    “We are going to be in every Guitar Center, Sam Ash [Music Stores], all the major guitar retailers,” said Dare CEO Raymond McGlamery said. McGlamery did not release the details of the distribution agreement. In addition to better sound, the product being widely marketed to acoustic guitarists helps eliminate feedback for instruments using amplifiers, he said. The O-Port is self installed and fits in any acoustic guitar, regardless of make or model, according to Dare.

    The suggested price of the O-Port is $29.95.

    Dare Music Group’s five partners, which started the company about 2007, ran into obstacles finding financing and decided to bootstrap the company. It now has one major investor.

    McGlamery chose to locate the company in Austin because he went the college here and Texas has a friendly business climate.

    “Being the Live Music Capital of the World, it felt like the perfect thing to do, to build the company here,” McGlamery said.

    Dare introduced O-Port at Music Messe Fair in Frankfurt Germany, the biggest music accessory fair in the world, and immediately received orders from 12 countries. It began manufacturing the product in China soon after, and at the end of last year it was selling O-Port in about 18 countries.

    In the meantime, company executives showed the product at Summer National Association of Music Merchants, where it caught D’Addario’s attention.

    “Now our first shipment of D’Addario Planet Waves product is in the water headed this way,” McGlamery said, adding that the shipment contains 18,000 units. “We are fully established in terms of distributorship.”

    The O-Port is a heavily patented product in the United States, as well as eight other international territories, he said.

    “No one else can come in and make another O-Port. We pretty much have the market cornered,” he said.

    While the first shipment of the devices is heading to stores, the company has already racked up good early reviews from international guitar publications.

    One of the biggest challenge for the company is educating prospective customers about the O-Port, which it’s addressing through how-to videos and marketing materials.

    “There’s this little moment in time, where people sort of say ‘Do I need that?’. Once they put one in their guitar, they say ‘Well, I didn’t know I needed one until now’,” he said.

    http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/related_content.html?topic=Dare Music Group

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