the pitch: Mark Feuerborn & Kaleb Marconette
the entrepreneurs Mark Feuerborn Sophomore, Washburn University
Kaleb Marconette Senior, Washburn University
"I've used one of my cigar box guitars to record with my band, Buyer Beware, and the audio engineer was intrigued with the sound."- Mark Feuerborn
How did you come up with the idea? Cigar box guitars have been around since the Civil War era, but have never really seen much recognition. It’s fairly strange, because artists like B.B. King grew up playing cigar box guitars before they moved on to regular guitars. I remember seeing cigar box guitars in the hands of Paul McCartney and Johnny Depp before, and I had absolutely no idea what instrument they were holding. I remember wondering if it was some kind of ukulele offshoot.
I developed an interest in them, but it seemed somewhat difficult to find a music store that sold them. I decided to try my hand at building one, and that’s where I got the idea to create custom made cigar box guitars for the public.
What was the most difficult part of designing your product? The most difficult part of making cigar box guitars deals with acoustics. Most of our models are acousticelectric hybrids. They function both ways, so we need to make sure they have a good natural sound to them. Every little detail and part we assemble plays a factor in determining how the instrument will sound, so we wanted to make sure we were designing these guitars for the best possible sound while still allowing the customer to have input in the design.
Do you plan to patent, produce and sell your product? We are now accepting orders for custom cigar box guitars and have already made some sales.
Who inspires you? Elon Musk. The man has developed a fantastic fully electric car, pioneered privatized space transportation, and cofounded PayPal! I have the upmost respect for him because he’s working hard and making strides in the best kind of business: the advancement of mankind. The icing on the cake is his charity work, as his Musk Foundation donates solar power systems to areas affected by disasters such as hurricanes. He also serves as a trustee of the X-Prize Foundation, supporting competitions to promote advances in clean energy technology.
(Responses from Mark Feuerborn)