Dolly and Phil Casper, a husband and wife team who are enrolled in the Master of Business Creation program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, are co-founders of STOHZ, a company devoted to making stowing your AirPods a lot easier.
Their product, called the STOHZ PIN, is a small, lightweight, AirPod holder that people can attach to themselves, like a magnetic nametag. This holder also uses strong magnets to secure the AirPods without the need for a lid. It’s designed to be a place where you can conveniently stow your AirPods while you’re on the go without having to hassle with a large, cumbersome case.
“We see our device working in several different environments such as gym-goers, travelers, businesspeople on the go, and busy college students who may need to quickly and continually transition between their sound and their surroundings,” Phil said. “We’ve even discussed the product with our middle-school-aged sons, whose friends think wearing STOHZ could be drip.”
The couple’s different professional and educational backgrounds make them an effective team for the launch of their new product: Phil having led teams and worked in sales for the last 10 years and Dolly with a master’s and Ph.D. in bioengineering (both degrees having come from the University of Utah). Dolly’s idea for STOHZ came from her constantly misplacing her AirPods because she didn’t have pockets. She also found the case cumbersome when trying to answer a call in time.
“Dolly’s a creative, and she’ll often come to me with her ideas, but I’m kind of a realist,” Phil said. “But this idea stuck out to me as one that could really go somewhere. That was probably a year before we got involved with MBC, and we sat on it for a while not really knowing where to go with it. Once MBC entered the picture, it provided the motivation, support, and resources to give our project the legs it needed.”
Dolly began with a variety of different prototypes, her first being a simple magnet to test the feasibility of the idea. From there, the Caspers have worked with product designers and tech professionals to develop what has eventually become their signature product. They have just launched their product on stohz.com. They did this while raising five boys and participating in the MBC program.
“The Master of Business Creation program lit a fire underneath us and gave us the courage needed to put forth the time and money necessary to get our company launched,” Dolly said. “The network and culture the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute has created is invaluable to learn from others who have been where we are and who are experts at what we need to do.” The Caspers are passionate that this program has removed significant barriers and decreased their risk and trepidation of starting a new venture and believe it can help anyone at any stage of their path.
That’s exactly what MBC program is designed to do: give a cohort of startup creators access to the knowledge and resources they need to develop and strengthen their business ideas, under the mentorship of seasoned entrepreneurs.
“Working on a developing business has a different energy, pace and sense of satisfaction than working a traditional 9-5 job. It’s so cool to create something that has a life of its own and didn’t exist before,” Dolly said.
Though the couple are new to the MBC program, Dolly has been involved with the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute for over 12 years and has a wealth of experience having helped launch startups with them during that time. Through these experiences, she’s become confident in the power that student entrepreneurial programs have to help create a real-world difference.
“It is an unparalleled opportunity students have at the University of Utah to become part of a founding team, and build a highly diverse skill set that will open doors and empower them both in traditional career paths, or their own entrepreneurial journey. There’s so much students can do to position themselves so they’re ready when opportunities arise,” Dolly said, while reflecting on her time with the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.
Learn more about STOHZ at stohz.com.