It was just another day at the office for 26-year-old Nhia Moua, except for the Fresno State grad and entrepreneur, the office is anywhere he is developing his next big idea.
"Carbonforce we started back in fall 2012. I knew it was my last semester here at Fresno state, so I knew I wanted to do something different," Moua said
Moua started sketching, brainstorming, and researching the concept of a case that not only protects your phone but is also functional. Moua and his team of engineers created what they call "the world's first authentic carbon fiber bottle opener case for the iPhone 5."
Action News Reporter: "That's what's ironic about this phone case. You don't drink."
Moua: "I don't drink beer or anything like that. Which is funny."
But that doesn't make Moua any less passionate about his product.
"Ten times stronger than steel, five times lighter it takes a lot of commitment and it takes a lot of drive to get something from paper to an actual physical product or prototype," Moua said.
A local machine shop donated the time and equipment, allowing Moua to create the prototype, and present it to potential backers. That is where the crowd funding website Kickstarter comes in. Twenty-four backers have committed to $1,082 out of a pledge goal of $12,000, which leaves only 13 days before they can move into the production phase.
Incentives for those who pledge $40 or more include your very own Carbonforce Case. Moua's former professor Nelson Sebra, himself an entrepreneur, says Kickstarter has turned the startup business model around.
"It's the new wave. Be creative, do something on your own, and support yourself and create your own opportunities, Kickstarter gives a place where you can find money like Nhia's looking for," Sebra said.
Moua hopes he will soon be toasting to his success.