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Notre Dame sophomore weighs in on business venture, accessible phone chargers

| Monday, October 2, 2017

Sophomore Jack Kane is looking to carve out a niche in the tech industry with his company iGadget Technology.

Kane, who transferred to Notre Dame this year, said he started iGadget earlier this year because he noticed chargers break easily and are expensive to replace.

“iGadget is meant to market quality product at a college level price,” Kane said.

Having previously worked for Verizon, which gave him the necessary connections and experience, Kane said he negotiated a licensing deal with Apple and then partnered with a manufacturer to make the product. iGadget now sells Apple-certified chargers, he said.

“That’s the difference between our product and the one you buy at a gas station, the certification,” Kane said.

The chargers come in two colors, cost $20 and come with a one-year warranty.

Kane said he hopes to fit into the niche market on college campuses and cater to the students’ needs.

“A good business idea comes from understanding a lapse in the market and exploiting that opportunity,” he said.

iGadget’s business strategy is centered around the student experience, Kane said. Not only does the company market to students, but Kane said it also utilizes students as salespeople because of the connections they can make on campus.

“A salesperson’s job isn’t to convince you to buy a product,” he said. “It is to convince you to trust them. When the person trying to sell you the product is you best friend, or roommate or even just someone you know from class, that trust is already there.”

Kane said he looks for salespeople who are involved in different circles on campus — such as Student Government, athletics and extracurricular clubs — in order to reach a wide range of students. Students who work as salespeople work on commission.

“It’s really cool to see when people realize that they can make money on this with minimal effort,” he said. “Even if you’re selling to friends and family and you sell three or four chargers, all of the sudden you made 30 bucks or so and it took you no effort at all.”

Alex Deberghes — a sophomore at Elon University, where he and Kane founded the company — said iGadget emphasizes the role of people and relationships.

“We’re a company aimed mostly around people,” Deberghes said. “We’re based around people making connections.”

iGadget is currently on 16 college campuses, such as Notre Dame and Arizona State University, and is always looking to expand, Kane added. 

“Anywhere where the student body has a strong sense of community is great,” Kane said. “A large student population to sell to is important, but it’s not the only prerequisite.”

Deberghes said iGadget is always looking for opportunities to grow.

“We just want to keep finding schools and getting our name out,” Deberghes said. “We like to get as many people on board as we can.”

For students interested in buying chargers or joining the iGadget team, Kane said he can be reached through his Instagram page, @iamjackkane.

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