What: Developer and manufacturer of innovative gaming accessories
Who: Michael Epstein and Nathan Newman of eDimensional
Where: West Palm Beach, Florida
When: Started in 2000
Startup costs: $500
Michael Epstein and Nathan Newman, both 28, started eDimensional, their gaming accessories company, when they were just college students. Armed with credit cards and backgrounds in IT management, the two friends set about realizing their entrepreneurial dreams to make video games as realistic as possible using 3-D technology.Focusing on computer gaming, they found a supplier of 3-D medical imaging glasses and began buying wholesale. A software contractor helped them develop a program to make their glasses compatible with PC games, and they sold it packaged with the glasses on their website (www.edimensional.com).
By purchasing their initial stock in small amounts, they kept overhead costs down. "We worked on small margins, buying very small quantities and using any connections we had [from] growing up in the area," Epstein says. Those connections included a fellow student, who designed their site for free.Sales began to take off after their product generated favorable reviews on gaming websites. "[The websites] started talking about how 3-D glasses made flight simulators much more realistic," Epstein says. "It was like they started jumping on it overnight." That led to eDimensional partnering with different gaming sites, trading a percentage of sales for ad space. Now the company is planning on expanding its retail presence and adding more products to its line, with 2007 sales projected at $5 million