Champlain College student launches iPod accessories and earns best in show award

first_imgChamplain College business student and entrepreneur Ben Kaufman isn’t getting a lot of sleep these days. He’s exchanging late-night e-mails with manufacturers in China who are creating his newly announced products for the iPod.At age 19, Kaufman has just launched his second round of sleek iPod accessories and he’s flying high after returning from last week’s Macworld Expo in San Francisco, where his products were awarded “Best in Show in Innovation” from iLounge, a top Web site for iPod accessory reviews.”Just being at Macworld, facing off with so many multimillion dollar companies, has been as experience in itself, Kaufman said, Our products really spoke for themselves. Getting the Best of Show award, I was like – ‘could this get any better?'”Kaufman is the dreamer and designer behind the company he calls Mophie–named after his two dogs back home in Long Island. Since coming to Champlain College in August, he has set up shop in the Wing Building on Burlington’s waterfront. He has a dorm room on campus, but rarely sees it as he shuttles between his office and his business classes.”At Champlain, I’ve been taking practical business classes,” Kaufman said. “What’s really cool is that I’ll be sitting in my International Business class at four in the afternoon and then be on the phone that night with China to hash out real manufacturing issues.”Last week’s launch of Kaufman’s new products–the Relo line of iPod gear–and the notoriety gained at Macworld have created a whirlwind of activity. Distributors are calling in from everywhere from Nicaragua to New Zealand to get their hands on these colorful products that eliminate the distinction between iPod protection and function.Kaufman has just signed an agreement with Linckia of Williston, to do fulfillment, customer service and back office operations in an effort to better handle the demand. Kaufman has also recruited three Champlain College students to help him with graphic design, product illustration and Web programming, so he can concentrate on future product design.One more Vermont connection: Kaufman’s booth at Macworld was designed by Andres Arango at MacKenzie Architecture–also in the Wing Building in Burlington.To see Ben Kaufman’s new Relo products and his press releases, please visit: is external). Kaufman’s first product, called the Song Sling, was launched in summer 2005. It’s also found on the Mophie site.last_img

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