Nathaniel Victon, CEO, Sonic Electronix Inc.

Finalist — Distribution & Manufacturing

Sonic Electronix Inc. was founded in 2000 while Nathaniel Victor was still in high school in Bakersfield, Calif. Victor was passionate about car electronics and e-commerce. He felt his first shopping experience for his car stereo left a lot to be desired and turned that experience into an opportunity. Victor realized that in order to see success with e-commerce, he had to make people comfortable.

In 2003, Victor, CEO of the car electronics and Internet retailer, walked away from a full academic scholarship to purchase a dorm-style Northridge apartment because its proximity to warehouses in Los Angeles made fulfilling same-day orders easier. In those early days, he was met with great resistance from manufacturers and distributors when he first presented them with the idea that their products should be sold through his site. It got so bad that some manufacturers were unwilling to allow his customers to return merchandise to them when a warranty claim was needed.

Instead of discontinuing the sale of such products, Victor created an in-house warranty and testing facility that would support products from day one all the way through the stated manufacturer’s warranty period. This part of the business is one of the things that separates Sonic Electronix from the competition. The determination to present a compelling reason to shop with Sonic Electronix instead of the many competitors online led Victor to innovate beyond just selling items online. Sonic Electronix has taken a boutique, retail feel to e-commerce by presenting a compelling, informative view of the products, which will allow the company to retain its competitive advantage for years to come.

How to reach: Sonic Electronix Inc.,