Seth Burgett, chairman and CEO, Yurbuds Sports Earphones Featured

8:03pm EDT June 30, 2012

FINALIST

The idea for Yurbuds Sport Earphones came when Seth Burgett was training for his first Ironman triathlon. He completed a six-hour workout each Saturday, and after one such workout, he realized his ears hurt from his earphones worse than his legs. He joined forces with co-founder Richard Daniels, a 24-time marathoner, to develop an ergonomic solution to earphones that hurt or fell out.

The duo partnered with audiologists and ergonomics experts to study the human ear and develop the product. This ultimately led to six different sizes consumers can purchase at specialty stores such as Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Online consumers can also send a picture of their ear to the company, which will send the exact size Yurbuds the next business day.

Burgett, chairman and CEO, is an independent thinker who is willing to take risks in the face of uncertainty. For example, Yurbuds’ first package did not show earphones but a picture of a face with “INSPIRE” written in red. This went against convention, but now others are copying the packaging, with retailers telling established brands they should look more like Yurbuds.

Burgett transfers his athletic mindset to the business. He founded the company’s annual Team Adventure Race that is now in its third year. In 2012, 12 members attended the four-hour race, which includes running, mountain biking and canoeing. The race encourages employees to live a healthy lifestyle and creates bonding opportunities within the company.

The company’s vision for the future is driven by three growth factors — Bluetooth; biomonitoring, which may include real-time monitoring and feedback of heart rate, blood sugar or oxygen level; and appcessories, the integration of earphones and apps on smartphones.

HOW TO REACH: Yurbuds Sport Earphones, www.yurbuds.com