While hover boards similar to "Back to the Future" never arrived in 2015, there is an exciting development within the longboard community at Mississippi State University. Electrically Modified-Boards is one of the latest projects to receive funding through MSU’s E-Center. Called "EM-Boards" for short, the enterprise began in September 2017 with a singular goal: to innovate the longboard industry.
By using their patent-pending electromagnetic attachment system, riders can instantly lock and unlock themselves to the board with a handheld wireless remote-control. The team, made up of Brennan Bell, Landon Casey and Ethan Schultz, has utilized their knowledge of engineering and technology to achieve euphoric and miraculous results without a difficult learning curve.
Pressing down on the controller, riders lock themselves to the board, akin to that of snowboard bindings. To detach, they simply stop pressing down on the controller in order to either push against the ground or adjust their footing. Without the constant focus of balance, riding becomes easier and allows for higher speeds with precise control.
Their first product is designed to help several demographics in the longboard industry. It assists beginners by providing more stability on the board while they learn to ride. Advanced riders can perform otherwise impossible tricks by locking the board to their feet all while maintaining the ability to bail if needed.
The team is hosting an event at the E-Center to gauge the market and provide details about their product at 5 p.m. March 5.
Casey, CEO of EM-Boards, expressed his enthusiasm about the event.
"Hopefully we can get enough people there who are interested and excited about us,” Casey said. "If someone is interested in longboarding or wanting to learn more about longboarding, we want to see them."
The EM-Board team is currently working toward raising money to launch their business. With the help of the E-Center and Innovate Mississippi, they have raised over $17,000, and are looking to raise more from the Bulldog Angel Network. Their goal is to open their beta program before fall 2019, and launch the final product by the end of the year.
The EM-Board team is currently housed within MSU’s E-Center. The MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach was founded in 2009. Each year, they accept roughly 100 teams for their Venture Catalyst program to develop ideas into fully-fledged companies.
In late 2017, Bell, Casey and Schultz were selected to create their vision for the future of longboarding. Following countless trials and tribulations, they are finally close to achieving their goal of a finished product.
Eric Hill, the E-Center's director, offered acknowledgement of the team’s progress so far.
"The EM-Board team represents everything the E-Center is about and works to promote. These brilliant students took something they were passionate about, and they turned it into a significant line of products," Hill said. "While still in college, they are already becoming change-agents in the real marketplace. Their product makes it easy for new riders while transforming its potential, and that’s really cool."
EM-Boards wants to provide longboarders of all skill levels with a fun, secure and smooth experience at an affordable price.
Right now, they provide merchandise including hats and shirts through Starkville’s Idea Shop on Main Street. Learn more about EM-Boards by visiting their E-Center event on March 5 at 5 p.m., or visit their website at http://www.getemboards.com.