I’m in a new city, walking down a busy street and out comes the app’s map with that little blue dot supposedly tracking my exact location.
The battery symbol flashes red and there’s about two minutes of battery life left. Looks like I actually have to talk to someone now, otherwise I’m officially lost. We’ve all been in this situation before. Or maybe just me, an over-dependent traveler who relies on her all-functioning mobile phone. But, unless you’re super organized, I’m sure there’s been times of need when the battery life hasn’t pulled through.
Let’s look at Marcelo Alejandro Rioja. He was born and raised in Bolivia. He moved North to a new continent and began studying at UCLA. He knows the feelings of being in a new city. However, fortunately for him, he also knows how to talk to people on the street. And better than that, he knows how to leave a good impression. In fact that’s where his success began. He has more to him than Bolivian background. He is also the CEO and co-founder of Flux Chargers, a portable charger for iPhone, Android and USB-C laptops.
In the summer of 2015 he began selling his product on the streets of Santa Monica. Just 18 months later and this same product is now available in over 80 countries, bringing in $100K a month. That’s more countries than I will probably ever visit in my lifetime. Looking back on it, in an interview with Startup Savanta, Rioja includes it starting out on the streets as one of his favorite moments:
“Regarding Flux, I actually have two favorite moments. One of them is during the early days of the company when I used to go to streets in Santa Monica to sell my product face-to-face. Being exposed to raw customer feedback at the beach was a great learning exercise (and a very tough one, too). There was nothing more fulfilling than starting a conversation with a complete stranger and closing a deal while pulling out my Square reader.”
It makes sense that even on the street, Flux Chargers are going to sell. According to Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of Americans are now smartphone owners. Many rely on this device for any access into the online world.
The Flux Charger comes with two options – the Flux Charger with 4,000 mAh, input capacity of 5V or 1.5A, an output capacity of 5V or 1 and 2.1 A and as thin as an iPhone 4.
Then there’s the Flux Charger Plus with 10,000 mAH, the same voltage input and output and as thin as an iPhone 7. The Plus has a small current regulator that detects the type of phone, tablet or gadget that you can plug in and deliver the right amount of current to charge it as efficiently as possible.
With versatility across mobile devices, it is well on its way to becoming a universal cell phone charger. It fits the criteria for a tech-dependent traveler and geek like me — and I’m going to say, almost anyone using a mobile phone.
You can just slip it in your pocket and have it ready for whenever you need to add someone’s number. There’s no need to worry about it heating up your jeans or bag. The Flux Portable Charger has temperature control as well as input and output over-voltage protection as well as short circuit protect and overcharge and over-discharge protection. And to get a little more technical, it is completely safe as all the products are FCC, CE and RoHS certified.
Jacinta Spies is a Journalism and International Relations student at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia. She currently enjoys writing about technology as she travels throughout South America, immersing herself in the culture.