ZUGU was founded in 2010 when Tim was looking at iPad cases and realized he was going to be faced with the same frustration he had with iPhones. At that time, cases were so difficult to prop up, and none of them took this issue seriously—they all just offered the same two angle folio that was very unstable.
As a young 25-year-old self-proclaimed inventor & entrepreneur looking to prove himself, he decided he would do whatever it took to create the best and most innovative case in the world by achieving the perfect balance of function and aesthetics.
Tim Angel & Son Karter
Head of Manufacturing
In late 2009, at the age of 25, Tim was let go from his full-time job within the family business due to his parent's divorce. Needing an income to pay his rent and personal debt, Tim faced a tough job market without even a high school diploma to stand on. He was hired at UPS earning $8 an hour, but on the drive home, he realized minimum wage was only going to get him one place—further in debt. So he immediately called them to quit.
Tim always dreamt of being an entrepreneur and decided it was time to act on it. Unsure where to start, he began searching both Craigslist and garage sales for furniture and home goods that he could resell to generate a profit. Unfortunately, it was not enough to pay the bills, so he moved out of his apartment and was living on the couches of family and friends.
Tim had always followed Apple and their products. He had been anticipating the arrival of the iPad, but while looking at the available accessories, he noticed an obvious gap. There were no cases that were exceptionally great. Then It hit him. It was at that moment, Tim decided that there would be top iPad case in the market, and it would be made by him.
Tim had a strong passion for inventing so creating an iPad case was a perfect fit. Over the course of several weeks of late-night brainstorming, Tim had created and finished a final prototype made out of paper board at 5 am one morning after working on it all night.
Despite his confidence in the design and functionality of the case, he still couldn’t find an investor to fund his idea. Taking matters into his own hands, he sold everything he owned; his TV, dirt bike, bed, speakers, etc.. He was able to pull together $6,000 from this, and on March 16, 2010, he bought a plane ticket to China for two months to source a manufacturer for his product.
Soon after all of this had happened, Tim’s best friends dad quickly noticed his passionate commitment and dedication. He decided to invest and wrote a $70k check on a handshake and ZUGU was born.