ZUGU was born in 2010 when founder Tim Angel was looking at iPad cases and realized he was going to be faced with the same frustration he always had trying to prop up his iPhone. He knew a bigger screen meant a bigger problem and decided to do something about it.
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 most innovative adjustable iPad case with stand in the world. Since that day, he has been driven by the goal of creating a protective iPad case that strikes the perfect balance of function and aesthetics.
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 iPad cases that were exceptionally great. Then it hit him. It was at that moment Tim decided that there would be a new and superior iPad case on the market, and it would be made by him.
Tim always 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 finally created 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 his new iPad 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 new rugged iPad case.
Soon after all of this had happened, Tim’s best friend’s dad quickly noticed his passion, commitment, and dedication. He decided to invest and wrote a $70k check on a handshake and ZUGU was born.