SmithsonMartin's touch-screen DJ system, Emulator Elite

Photo courtesy SmithsonMartin

From the Digital Media Zone to Dragons’ Den

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By Julia Knope

SmithsonMartin, a Digital Media Zone (DMZ) startup, said goodbye to old-school turntables and hoped Dragons’ Den investors would say hello to their touch-screen DJ system Emulator Elite.

SmithsonMartin aired on Dragons’ Den Nov. 19, where they pitched the Emulator Elite.

The nobs and volumes of classic DJ systems were replaced in this company’s modern software, creating a finished product that is a translucent touch screen. Alan Smithson, co-founder and CEO of SmithsonMartin, described the Emulator Elite as a visual representation of what audio is doing.

“Anyone can go out and buy turntables and CDJs,” said tech-supporter Andrej Patrman. “It’s like an exclusive club.”

The company received $2.3 million of sales in three years, which intrigued the dragons. As well, American Idol DJ, Cory Live, Flo Rida and Linkin Park have used the Emulator Elite.

The company asked for $500,000 for 10 per cent of their company.

Every dragon, except Vikram Vij, gave SmithsonMartin an offer. The dragons offered $500,000 for 33 per cent of ownership.

The team agreed with this offer. However, the team was not able to go through with the deal.

“You have to wait six months before [the episode] airs which is so funny because so many of the companies that are filming can’t wait six months for things to happen,” said Julie Smithson, co-founder of the product.

That would have meant freezing their progress 6 months ago when the audition and taping of the show actually took place.

“Because we had started to talk with another investor we actually didn’t end up going through with the deal on Dragons’ Den,”

“There were no hard feelings,” said Julie Smithson, co-founder of the product. “Unfortunately they couldn’t commit to the deal within a time frame that our company needed to keep going.”

Since the taping, the team merged with a new partner and produced 100 Emulator Elites, selling each of them at $15,500.

Patrman and Smithson, along with members Alan Smithson, Pablo Martin and Harvit Gill, applied for the DMZ in 2013 after realizing they needed help finding an investor for their company.

“The DMZ provided you the tools to go out and find your legal guide, find your insurance guide, make sure you’re incorporated [and] work through your challenges that you’re facing on a monthly basis,” Julie said.

Agreeing with Julie, Gill said that the DMZ provided a good environment for the team to work in.

“The DMZ is a great place to collaborate,” he said. “It’s this community here.”

Other features of this portable system include an indestructible case, a HD projector and a Mac-mini onboard computer.

Although they couldn’t reveal what, the team plans to keep “working on things.” They are also going to start promoting the artists whose music they work with.

“We’re going to start putting bio’s on our website to give them the focus and attention they deserve and help them in their careers,” Gill said.

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