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Meet Guadalajara gadget entrepreneur – Jaltechs’ Daisaku Palacios

This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)

Contxto – Not long ago, I interviewed one of the co-founders of a budding Guadalajara tech enterprise, Jaltechs. After my conversation with Daisaku Palacios, it became apparent that this entrepreneur has some clever ideas up his sleeves.

Continue reading to learn more about Jaltechs.

Who is Daisaku Palacios?

D: I’m the co-founder of Jaltechs with Luis Hermida. We founded the company on October 1, 2018. That’s the signature date, but we’ve had ideas since March of last year. At first, we started operating without the company but decided to create a business. We are 50-50 in the partnership.

How did you originally get involved in this business?

D: Both Luis and I really love technology. Personally, I started buying technology that I thought was cool and traded the devices on my own accord. I sold drones, phone cases, cables, pop-sockets, gaming things for cell phones, auxiliary cables, televisions, etc. That’s how I’ve been gathering capital to run the company.

What was your original motivation or problem you were trying to solve?

D: Technology in Mexico is very expensive, and when it’s cheap, it’s often poor quality. In that sense, we are looking to get the best quality at a global level with very competitive prices. We try to position ourselves to be a producer and provider of good technology in the region.

In terms of issues, a large problem tends to be cellphone memory. Besides having these tools already available on the market, more than 100GB of memory still runs out quickly. That’s why we produced our own USB. That’s to say, they are memory cards that connect to all devices. These memory cards are called JDisk. Soon enough, we had enough capital to reinvest, so we also launched the line of JVibes waterproof wireless headphones.

What are the USBs like? And what about these headphones?

D: Right now, we have two types of USB. These include the 3-in-1 and the 4-in-1, the latter being a total connectivity device with the C-plug included. You can connect it to any Android device and it even has a micro USB, Android, Lightning and USB ports all in one device. They have up to 120 GB of memory, so you will never have to worry if your phone’s memory runs out because of photos, videos or apps. Also, if you have a drone, this works with drones so you can just have it connected to the USB. Your drone will be able to fly again with full memory.

Our other product involves waterproof wireless headphones, so you can shower with them. We don’t recommend swimming with them, though, because if one falls off and goes really deep, it will definitely stop working. But if you’re in the jacuzzi or having a shower, nothing should happen. They’re also perfect for exercise. I take them to the gym daily. I love them.

What do customers have to say about them?

D: To be honest, we received some complaints about our memory cards. Some people may not intuitively know how to use them. That’s why we’ve been making explanatory videos, especially for our older clients who may be unfamiliar with some gadgets. For example, one customer tried to connect the USB port into the cellphone and then gave us a one-star review saying that the USB doesn’t work. It’s a different story with our younger reviewers.

Here in Mexico, some of our clients include A-listers like Jimena Longoria, Daniela Preciado, Ana Lago, all of these famous influencers who have among each other over a million followers. They say ‘I usually charge a fee but you’re a Mexican startup, so I want to help.’ Some of them have been really open but then there are the other guys who really don’t care about anything. They’re just famous.

Let’s talk about design – how does Jaltechs embrace innovation and original ideas with these products?

D: Oftentimes, technology already exist. Maybe it’s available but doesn’t have a patent or license since technology is moving so fast right now. For example, iPhone launches new earbuds but in one or two months there will be different earbuds. With that said, we saw that what we’re trying to develop was already there. We pursued specific technology (USBs and wireless headphone) and ended up getting a provider and a designer for these products.

Some of the things we needed to figure out involved how the earbuds were going to fit in your ear – all of those features that make your music experience more pleasurable, for example. In the end, we came up with a product (the headphones) with a touch interface. Instead of pressing a button to change a song, all you have to do is place your finger softly on it for one second and it will stop. When you double-click, you’ll go to the next song.

All of this was achieved by sampling different headphones. Another thing was experimentation since we ordered a variety of earbuds to find the best quality and most comfortable. Obviously, we went for the best quality, comfort and sound.

What kind of marketing does Jaltechs do?

D: Let me first say that we spend approximately US$600 a month on graphic designers, one freelancer and one in-house, as well as one marketing house that we frequently use. Between the three of them, they design everything for us. Every social media post, though, goes through us.

We also answer every single message from our inbox. Since starting in October, we’ve have received over 15,000, so we’re constantly answering messages and questions. Sometimes people are just trolling, but most of the time, they are really interested in the product and want to buy it.

Where can people purchase your products?

D: Currently, we’re operating on Amazon and Mercado Libre, all with five-star reviews besides that one-star USB review that I told you about. Other than that, we’ve been doing really well. Amazon gave us its Amazon’s Choice Award several times for our products. Also, we are Mercado Lider in Mercado Libre, so business is driving.

What other products can customers expect in the future?

D: Being techies, my business partner and I are really interested in security devices. Recently, we started producing a 360-degree camera that will connect to your phone and Wi-Fi. It will have a microphone, speakers and LED lighting since it’s going to be a bulb plugin. All you’ll need to do is install the device into a light fixture and it will automatically connect to your Wi-Fi and cellphone through a sound-connecting protocol.

We’re also working on products that are cheaper to produce but of good quality. Higher turnover will hopefully result in better margins so we can fund other major technological products. Our main objective is to someday launch our very own electric vehicle.

Fortunately, we already have quotes for parts and engine, which will be German-made. They going to have over 40 km an hour capability, over 60 km distance travel. All of this for maybe under a US$1,000 in production.

Any big events coming up in the near future?

D: Yes, actually. Just a few weeks ago we received really good news that we’ll be attending the Web Summit this year in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s one of the biggest technology conferences in the world from November 4 to 7. Companies like Uber and Rappi have previously attended this conference.

Within the next month, we should be getting assigned a mentor. For the next six months, they will be helping us come up with our pitch and product line. In the past years, the startups that have gone have raised over US$1.3 billion of capital, so this is a really big deal.  

Jacob Atkins
Jacob Atkins is a journalist specializing in Latin America. He studied journalism and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and has previously reported from Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. When he isn't writing he's most likely hiking or drawing.

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