2003 N.C. Central University cum laude graduate, Burgess Foster, is reaching soaring heights with his company MiDigitel. Soon, he hopes to compete on Shark Tank for a chance to expand his brand nationwide.
If accepted, he’ll be pitching his M1 BT Smart Glasses. The glasses feature Bluetooth connectivity and anti-blue glare lenses. Foster says his company’s Smart Glasses will beat out Apple and Bose Corporation, yielding an expected initial profit of $1 billion by 2023 or 2024.
MiDigitel has an established track record of hitting home runs on the national stage. The company was a national award winner of the Big Ticketback competition from the Home Shop Network last August.
Foster earned his bachelor’s degree in American History with a minor in political science. On top of that, he received the Student Leadership Award.
Then he went on a graduate-degree-earning streak earning three master’s degrees: One in management from the University of Maryland; one in public administration from the University of Michigan; and one in American History from Wayne State University.
With four degrees under his belt, Foster took on another challenge: creating a multi-technology company to solve problems for everyday consumers.
“Business 101 says, if you can solve a problem in the market you can become a known brand. Where can the average citizen purchase electronics at a price that’s reasonable so that they can have extra money to spend on other things?” Foster said.
Foster says MiDigitel supplies a variety of accessories for Apple and Android users.
“We want to answer the question of where people can find strategically priced electronics in high demand. For example, we sell Apple wall plugs along with Android wall plugs,” Foster commented.
In 2018, Foster started his Detroit-based company in Grosse Pointe Woods. He has a four-person team that offers an array of products, some featuring UV-C, a technology especially in demand due to COVID-19.
This technology can mitigate viruses and bacteria on different platforms.
The company’s products also include LED surround sound multi-colored Bluetooth speakers, air vent mount holders, germicidal lamps, triple wireless charger pads, and the product he’ll be pitching on Shark Tank, the M1 BT Smart Glasses.
“Airpods, you lose them, they fall out and they’re not safe. You can’t hear traffic and you can’t work out safely in the gym,” Foster said. “With the MiDigitel smart glasses, because they fit over your ears and not into your ears, they give you safe entertainment and communication connectivity.”
Foster says the battery on his Smart glasses will outlast competing brands.
“Bose has a pair of glasses that they sell that are similar to what our glasses do except … our glasses last up to eight to ten hours,” Foster said, explaining that the battery life on Bose glasses is typically only six hours.
“With Bose, they will charge an extra $30 for a pair of black frames, but with MiDigitel, you can get black, red, or blue frames with no extra charge.”
Foster is especially proud that his products attract young consumers, like Jamerika Ramsey, a first-year law student at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit.
“In comparison to the Air pods, the Smart Glasses are above my ear instead of inside my ear,” Ramsey said. “Sometimes when I run, my Air pods fall out, but these glasses are secure.”
Looking forward, Foster is ready to swim in deeper waters as he enters the Shark Tank. He expects to get the status of his Shark Tank application in January.
“Our strategy, for example, is to implement a store within different campus bookstores and then set up a location right outside the campus close to Fayetteville Street,” Foster said. “This location would be for citizens of Durham.”
Foster plans to give back to students at N.C. Central University. “If any student or faculty member buys any of our products, I will give 20% back to the general scholarship fund.”
In the future, Foster plans to open franchises in North Carolina and college towns nationwide.
“We’re projecting to expand our brand to 600 locations in the next three years. We want to be closer to HBCU’s and predominantly white institutions,” Foster said.
Students and other potential customers can find MiDigitel during NCCU’s homecoming located near the Lathum Parking Deck from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2021.
“The United States will not be able to create the technology necessary to remain a leader in K-12 education doesn’t redesign its curriculum to offer coding and business entrepreneurship as required courses,” Foster said. “Our economy is driven by apps and capitalism is driven by entrepreneurship.”