Liam Casey's PCH set to build Neil Young's vision
CORK tech tycoon Liam Casey is making rock legend Neil Young's new business dreams come true.
Casey's PCH International, which makes products for Apple and Dr Dre's Beats Electronics, will manufacture Young's Pono Player, a portable gizmo that allows serious music lovers to listen to tunes at a much higher quality than on a smartphone, and can store up to 2,000 songs.
Young is the founder and "vision" (so the website says) behind the company that last week raised €4.5m through a crowdfunding drive – an increasingly popular way to test the market for edgy new products. PCH will make the digital music players in its factories in Shenzhen in China for the mass market, retailing at around $399.
Rewards for early stage funders include signature series Ponos with pre-loaded music and autographs from Metallica, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam and Young himself.
There seems to be fan appetite: Pono raised €1m in just the first day on crowdfunding site Kickstarter, and finally ended up with eight times its original €350,000 goal.
Mass market manufacture suggests a big contract for Casey, whose PCH has become the go-to manufacturer for celebrities and their funky hi-tech accessories ventures. "We don't talk about individual projects," the ever discreet Casey says when we ring him in China.
Insiders say Casey has met with Young on several occasions and that Cork, China and US-based PCH was hand picked by Young, pictured, and his team for the project.
Pono, perhaps not surprisingly, turns out to be Hawaiian for "righteous".
Right on, dude.
It launches on the market in October.
Sunday Indo Business