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Startup develops subscription service for guitarists

October 14, 2014
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Startup develops subscription service for guitarists
The startup Axe Packs is a subscription-based service for guitar strings and accessories. Photo via

A subscription-based startup is trying to hit the right note with guitarists.

Serving guitarists

Start Garden, the $15-million seed fund in Grand Rapids, said last month that it will make an initial $5,000 investment in Axe Packs, an in-development web-based service, where musicians would subscribe to receive regular guitar strings and accessories.

Axe Packs would allow customers to create a custom automated package, choosing the parts they need and the service’s frequency.

The subscription service would offer strings and various guitar accessories: humidifying products, oils, capos and picks.

Mike Kochis, co-founder of Axe Packs, said that as a user of subscription services in other industries, he and co-founder Bill Lindeman decided to apply the same business model to a product they’re passionate about.

“As guitarists, we know how important it is to have fresh strings,” Kochis said. “They sound and feel better, but we often delayed changing strings, because it’s a hassle to drive to the store.”

The service is geared toward guitarists who need to change strings roughly every three months.

“We are looking at offering varying shipping frequencies,” Kochis said. “We’re still figuring out if that’s going to be every month, every other month or every two, four or six weeks. We’re also looking at implementing a referral program, which allows members to receive credit for inviting their friends.”

About 500 musicians have expressed interest in participating in the startup’s private beta launch.

Kochis added that the service is resonating with a young adult crowd between 16 to 24.

Kochis anticipates the cost of each Axe Pack would be about $8.99, depending on the type of strings and accessories in a customer’s package.

Next steps

Axe Packs will use the Start Garden funds for stocking inventory, package branding, marketing materials and other business expenses, as the team works to develop the online platform.

“Start Garden has a unique platform for investing, a great ecosystem of entrepreneurs, and it feels great to have their support,” Kochis said.

The process

Axe Packs was selected for the investment from Start Garden based on public endorsement and a decision by the team at Start Garden.

Axe Packs is required to return to a monthly Start Garden Update Night event after a couple of months to present on its progress to be considered for further funding.

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