Engineer looks to turn entrepreneur post layoff

Jan. 18, 2013 @ 06:32 PM

After his third layoff, Hillsborough resident Stephen Bozzone is looking to take control of his future by launching his own product.

Bozzone, 47, said he was previously a quality manger at iRobot, a robot company that designs and builds robots for use in the home, as well as for defense and security.

The company announced last year the closure of its Durham maritime office as part of a restructuring.

“I knew things were bad, but I didn’t know they were going to close the whole facility,” Bozzone said.

That was his third downsizing in five years, following two others at technology companies, Bozzone said in a news release.

Now he’s trying to raise money to help launch a product: a lap desk that can hold Apple’s iPad and other tablet brands as long as they are 9.5 millimeters or less in width.

He said he’s designed a prototype for what he’s calling the TabLetGO that allows the user to adjust the angle of the tilt of the tablet, and that also has a removable pillow.

He’s trying to raise $18,900 through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to pay for the injection molding tools that would allow for the manufacturing of the product, and for the raw materials.

While there are a lot of other tablet holders on the market, he believes his is different because it has an adjustable holder.

And while he said he another job now, he hopes to continue with the project to bring in some additional revenue as a safety net.

“If I was able to get this product launched, and start the business, I could potentially pay off my mortgage, and be in a better position,” he said.