A startup created the noise-cancelling earbuds designed to be worn all night.
In June, Bose launched a new line of noise-canceling smart earbuds based on technology it discovered at the EvoNexus startup incubator in San Diego.
Hush, launched in 2014 by undergraduate students at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, spent nearly two years in EvoNexus developing its earbud technology to help people sleep.
Bose quietly acquired Hush last year and refined its wireless earbud concept, which delivers rain, ocean waves, wind and other sounds that block out unwanted noise and lull users to sleep. Bose has rolled out the Sleepbuds ($250) at its own stores, Best Buy, Amazon and other outlets.
“It is very difficult for a startup to launch a consumer electronics product,” said Rory Moore, chief executive of EvoNexus. “Bose was on our board of directors. They had been tracking EvoNexus companies for some time and found this company.”
Hush is one of the latest success stories for EvoNexus — a longtime San Diego incubator and mentorship programs for startups.
EvoNexus seeks to stand out from other incubator programs by allowing young firms to remain for up to two years — which is longer than most other programs.
Until recently, young firms admitted to EvoNexus paid nothing. But earlier this year, EvoNexus began requiring 1 percent to 5 percent ownership stake in new startups entering the program, with the aim of reducing the fundraising burden and eventually being able to offer seed funding to admitted companies.
Since it was founded in 2009, 191 startups have gone through the program. Twenty-three have been acquired for a total of $781 million — with the latest being Edico Genome. It was bought by Illumina earlier this year for $100 million.
In addition, EvoNexus companies have raised $732 million from 170 venture capital and angel investors over the years.
After Bose acquired Hush, it moved the founding engineers to its headquarters in Massachusetts. They are still there today.
“So here is a team of undergrads who got paid for their startup, and they got great jobs at Bose,” said Moore.