DANVILLE -- Jason Lucash is living the dream.
The Danville entrepreneur's success was recently recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine, which named Lucash the "Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year" in January.
Lucash and his business partner Mike Szymczak founded OrigAudio in 2009. Their audio products company is growing after a string of product successes and some high-profile publicity.
Being named "Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year" has resulted in interest in the company from angel investors, which could further fuel the company's growth, Lucash said.
"To me it's like winning the 'Best Actor' award at the Academy Awards," he said, of receiving recognition from Entrepreneur Magazine. "We've been working for three years, and we've been working so hard."
Lucash, 29, was born and raised in Danville. He graduated from San Ramon Valley High School in 2002 and then studied managerial economics at UC Davis.
His first job out of college was working in marketing for Major League Soccer. He was then hired at JanSport in San Leandro, again working in marketing.
At JanSport, he met Szymczak. Both traveled a lot for their jobs, and both loved music. They often talked about how there should be better portable audio speakers that were easier to carry on the road. They came up with the idea for collapsible speakers, which they called the Fold n' Play portable speaker system.
With their new product, they founded OrigAudio while still working at JanSport. They were selling about 10 Fold n' Play speaker systems a day when their product made No. 38 on Time Magazine's list of "50 Best Inventions of 2009."
"After the article came out we were selling 700 to 1,000 a day," Lucash said.
With the increase in sales, Lucash and Szymczak put in their two weeks notice at JanSport and then devoted themselves full-time to OrigAudio. In 2011, Lucash gained more exposure when he appeared on ABC's reality television show "Shark Tank," which involves entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to potential investors.
"It's kind of weird how one thing leads to another," he said.
OrigAudio is now based in Costa Mesa, where Lucash currently lives. The company has 15 employees and several products.
While he now lives in Southern California, Lucash said he comes back home to Danville at least once a month and hopes to someday move back.
"I'm a Bay Area guy," he said.
Contact Jason Sweeney at 925-847-2123. Follow him at Twitter.com/Jason_Sweeney.