sius's founder and chief executive, Stephen Ambrose, began dabbling in audio technology as a teenager in the 1960s.
A vocalist and guitarist, he
invented tiny listening devices, similar to modern ear buds, using transistor-radio earpieces and swimmer's earplugs so he
could hear his
own voice while performing.
Though he went on to a career in music, Mr. Ambrose continued to develop audio devices, eventually forming Asius.
61-year-old Mr. Ambrose
funded the company for the first 10 years with $500,000 of his
own, and last year put in another $100,000.
n building Asius
, Mr. Ambrose
has faced several hurdles.
For instance, it sued a hearing-aid maker in 2011 for allegedly interfering with its efforts to strike licensing deals with audio-product manufacturers.
The case resulted in Asius
entering into a nonexclusive licensing agreement with the defendant."It's a compliment to me and a testament to my technology's value when there are people who don't want to see it succeed," says Mr. Ambrose