Metropolitan Acoustics is owned by Felicia Doggett, a woman entrepreneur who opened her business in 1990 after seeing the need for acoustic/vibration consulting in Philadelphia. In school, Felicia started as a music major until her advisor recommended that she pair her love for music with her math/science skills to study acoustics. Thirty years later, she shares that same passion for her work, creating new technologies like her SenSV™ environmental monitoring device for laboratories.
The SenSV™ device is a revolutionary remote laboratory monitoring platform that measures vibration, audible sound, and ultrasonic sound for the environment of laboratories like microscopy and animal housing labs. The main problem was that Metropolitan Acoustics didn’t have the funding to meet the demand and hire the technical staff to maximize the potential. This project was being funded in-house and Felicia knew she would need more funding to take the technology to the next level.
HOW THE SBDC HELPED
Quote: “Bill has been so helpful, he introduced us to several partner solutions and opened many doors... It was great to have someone like Bill and the SBDC behind him to bounce ideas off of and answer questions.” - Felicia Doggett, CEO of Metropolitan Acoustics
The Widener SBDC helped introduce Felicia to partner solutions and other tech entrepreneurs to guide her through the next steps that the business will need to take. After devising a plan of action with the Widener SBDC, Felicia applied for the JVS Women’s Entrepreneur Grant via a recommendation from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners. When she made it to the next round, Felicia had to give a 10-minute presentation to the JVS committee. A few members of the Widener SBDC team listened to the presentation and gave feedback to help perfect her pitch to JVS. Her primary consultant, Bill Pearce, was even listed as a reference in her grant.
Felicia was awarded the JVS Women’s Entrepreneur Grant for $50,000 to use towards the advancement of the SenSV™ device. This money will help Felicia increase the output of the device and hire employees with the technical skills to put this technology on the cloud and web. The alpha version of the new SenSV™ device has already been in use for over a year and a half, monitoring ambient vibration levels in buildings in the Philadelphia area, and comparing the levels to appropriate thresholds.
Many new and existing buildings are being converted into life science uses where labs and animals housing will be located. It is important for the prospective tenants to know what the vibration levels in the building are from subways, freight lines, commuter lines, local traffic, and HVAC systems so they can make informed decisions as to whether the building is suitable for their research.
Timing is everything and Metropolitan Acoustics is making the most of their opportunity with the post-pandemic boom in technology and life science. People are recognizing the major problems that can arise with vibrations/acoustics which means it’s a very exciting time for Felicia and her team. The product may not be at its peak yet, but the SenSV™ device could be revolutionary for businesses and can change the future for companies who may deal with vibration and acoustic problems.