North Texas Daily

UNT alum draws attention to startup product

UNT alum draws attention to startup product

UNT alum draws attention to startup product
February 25
23:51 2015

Nicholas Friedman / Features Editor

A Denton startup headed by a UNT alumnus is looking to make coffeehouse icebreakers just a tad bit easier with DrawAttention, a laptop decal you can write on with a dry-erase marker.

“I’m a huge whiteboard fanatic,” DrawAttention creator and co-founder Kyle Taylor said. “I used to make vinyl decals when I was in school and thought, ‘Why don’t I just put one of these on my laptop?’”

Featured on tech websites Gizmodo and Cool Hunting, DrawAttention is a vinyl sticker designed to fit any laptop and is aimed at allowing users to advertise what they’re working on, display their Twitter handle or just write notes down, Taylor said. The product is available in different sizes, and ranges in price from $10 for the smallest, to $15 for “The Contrarian XL,” designed to fit PCs with a 15.6 inch monitor, according to the website.

“On a random Sunday, I made a sticker, put it on my laptop, posted a picture to Facebook, and people went nuts,” Taylor said. “A $13 domain name and 10 hours later, I had a basic site up and running with content created by my co-founder Eric, and the rest is history.”

DrawAttention co-founder Eric Swayne said he was working from home when Taylor told him about his idea, and he volunteered to write everything. Swayne said this cooperative attitude is what allows the startup scene in Denton to thrive and put out products like DrawAttention.

“Kyle and I are both really active in the Dallas/Denton startup communities, and we want as many people as possible to be able to start their own businesses,” Swayne said. “So we’re going to be sharing a lot about how we built this company soon.”

Emilia Gaston Photography

Co-founders Kyle Taylor, left, and Eric Swayne do remote work at a coffee shop. Taylor came up with the idea for DrawAttention after realizing he could put a whiteboard vinyl decal on a computer.

Swayne said another goal of the company is finding a process for developing a viable business as fast and effectively as possible.

“Call it bootstrapping on steroids,” Swayne said.

Though the product is currently only available online at, Taylor said retail sales are part of the roadmap looking forward, along with bulk orders.

“Ideally, I want to see our product in every college campus, coffee shop, co-working space and at every tech conference and hackathon,” Taylor said. “I think these avenues are where we can fill the biggest needs right now.”

With crowd funding success found through websites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, Taylor said DrawAttention hasn’t had the need to raise capital yet.

“There are a lot of pros to crowd funding, which most people think is money,” Taylor said. “But I think the biggest benefit is promotion of your product. For us, we just kind of fell into free publicity because people thought our product was cool.”

UNT alumna and photographer Emilia Gaston said she believes DrawAttention can do wonders for interaction.

“Some people may just see it as a whiteboard at first, but the idea is so much more than that,” Gaston said. “You never know who will approach you just by openly displaying that you are available to talk or just sharing a thought in a public space.”

Gaston said as a professional photographer and journalist, she deals with difficult social anxiety.

“I often find it hard to approach people to market myself, but DrawAttention starts the conversation for me in some cases,” Gaston said. “So I post a simple message while I’m working and people feel more comfortable approaching me.”

Taylor said DrawAttention currently has additional products in beta mode like an iPad version and a DJ edition featuring a black sticker for use with neon markers, but wants to keep things as simple as possible to retain creative integrity.

“Other than that I think we’re going to stick with laptops for now, but the possibilities really are endless,” Taylor said. “If you have a device need, just contact us and we’ll see what we can do.”

Featured Image: Two options of DrawAttention: The Contratian, which can fit larger laptops, and The Pro, a standard whiteboard. Photos courtesy of Emilia Gaston

About Author

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman is the Editor In Chief of the North Texas Daily. In addition, he's had his work published at The Dallas Morning News, GuideLive and the Denton Record-Chronicle.

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