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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Toy startup reaches heights through campus incubator


Jared Knowles, Madison Jones and Matt Kinsel showcase Lynx Toys products with Startup Aggieland.

Taking their business idea from Fish Pond to Shark Tank, three Aggie entrepreneurs continue to expand their business, Lynx Toys.

Lynx Toys was launched in May 2014 by Madison Jones and is co-owned by former students Matt Kinsel and Jared Knowles. The company’s product consists of styrofoam noodles that can be linked together to make a variety of shapes and toys. Several hundred units have been sold online, and the trio has launched a storefront operation in Post Oak Mall. While the co-owners graduated from Texas A&M in 2014, they remain on-staff at Startup Aggieland as entrepreneurs in residence. 

Knowles said the group took on Lynx Toys and came to own it after they helped the inventors take the toys to the market. The trio enjoyed the process so much that they founded a parent company called “Defy Matter” to manage both Lynx Toys and another startup they are currently working on. 

“We are Defy Matter — a company that solves universal problems by helping inventors take their products to the market,” Knowles said. 

Jones, Kinsel and Knowles aided the product inventors of Lynx Toys with development, patent addition and validation to start the company as the owners. Their other company — Trevatech — has a patent pending for a product called the “Multi-Rag.” Multi-Rag, invented by Jones, is a rag with multiple layers of fabric to clean multiple surfaces. 

Lynx Toys is one of the most successful companies to come out of Startup Aggieland. It was awarded Best Pitch at Startup Aggieland’s “Shark Frenzy” event in 2015, and the founders have pitched their ideas on “Shark Tank” — a nationally televised entrepreneur show where startups try to convince a panel of famous business owners to invest in their product. 

“A lot of inventors don’t know how to take a product and build a business around it,” Jones said. “That is where we come in. We are able to take an idea and build a business around it in a lean way.”

 Jones said the group credits its achievements to the hard lessons learned at Startup Aggieland. Jones said having great business ideas is one thing, but Startup Aggieland enabled the group to succeed by giving them an environment to challenge themselves in. 

“Showing up is 80 percent of entrepreneurship, and we showed up here every day to learn and network,” Jones said.

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