The Story of Neptune: How I Launched and Built My First Startup

Neptune was an idea that I had conceived at 13, but it was not delivered into this world until my 18th birthday.
The first wave of wearable technologies hit the market in 2012 but these devices were “dumb” and dependent on antiquated wireless technologies. One of them is Bluetooth which needed to be forever tethered to your smartphone – a hassle to need to live with. People believed then that the future of wireless evolution was headed towards Bluetooth; herein lies the greatest misconception. This presented me with a reason and an opportunity to make a difference with Neptune.

As a high school student with no prototype, I had to start with what little I had. I spent a mere five dollars to purchase the Neptune domain, used Weebly to build my website and held dear to the basic computer rendering of the device which I called the “Pine”. I googled how to drive traffic to the website and issued a press release on PRWeb. This alone generated mainstream tech coverage the very next day. Within 3 weeks, Neptune received 20,000 reservations for the Pine.

With orders in hand, I traveled to China to meet with prospective consumer electronics manufacturers and product development firms. I took a crash course in Chinese manufacturing and learnt more about the process of transforming my vision for the hardware from a concept to a reality. Within two months, I engaged with a Chinese manufacturer and a handful of professional parties to kick-off

One of my biggest challenges was to act as the bridge between the engineering and design teams so that they could work together efficiently and effectively. Effective communication became one of my most cherished tools in churning dreams into a living-and-breathing product. Seven months later, I launched a Kickstarter campaign. My campaign went on to raise $800,000 in one month – one of the highest-grossing campaigns of all time. This provided the necessary funds for mass production. Soon after, in 2014, the Pine shipped to retailers, like Best Buy and Amazon. Neptune went on to sell over 10,000 Pine devices. Till this day, the Pine has a dedicated and passionate following.

Now, I am working on my next device – the Neptune Hub, a smartwatch that is designed to power your everyday technology; all in one place. There is a lot of anticipation from media publications, like Wall Street Journal, Engagdet, Wired and the Verge, to see this product become a global popular device. With $1.16M raised in an Indiegogo campaign, we are excited to bring in another piece of never-seen-before technology that will go on to render whatever devices you now know as “smart” dumb.


About the Author

Simon Tian, 23, is a Canadian tech entrepreneur and inventor. He is the founder and CEO of Neptune, a consumer electronics and wearable technology company. Simon dropped out of high school at the age of 18 to start Neptune, and has raised $2 million from crowdfunding sources alone. Simon is a 2015 Thiel Fellow, having been awarded $100,000 by PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel. Simon was named one of the top 30 Quebecers under 30 by Les Affaires in 2014.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email


UnitedHealthcare Catalyst Launched in Owensboro to Combat Diabetes

In an effort to tackle the rising challenge of type 2 diabetes within local communities, UnitedHealthcare has introduced the Catalyst™ initiative in Owensboro, Kentucky. This community-based program is designed to identify and address the primary health challenges in local areas, starting with a significant focus on type 2 diabetes. 

Cisco and NVIDIA Partners to Streamline AI Infrastructure in Data Centers

Cisco and NVIDIA have unveiled a collaborative effort to introduce advanced AI infrastructure solutions designed for easy deployment and management within data centers, catering to the growing demand for extensive computing capabilities essential for thriving in the AI-dominated corporate landscape.

Walmart Pledges US$1 Million to Aid Valparaiso Fire Victims

In the aftermath of severe fires that ravaged four municipalities in the Valparaiso region in early February, causing extensive damage to over 7,000 houses and affecting upwards of 4,000 individuals, the Walmart Foundation alongside Walmart Chile has stepped forward with a commitment to aid in recovery efforts. The conglomerate has pledged a substantial social investment of US$1 million to support the victims of this calamity.

3 Innovative Startups Transforming Food Waste into Eco-Friendly Products

In a world where we’re facing big environmental challenges and trying hard to make the most of what we have, there’s a huge problem staring us in the face: food waste. Imagine this—for every three bites of food you take, one was wasted somewhere along the way. That’s right, about a third of all food meant for us never gets eaten, ending up in the trash instead. That’s a lot of wasted resources—like water, land and energy—not to mention the extra greenhouse gases it adds to our planet. 

Cyberhaven Launches Linea AI to Combat Critical Insider Data Risks

Cyberhaven has recently unveiled Linea AI, an advanced AI solution aimed at enhancing data security by mitigating insider threats to essential corporate information. This platform distinguishes itself by leveraging the collective intelligence of top security analysts, applying a deep, human-like understanding to billions of data interactions within an organization.

Top 3 Legal Battles Threatening Elon Musk’s Empire

Elon Musk, the visionary behind Tesla and SpaceX, hardly needs an introduction. His ambitious ventures often catapult him into the spotlight, not just for groundbreaking innovations but also for a series of high-profile legal disputes.