BeamBloxx Envisions State-of-the-Art and Comfortable Eye Protection from Lasers

Like many children do, Marissa Faris dreamed of what she wanted to be when she grew up, but her vision was different than most. Instead of wishing to be a teacher or astronaut or pro athlete, she wanted to be a CEO. Her inspiration came directly from her family, with her father owning a business and her sister becoming an entrepreneur. “I always knew I wanted to start something from the bottom and build from there,” she said.  

An opportunity presented itself while Marissa worked toward her Crummer MBA—she had to select her integrated capstone experience project. She chose the track that allowed her to commercialize NASA technology and create a business around that product. After a month going through the twelve categories of technology that were offered, Marissa came across one item that seemed to have real potential, a new design for laser safety goggles. She knew firsthand there was a market for this device: “I worked as an intern at Luminar Technologies and would wear safety goggles. I knew they had issues, and there had been no innovation with them in quite some time.” Marissa unfortunately also knew people that had been personally affected by laser accidents. Luckily, Marissa’s father worked in the tech industry, and she could leverage him to help get access to his network. With her mind set on the long term, BeamBloxx was born, and Marissa’s dream of becoming a CEO was coming to fruition.  

There are multiple issues that Marissa is trying to solve with this new, innovative glasses design. First and foremost, is that of eye-related injuries that occur costing companies $300M annually. Second, there is not a model of goggle that allows the user to see the laser they are working with. Also, no designs do data tracking that can inform users and companies of activities. Lastly, comfort is a serious issue that has been traditionally overlooked. Users wear their safety goggles for six to eight hours a day while working, and this can often lead to discomfort on the skin surfaces that are rubbed by the glasses. “Our solution is to integrate cameras capable of detecting laser wavelengths both imperceptible and hazardous with established laser beam-blocking technology to develop ‘smart’ laser safety goggles,” all while focused on comfort.  

The mission of BeamBloxx is to improve the user experience but also provide passive data to companies about workforce productivity and compliance. When it comes to the business, Marissa is passionate about being able to address the current pain points that end users have. “When it comes to comfort, no one is addressing it. I’ve spoken to a lot of users, and they are excited someone is finally listening to them.” 

After receiving feedback from a panel of NASA professionals during her presentation to focus more on marketing next, Marissa wanted to continue with the business, looking beyond just a group project. She decided to enter the 2024 Crummer Venture Plan Competition. “One of the best things from the experience was becoming more comfortable and confident in speaking about this venture to people. The experience was invaluable, something you can’t teach unless you are actually thrown into the experience.” Marissa did an excellent job pitching and won the Crummer category, taking home the $2,500 prize. As for the money, Marissa is using it to do some proof of concept. “Through another Crummer program, I got connected with a mechanical engineer, and we’ve been talking about next steps as far as seeing if there are sensors with cameras that can pick up laser beams and if we can work with a sensor company to put that into our product.”  

Unsurprisingly, Marissa is the president of the Crummer Entrepreneurship Association, a student association. They organize fireside chats and social events with local entrepreneurs in the Orlando community to meet and interact with students, creating real opportunities for the future. “There are so many people at Crummer who already have their own businesses, have gotten traction, and are going back for their MBAs. It’s a community within Crummer, and we can talk about the pitfalls of moving forward.” Marissa also found her teammates from the project phase very helpful, as well as Dr. Peter McAlindon, Entrepreneur-in-Residence.    

After graduation, Marissa will be moving to Austin and taking BeamBloxx with her, building connections there. Her new dream is to be the premium laser safety goggle entity, one day hopefully becoming acquired by a laser product distribution company. “I want our company to be the name that comes to mind when someone thinks of laser safety eyewear.”  

Indeed, the future is bright for Marissa, after winning the Crummer category in the Crummer Venture Plan Competition, she was accepted into the Embry Riddle “Launch Your Venture” competition, a contest for student-run companies. She was the first person from Crummer to enter the competition, first to make it as a finalist, and first to place in the contest—she took home second place, and another check.  

Marissa Faris’s journey from MBA student to aspiring CEO is a testament to her entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering determination. Inspired by her family’s entrepreneurial legacy and taking advantage of the opportunities Crummer has to offer, Marissa seized the opportunity to transform her passion for innovation into a thriving business venture with BeamBloxx. Through her ingenuity and dedication, Marissa aims to revolutionize laser safety goggles, addressing critical issues of eye-related injuries, visibility, data tracking, and comfort. With her recent accolades, Marissa’s success is a testament to her vision and tenacity. As she sets her sights on building BeamBloxx into the premier laser safety eyewear company, Marissa’s future is undoubtedly luminous, promising a legacy of innovation and impact in the field of safety technology. 

If you would like to get started on your MBA journey like Marissa, stop by one of our upcoming events shown here.