Le Booster #6: The Ministry of Tones renews the pedal board of guitar players

If you play electric guitar, you’ll like Erwan Marie’s project: a new type of pedal board and amp with a French touch. Ministry of Tones will soon launch his new products for “guitar addicts”. Amateurs and Pros are on the look out.

Playing or Tinkering?

Erwan Marie is a 40 year old, former military in vocational training: “I’ve just completed a Master degree in Global Supply Chain and I arranged with the school to skip on-the-job training, to start my own business. I had the idea 4 years ago as I was practicing guitar. I have been playing guitar for 25 years and I realized that some guitarists’ needs were not met by products currently available on the market. So, I design a specific product – high end price range – that will solve some of the problems experienced by guitar players“.

There is no prototype yet for the product that will be sold by Ministry of Tones. It is a new type of pedal board: a physical platform that brings together all of the amp and effect accessories, with the connections as well as the power supply. Products currently available on the market are basic and it takes some DIY to set them up. When you are a musician, you have to protect your fingers from the aggressions of screwdrivers and metal saws.

What is Erwan’s goal? Selling a ready-to-plug product with all the basic features, equipped with an installed pedal and a “Cable Management” system. “All in one” with a design suited to home living rooms, recording studios or concert-hall stages. Explanations from Erwan: “The products currently available come from a cottage industry with on-demand production. Cost is high and the products are geared at professional guitarists, whereas in actual reality, most of the electric guitarists have an effects pedal. With my product, the guitarist does not have to tinker and can focus on what he likes: playing guitar“.

From Master to Booster

Erwan joined the Booster almost by chance: “We were living in Bordeaux and my wife was transferred to Rennes for her job. I grabbed the opportunity to come to Bretagne and start a new venture. As I was looking for a PO Box address for my business, I stumbled across the French Tech three days before the deadline to register to the Booster. Still, I gave it a try and my project was approved“.

Since last September, Erwan’s project has evolved: “I moved forward and went from an over-simplistic strategy (starting production and selling on the Internet), to partnering with freelance engineers. We are currently in the prototype phase, but we are running behind schedule. So I had to find ways to keep funding my R&D efforts. This is why I developed a range of pedal effects with a manufacturer. They will go on sale at the beginning of the year”.

To give more exposure to his brand with a related product, Erwan is also developing a range of amps “à la carte” that appears very promising: “There is nothing like it on the market. Currently you can only choose between an English sound and an American sound. If you take an open approach you can offer many more options with a much higher quality of amplification and definition. Until now it was hard to find. We will fill the gap between the American and English options. All this contributes to feed the initial project!“, says the guitarist-entrepreneur as a conclusion.

This is also what the Booster is about: you start with a technical solution, you confront the market conditions and choose to first launch an associated product to give exposure to your brand and create a positive image!