Nick Acocella


New York, New York, US

practical music invention gaining steam seeking business partner
Nick's Skills
User Experience

About Nick

THI-HAT is a compact new way for musicians of all stripes to play hi-hats on their thigh, eliminating the need for a hi-hat stand altogether. I've performed in all sorts of venues as a percussionist, but it was the small ones - clubs, cafes, radio stations - that drove me to make something to fit such places, which the vast majority of venues around the world are. I debuted THI-HAT at Carnegie Hall and it was an instant hit, so I've since patented it in the US and have filed under PCT to patent internationally, and started the THI-HAT company.

I'm very DIY, building each THI-HAT in my apartment to sell through I financed the whole US patent and trademark process through to completion myself as well as the tools and materials needed to hand-make them. Mass producing them, and getting to the NAMM trade show, are the next necessary steps.

All my life I’ve taken a massive amount of things on alone to carry the day as I knew I could. This startup venture is one I lack know-how for. I did not do business school but am immersing myself in material from cheesy entrepreneur self-help bestsellers to Wharton, Harvard i-lab and MIT OpenCourseWare video classes. THI-HAT is a vision I want to share, to not only be a widely useful tool for drummers, percussionists, and different kinds of musicians to do more with less - shrinking the space needed onstage and lightening gig bags - but also a statement of freedom of expression: in the streets, subways, holes in the walls, etc people play. And with this, I want to grow a leading company across cultures... one that isn’t just providing a nifty good, but whose business style – social media, advertising, craftsmanship, sales – stands out as something genuinely connecting people to their art and life rather than being just another cool thing in the barrage of contending products in our faces to not skip or scroll past.

I am here to team with a multi-ambitious someone who knows or can be a quick study of the musical instrument market, and with whom I can build a mutually enhancing, strategic, and productive professional relationship. I’m determined but out of my element on my own. At this stage, I don't know whether crowdfunding, angel investors, or licensing to another drum company is the smart road to take from here. Your assets with me are my work ethic, originality, and learning capacity, along with mechanical/engineering ability and musicianship (see @thihatpercussion on Instagram). This is a niche market for which I've no particular market research yet, but sets the global percussion industry to reach $2 bil by 2020, and if you walk into any guitar center today you'll notice the percussion section has grown huge with the amount of compact portable instruments and accessories in this precise vein expanding rapidly. It was only a matter of time before a major drum company thought of this idea, and now I want to do right by it with someone who has the skill set to guide a practical innovation for working musicians to global success and who can share the creative spirit to do a lot of good through it.