Russ Apfel is an entrepreneur with more than 60 patents to his name. His education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Santa Clara.
Apfel spent more than 40 years in the semiconductor industry and is an expert in high-voltage analog and mixed-signal design. He is credited with inventing a digital signal processing chip used in modern hearing aids.
In 2009, Apfel founded a company called Audiotoniq with the goal of reinventing the hearing aid industry. His aim was to create high-quality hearing aids that could be sold online at less than half the price of comparable devices currently on the market. Audiotoniq's hearing aids would allow users to control and adjust their hearing aid settings themselves without the need for audiologists and expensive service packages.
Audiotoniq ran out of money in 2011 before its hearing aids were brought to market.