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Immortal Skateboards - Crowdfunding a New Product
by Startacus Admin
Here at Startacus we love the notion of starting up, especially when you make something new! That’s exactly what happened with ‘Immortal’ Skateboards, a new startup that has used 3D printing Technology, Prototyping and Crowdfunding to make their product a reality. We spoke to Paul Hallet, Startacus member and participating collaborator, to learn more about their story.
Let’s start with the basics - what exactly is an ‘Immortal Skateboard’?
“Immortal Skateboards are the result of years of design and prototyping. They are a totally composite board that feel like a normal new skateboard but don’t lose their flex or deteriorate like a wooden board. It’s like having a new board every day. It takes incredible abuse with very little damage.”
That sounds pretty impressive. Tell us, what inspired you to develop this new generation of skateboards?
“I’m the old guy of the company, I started to get interested when my son started skating. I couldn’t believe skateboards were still made of wood and I hated buying him 6-8 boards a year. I got totally obsessed with developing a composite deck that could take the punishment of street skating. It actually was a design nightmare with huge challenges.”
We understand you’ve used 3D Printing and a patented design for the boards?
“I came up with the design concept from making composite boards by hand and seeing the flaws and problems with the board after use. My partner Lee used his CAD skills to design my concept into a form we could 3D print. The 3D prints let us mold prototypes which proved we were on the right direction.”
As a startup company, you guys are running a crowdfunding campaign, How is that going?
“We are very new to the crowdfunding arena and it shows. Crowdfunding has turned into a huge enterprise with many promotional companies and advertising avenues - it’s a little bewildering. We are a typical small start-up company with most of our resources poured into our product development rather than marketing budget. We hope to raise enough funds to supplement our first production run. Our expectations are not high but it would really help out our launch. What will really sell this board is when people get the opportunity to skate it. It’s a great product.”
Well hopefully people will get the chance to, thanks to your campaign. How have you found marketing your campaign?
“We have only just begun to market the campaign as this venture is progressing and being marketed in real time as we do it. This is how the crowdfunding concept will be coming into play. The public gets to see us develop the company in the preliminary stages and gets involved well in advance of production."
Finally, have you had any successes for the board, and what are your plans for the future of them?
"It’s really too early to tell, but the reaction of the skaters to the board is the best thing so far to me. People, who have skated it, really like it. It’s going to take off but only when people get the chance to skate it. It’s just one of those products.
We are going to make the best skateboards in the world. We are going to continue to improve and design new boards. We are going to manufacture our boards in our own factory in North America and will also manufacture for other companies."
Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.