FLY­ING START

Crowd-fund­ing plat­form Kick­starter has breathed life into myr­iad prod­ucts and ideas, writes Craig Bright

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - CONTENTS -

Crowd-fund­ing plat­form Kick­starter al­lows in­no­va­tive ideas to see the light of day

To­day’s world is more so­cial and con­nected than it has ever been. Me­dia such as Face­book or Twitter is the most uni­ver­sal man­i­fes­ta­tion of this, but crowd-fund­ing plat­forms pro­duce the most tan­gi­ble re­sults of com­mu­ni­ties com­ing to­gether to cre­ate some­thing new. Kick­starter is per­haps the most widely known and has helped bring to life nu­mer­ous projects, from cre­ative works to new in­ven­tions. More than a few travel-re­lated prod­ucts have sprung into ex­is­tence as a re­sult of suc­cess­ful Kick­starter cam­paigns. Here are just a few.

TRAVELERBUDDY

De­vel­op­ment be­gan: Mid-2015 Kick­starter goal: S$10,000 (US$7,000) Fund­ing achieved: S$23,000 (US$16,300) Avail­able to down­load free on App Store and Google Play Travelerbuddy wasn’t the first travel man­age­ment app to hit the mar­ket, but nonethe­less it con­tains nu­mer­ous help­ful fea­tures. Com­bin­ing a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ap­pli­ca­tions, the app al­lows you to gen­er­ate an itinerary by for­ward­ing your book­ings and in­for­ma­tion to the Travelerbuddy team, re­ceive real-time travel alerts, make ex­pense claims, sync with your calendar, and col­late all your doc­u­ments in one place for easy online or off­line ac­cess. It even checks ahead of time whether your pass­port is out of date, and in­forms you of spe­cific cus­toms and health doc­u­ments you will need for your des­ti­na­tion. travelerbuddy.com

AIR BOLT

De­vel­op­ment be­gan: Mid-2014 Kick­starter goal: A$50,000 (US$38,000) Fund­ing achieved: A$202,000 (US$153,300) Avail­able now A com­bi­na­tion pad­lock and lug­gage tracker, Air Bolt man­aged to hit its Kick­starter tar­get in a mat­ter of days. Its cre­ators even­tu­ally gleaned 400 per cent fund­ing by the end of their cam­paign. Air Bolt can be con­trolled us­ing a smart­phone app, un­lock­ing when a code is in­put or a smart de­vice comes within Blue­tooth range. As a se­cu­rity mea­sure against theft, you can set the lock to sound an alarm when it gets too far away from your de­vice. Crowd-sourced GPS also en­ables users to track their bags – the charge last­ing a year be­fore needing to be topped up via mi­cro-USB. theair­bolt.com

JETZY

De­vel­op­ment be­gan: Jan­uary 2015 Kick­starter goal: US$5,000 Fund­ing achieved: US$5,135 Avail­able to down­load free on the App Store and Google Play Trav­ellers can claim re­wards for a whole va­ri­ety of things on the road, from ho­tel stays to flights to pur­chases at re­tail out­lets. But user-to-user so­cial app Jetzy is tak­ing this idea fur­ther by re­ward­ing its users for post­ing pho­tos, send­ing mes­sages and re­fer­ring friends to use the plat­form.

Jetzy is de­signed as a ge­olo­ca­tion-based, user-driven plat­form for trav­ellers to get in­stant lo­cal rec­om­men­da­tions for hid­den gems in a des­ti­na­tion, meet new people and share their ex­pe­ri­ences while on a trip. The more they use Jetzy, the faster users can earn Jet­points that can be re­deemed for re­wards such as spa vouch­ers, meals and free trips. jet­zyapp.com

EVOLUS 3

De­vel­op­ment be­gan: Mid-2016 Kick­starter goal: € 30,000 (US$32,400) Fund­ing achieved: € 65,837 (US$71,000) Avail­able now The Evolus 3 dock­ing sys­tem was de­signed by Ger­many-based En­blue Tech­nol­ogy to pro­vide a multi-de­vice charg­ing sta­tion that won’t be­come ob­so­lete the minute new sizes of Ap­ple gad­gets are rolled out. The sys­tem in­cludes charg­ing spots for an Ap­ple Watch, iPhone and iPad, along with a sep­a­rate USB port on the side. The height of the adapters that con­nect with the de­vices can also be ad­justed so you don’t need to re­move any cases on your gad­gets.

Specif­i­cally de­signed with trav­ellers in mind, the Ap­ple Watch charger can also be de­tached as a sep­a­rate, smaller mod­ule, and with its own Light­ning ca­ble port can be used as a dual-charger for an­other de­vice. There’s also space inside the mod­ule to wrap up the ca­ble. eu.en­bluetec.com

MOJOE

De­vel­op­ment be­gan: 2013 Kick­starter goal: US$20,000 Fund­ing achieved: US$85,860 Avail­able now Ac­cord­ing to founder and CEO Joseph Hy­man, “Mojoe is not here to re­place your cof­feemaker at home. [It] was de­signed to de­liver a high-qual­ity cof­fee experience when you are not at home.”

The brewer and mug combo uses vac­uum and drip brewing to make the cof­fee. Users pour wa­ter of any tem­per­a­ture into the mug, add some cof­fee grounds, press a but­ton and the de­vice heats the wa­ter up to 93°C be­fore drip­ping through the grounds. It doesn’t need to be sta­tion­ary in or­der to work, so it can brew in your bag, on a flight or in a mov­ing car. Vari­able strengths of cof­fee can be set, while a reusable fil­ter can also be bought to al­low you to brew with your own ground cof­fee, tea bags or loose-leaf tea. mo­joe­brew­ing.com

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