Locksit is following up its appearance at the London Bike Show's BikeBiz-backed Innovation Lab by turning to Kickstarter.
BikeBiz spoke with the Locksit team to hear the latest:
How Locksit was received at the show in February?
The London Bike Show saw the “soft launch” of the Locksit on the Bike Biz Innovation stand at Excel in February. It was Locksit’s chance to show off the brand new product and packaging to the worldwide market having only previously had prototypes made.
As a business we used the show as a marker in the sand in order to get the tooling and production competed, and we ensured that we had a limited number of units available which had flown directly from the factory for the show. The branding and marketing was hot off the press (literally) and the show was an great success. Feedback from everyone was very positive, and there was lots of encouraging and points of view from members of the press, the trade who we took lots of initial enquiries off, and of course the public.
Being such a new and innovative product, in a broad market being showcased at such a large show, it was a great way to expose our product on a soft launch and have some valuable feedback, comments and design ideas going forward for our launch product and for products in the future. It was also a great way to immerse ourselves into the marketplace and see what and who else was out there with some other fantastic exhibitors on the Bike Biz Innovation stand who we got to know quite well over the few four days that we were there. We loved the show and really felt that it was the idea way to kick off showcasing our product the Locksit - The world’s most innovative bicycle helmet lock with a light.
Why has Locksit turned to crowdfunding?
We have looked at lots of different ways of financing this project, however at present it has purely been the sole investment from the MD and inventor Martin St-Gallay who has put his life, sole and personal savings into this project. Something that started as an idea, has truly become a reality and being totally immersed in the cycle market for the last few years has been a real eye opener and pleasure.
However having taken on the product from the initial idea, all the way through the protection phases, patents, design, development through to the mass production stage and then to launch it has always been a project very close to Martin’s heart. Everyone he has shown it to has been really impressed by the simplicity of the design and the idea, and cannot believe that it has not already been done. However after much deliberation and discussions with key members of the team, and various meeting with potential investors who have been keen to work with us, we decided upon the crowdfunding route.
The idea of Kickstarter has been a real journey in itself and from deciding upon the use of this vehicle to get the product to market, we have been on a very steep learning curve. The decision to go down this route was that we wanted to try and retain the control of the business without third party investors, and by bringing in additional talent to help drive the project forward, we feel that Locksit is taken to the worldwide market by the use of the Kickstarter platform where we as founders have full control on this innovative cycle product, which we feel from all feedback so far that it a definite place in the market.
However from the point of view of the public, we are using Kickstarter as a marketing platform as we are in the unique position of having units available for sale and already produced which means that supporters and backers are guaranteed their product as the tooling is complete and the production has already started.
Have there been any key challenges or surprises in the life of Locksit so far?
The whole process has been a really exciting, but steep learning curve with plenty of key milestones achieved and hurdles that have been overcome. The challenges have been thick and fast having had the lightbulb moment just over three years ago to where we are today, and not having had a background in manufacturing a product from scratch, developing the idea from a pipedream has been a brilliant experience! However surrounding myself with a good team has been the best move and using experienced people and freelancers and companies have helped push this project along to make everything run more smoothly.
The whole Kickstarter/crowdfunding process has been a really interesting challenge. Thinking that it was merely a matter of build it and they will come scenario, we have learn a tremendous amount around the process, which we hope will stand us in good stead for the launch on September 1st. It is another exciting chapter in the development of Locksit and we are very much looking forward to taking the world by storm, getting funded and developing more products for this exciting and fast moving (excuse the pun) industry which so far has been a real pleasure to deal with.