An Aston University graduate who has invented a portable mobile phone charger is launching a campaign to raise £30,000 via crowdfunding next month.
Leigh Purnell, founder and inventor of Petalite which is now based at Innovation Birmingham Campus (IBC), is hoping to raise the capital through the indiegogo.com website.
It will enable him to produce units of the portable, eco-friendly smartphone battery charger which he says can recharge a phone in 15 minutes.
The pocket-sized battery provides 2,600mAh of power, enabling the charge of any USB compatible device on the go.
More than 600 people have pre-registered to order a Petalite battery when the first batch comes off the production line next year.
Development of the product received a share of £100,000 in initial investment from IBC's Low Carbon Accelerator programme.
Crowdfunding is a relatively new form of raising capital whereby investors can pledge money, often in small amounts, to companies via websites such as Kickstarter, Crowdcube and Indiegogo.
A minimum target is usually set and, if projects do not hit that investment level, then no funding at all is received.
Petalite launches its bid on November 3, with investors receiving a reward from the company next spring.
Mr Purnell said: "The concept of rapid charging has fascinated me for a number of years.
"Having worked with a number of manufacturers to develop the Petalite prototype, it's been really rewarding to receive people's initial reactions, everyone with a smartphone says they want one.
"Now we have to turn that enthusiasm into thousands of pre-orders. If we don't hit £10,000 of sales in the first two days, and a total of £30,000 of sales throughout November, the campaign will have failed and we wont receive a penny.
"That's the risk you take when raising finance through crowdfunding but in our case we also have to be utterly mindful of minimum order thresholds."
Katharine Fuller, Innovation Birmingham senior project manager for EU projects, added: "Innovation in hardware has been the big trend in the low-carbon and tech sectors this year, which Petalite perfectly epitomises.
"It is one of the stand-out products across our European-wide Low Carbon Accelerator programme."
Posted from : http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/business-news/petalite-prepares-30k-crowdfunding-mission-7917455