With the confidence of over 121 investors, Innovation Makers has secured over £292,220 on its equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. With eight days remaining on the campaign to reach its £400K target for 20% equity offered, the Innovation Makers team announced that former Maclaren COO Russ Cohen is joining as a strategic advisor to the Board. This is the company’s second round of fundraising to support its revised business plan that now includes international sales.
If readers have ever travelled with children, they know that a smart, streamlined stroller makes a difference. The stroller becomes a lifeline, a sanity saver and tantrum reducer. OmniO Rider seeks to tap this niche market.
Founded by Markus and Samantha Warwick, Innovation Makers’, plans to launch its OmniO Rider after its successful trade show launch at the Harrogate International Nursery Fair in March 2015. With Samantha’s background in product design education and Markus’ business management experience, the couple founded their business not only to bring OmniO Rider to market, but also to build a team to support their vision.
“Parents’ and children’s needs are foremost in the range of nursery and family travel sector products we produce. They will be stylish, with clever yet simple functionality at their heart, and manufactured using premium quality materials. We aim to enhance the lives of busy families enabling them to enjoy stress-free travel,” commented the Founders on their campaign. “Like many parents, we encouraged our young sons to walk extensively, to develop their confidence, stamina and self-esteem. As a family we travelled widely, both domestically and internationally, and like families worldwide: we needed an ultra-lightweight, compact, highly portable stroller able to transport pre-school aged children. Unable to find a suitable product on the market, we established Innovation Makers in 2013 to bring an innovative, practical solution to market.”
The OmniO Rider (former working title – Little Rider), is a new design for a stroller with form and functionality. OmniO Rider is designed to offer convenient portability to parents of active pre-school children aged from six months to 22kg (approx. 5 yrs), while providing children with a comfortable and safe environment to sit and rest. OmniO will be one of the lightest (less than 6kg), most compact 50 x 40 x 20 cm when folded and portable strollers on the market.
Since its successfully funding on Crowdcube in November 2014, Innovation Makers has:
- Developed the product to a Mk4, pre-production prototype with a braked omni-wheel.
- Filed applications for a second patent, including the braked omni-wheel and the registered design.
- Successfully registered the EU Trademark for ‘OmniO’ CTM013686886
- Completed development of a range of OmniO accessories including a rain cover, foot muff, an insulated bottle bag, lunch bag and change bag.
- Launched OmniO Rider to the Trade at the Harrogate International Nursery Fair (HINF) to great acclaim.
- Exhibited at The Gadget Show Live as a finalist in the British Inventors’ Project.
- Won two prestigious product design awards including the:
- Baby Products Association’s – Innovation Award 2015
- Gadget Show Live’s – British Invention of the Year 2015
- Won multiple business awards including:
- Gloucestershire Innovation in Business Award 2015
- Start Up Business Award – Winner (Welsh Business Awards 2014)
- Welsh Business of the Year – Overall Runner-up (2014)
The scope of the business has increased significantly since Harrogate.
“We have been amazed by the interest in OmniO Rider, from UK and international buyers and distributors who attended the show, and those who didn’t but who heard about OmniO Rider through our extensive media coverage, with a combined coverage of 24+ territories,” shared the Warwicks on Crowdcube. “To date we have received three letters of intent (covering 8 countries) that already exceed our original overseas sales forecasts. We have had early discussions with Virgin’s Brand Alliance Manager (Charles Vine) and OmniO Rider will be made available to Upper Class passengers in the Gatwick Clubhouse, as one of the 90 or so brands they currently work with. We will also have a direct sales channel through our e-commerce website and through exhibiting at consumer baby / nursery fairs. We have established an experienced team of outsourced partners in product design, engineering, finance, manufacturing, marketing and PR. Many of them have young families meaning OmniO has been designed by parents, for parents.”
The Mk4 prototype demonstrates the folding functionality of the design and omni-wheel steering system and production is planned to commence in December with landed product expected for delivery to retailers in March 2016. Innovation Makers’ Crowdcube campaign closes 19 August.
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