Giving our innovators the opportunity to tell you more about their innovation
Kitesurfers often arrive at a beautiful shallow water lagoon with the wind too light for them to ride in. They may have traveled for a couple of hours to go to the beach or be on holiday. What is the solution? You can buy a bigger kiteboard which is cumbersome to transport and carry or you can use a larger kite, which takes a long time to set up and again a heavy item to transport. Hydrofoils have become ever more popular in the last few years to combat these conditions, however, they have tall masts, which mean you need to ride them in deep water, they are single directional, which means a longer learning curve and they cost over £1000, including the cost of a bespoke kiteboard.
I have developed a low profile hydrofoil called the Hydrofin which retrofits onto your existing kiteboard. By attaching to your existing board, you need less kit and therefore does not cost as much. It is easier to ride as the style is similar to your twin tip kiteboard. It is more portable and can also be ridden in the shallow waters where kitesurfers frequent.
The idea came when I was speaking to the local shop about things I could potentially develop. The shop owner mentioned hydrofoils were the new up and coming technology. With my skills in Mechanical Engineering, this was the perfect fit, combing my profession with a sport I am passionate about.
I bought a laptop and a 3D printer secured an entrepreneurial CAD license and got designing! The first iterations I had always imagined as simple fin extensions, which had a carbon fibre skin. These were strong but protruded rather dangerously from the side of the board. Carbon Fibre is also a labour intensive process, so I revisited the design and thought about how I should develop it with more conventional materials, which begin the iterative process to the design I have today.
The biggest challenge has always been to define a timeline for what is essentially “unknown”. I was developing something new, the solution at the early stages was, in theory, an open book. Throughout the lifecycle I needed to make assumptions on how this design would work, test it, challenge the assumptions and repeat, which leads me up to where I am now, communicating what that experience is expected to be. Alongside this, I have had to learn more about how to run a business and market a product. This is a new area for me, though it is has opened up my eyes to new experiences and the wider community in my area and form many networks I would never have done before. It really has been an amazing 2 years!
Now, with a defined prototype design, I am looking to fully commercialise the product and am currently looking to find either investment and/or help in manufacturing a small batch initially to get the Hydrofin to key influencers, which will lead onto a crowdfunding campaign. If you or anyone else you know is interested, get in touch, it would be great to have you join our journey!
James Crook, Managing Director
Kuldea is an online marketplace that aggregates furniture products across the entire UK retail market and places them in one website. It is the ‘Home for Furniture Discovery’ where people search, compare and shop furniture and furnishings with ease and simplicity.
The website also allows people to subscribe to Kuldea by creating an account. This allows them to favourite and follow preferred products, access regular home furnishing advice and inspiration articles and build personalised home furnishing collections from across the market that best suits
Founded in 2017, Kuldea has been brought to life by the vision of our Co-Founders Deirdre Mc Gettrick and Ray Wright, an Irish/ Australian couple who have made it their mission to bring all online furniture products and retailers into one website. The genesis for the business came after Deirdre and Ray purchased their first home. They quickly became frustrated with the current furniture search process through not being able to find products they wanted and create their own original home design. This occurred because many unique retailer brands were largely unknown to them and not easily searchable in the current online furniture market.
As a disruptive tech start up, Kuldea has been developed from concept to operational business under the guidance of Setsquared, Basingstoke where its Co-Founders are mentored by Entrepreneur in Residence, Adrian Braine. The Kuldea website was launched in late December 2018 and it produced immediate results with over 3,000 online furniture shoppers visiting the website within the first month of trade. This trend continued into its second month as website traffic,
product purchases and website subscribers increased.
The instant success of the Kuldea website and positive market feedback attained from users has led to Kuldea exhibiting at Venturefest South 2019. Initial results achieved show there is clear scope to scale Kuldea across all areas of the business and the leadership team see Venturefest South 2019 as a great way to showcase Kuldea to people interested in where the business is going. It also provides an opportunity to network and develop relationships with other highly creative and innovative people across multiple industries.
Ray Wright, Managing Director