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Kickstarted in LDN #2: January – AJOTO Pen, Manuka Belt & Snappgrip

Monthly series

Welcome to the second of our monthly roundups.

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that helps new hardware and software projects to get off the ground. It’s where you’ll find some of the most exciting early stage businesses in London, and Tech City News will bring you the best every month as part of our Kickstarted in LDN series.

Review the best of January 2013

January has been another busy month for London-based projects. All three of our featured campaigns were succesfully funded and will now start the first production runs, with one project beating its funding target by an incredible 300%.

AJOTO – the recession-proof pen

598 people pledged a total of £46,142 for what looks at first glance to be a standard looking pen.

Ajoto Pen – 598 backers loved it.

Chris Holden and Tim Higgins, the founders of design company AJOTO have been working on the pre-production sample for the past year which promise to use sustainable materials and traditional production techniques, blended with the latest technology.

Watch their pitch video:

Ajoto also offered personalisation as part of the Kickstarter campaign, including engraving and customised packaging. It’s fascinating to see how many people have put their money behind a £60 pre-production pen in the current economic climate; we’ll be keeping an eye on Ajoto Pen.

598 Backers – £46,142 pledged of a campaign target £15,000 Completed Sunday 27th January 2013

Manuka Belt – the buckle-free belt

Kickstarter is at its very best when you see something you have never seen before but is so simple you can’t believe you haven’t. 600 people agreed and backed this project, pledging £22,836 in total.

Imagine a belt that stays on without the need for a buckle.

Manuka – the belt with no buckle.

Designers Tom and Adam at Manuka Magnetics did just that by using alternating magnets along the length of an otherwise normal looking belt.

Alternating magnetic poles along the belt act as virtual belt notches

Take a look at their campaign video, where they explain more about the inspiration behind the belt:

Raising over £22,000 pounds to start distribution and manufacturing, it’ll be interesting to watch if Manuka Belt is picked up by a high street retailer.

Unusually, Manuka have been upfront about potential risks for delayed delivery of the first batch of production on their Kickstarter page.

They also offer customisation and allow backers to upload their own designs to make their own personalised  magnetic belt.

593 Backers – £22,836 pledged of a campaign target £22,000
Completed Friday January 4th 2013

Snappgrip – iPhoneography Reinvented

Snappgrip is the latest attempt to blend the best of a compact camera with the convenience of an iPhone. It comes in the form of an iPhone case with an attached grip with manual camera controls allowing you to control shutter speed, zoom and shooting modes.

Snappgrip offers full control of your iPhone camera with one hand

Others have tried to improve the iPhone’s camera experience before, but the market has reacted well to Snappgrip with the product 150% funded. Watch product designer Lee Harris, the man behind the accessory explain more in his pitch video:

Production prototypes are ready and Snappgrip expect to start building the first models in February 2013. They  decided to use Kickstarter to raise funding for production.

557 Backers – £27,000 Backed of a campaign target £18,000  Completed Monday 28th January 2013

Don’t miss our next edition

Next month we are excited to talk about our Shoreditch neighbours Good Night Light Lamp and the charming Yolkr egg yolking gadget which will finish in February and March.

Check back soon.