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Sledging to success for budding entrepreneur
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Sledging to success for budding entrepreneur

Sledging to success for budding entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Mike Rhucroft from Kent is setting his sights high following an idea to design The Pacca, a child’s travel hand luggage back-pack that can easily unfold and be used as a snow sledge – perfect for the skiing season.

Sledging to success for budding entrepreneur

The Pacca

The Pacca combines a suitcase-quality outer shell, airline hand luggage-friendly dimension, and a full sized sledge once open.

A keen skier, the idea came to Mike following a number of family skiing trips taken with his young family and repeatedly becoming frustrated with the added expense of hiring low quality sledges for his younger children.

He said: “The practicalities of taking away two or three snow sledges on holiday and carrying, paying and putting them through hold baggage is logistically and financially just not worth it, which is why thousands of families every year are left with little choice but to hire them once at a resort. My objective was to give my kids a way to sledge in safety by creating an innovative luggage solution that allowed us to take our own kit to the slopes.”

Not really knowing how to push his idea forward, Mike got in touch with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) after learning that they could provide significant support in product idea generation, bringing objectivity to the development of new concepts.

Working with MAS advisors Richard Teal – a product design expert, Jim Bristow – highly skilled in sales and marketing and Ian Pateman – a lean manufacturing specialist,  Mike initially presented his idea within a mini Dragon’s Den style environment. This provided the ideal platform for a group discussion focusing on the feasibility of turning such an idea into reality – looking at how to get the product trademarked, securing patent protection rights and researching copyrights involving creative work, for example the design of a logo.

MAS was able to provide continued support following the meeting with advice and guidance on how to get the best product design for efficient manufacture and assembly, looking at potential contacts for local manufacturers, suppliers and distributors in addition to offering strategic advice on sales and marketing.

With the help of MAS grant funding in three different project areas – design work, prototyping and tooling – Mike is adding the finishing touches to The Pacca and is currently in talks with a number of distributors and TV shopping channels. Mike is hopeful that his product will be up and running in shops ready to take 2014 by storm.

For more information about how MAS can help to turn ideas into reality contact advice@mymas.org or telephone 0845 658 9600 to make an appointment with a local MAS Advisor.

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