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'World First' Tech Product From Tiny MCR Company

Kickstarter campaign to launch new tech product hits 100% target in only nine days

Written by . Published on October 15th 2014.


'World First' Tech Product From Tiny MCR Company
 

MANCHESTER is a city of many world firsts.

"Kickstarter have this estimation tool, it reckons we could reach anywhere between £30,000 to £45,000. That would be unbelievable."

The world's first split atom, the first passenger railway station, the first computer, and more recently, the world's first isolation of graphene - which we're regularly told is going to change just about everything.

Well, the city has just pulled another 'world first'. 

A tiny Manchester-based tech company with only three staff is set to launch a 'world's first' tech product following a remarkably successful crowdfunding campaign.

Crowdfunning is a means of funding a project by asking a large number of people for a small amount of money via the internet, typically in exchange for discounts and perks when the project launches.

Some high profile crowdfunded ventures around Greater Manchester include Grindsmith's eco-friendly coffee shed in Greengate Square and the WEDG personal cloud device, while national AA Restaurant of the Year 2014/15, Sticky Walnut in Hoole, is currently £38,330 of the way to £100,000 in order to launch their second restaurant.

Kickstarter campaignKickstarter campaign

World's first backlit editing keybaordWorld's first backlit editing keybaord

EditorsKeys, working from an office in Deansgate's Barton Arcade, are about to begin production of their new cutting-edge editing keyboard (RRR £99) following a Kickstarter campaign which saw them raise 100% of their £10,000 target in only nine days (50% in less than 48 hours).

The campaign has received over 130 donations from as far as New York, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Toronto and Gateshead, and still has over a month of pledging remaining.

The new tech product has gained global interest from leading production magazines, blogs and even the odd big-name music producer.

"I'm a long time fan of EditorsKeys keyboards," says Rik Simpson, a British Grammy Award-winning record producer who has collaborated with the likes of Jay-Z, Coldplay and Kasabian. "I can't wait to get this keyboard, I'll have no more night time sessions in the studio fumbling around trying to find my shortcuts."

The backlit keyboard aims to help editors - who often work for long periods in low light environments - speed up the editing process and reduce eye strain in the studio.

Company founder Mark Brown has lived in Manchester for eight years, having moved to the city from Norwich to work for ITV on The Jeremy Kyle Show:

"The product has been entirely designed in Manchester, it's taken us just over year to get to this point. We'll soon be ready to ship around 300 keyboards around the world to places like Australia, China and the U.S. The extra funding will allow us to produce another batch of 200."

In the studioIn the studio

With the pledged amount at almost £12,000 with a full month to go, does Brown have any idea how much the final raised total will be?

"Kickstarter have this estimation tool, it reckons we could reach anywhere between £30,000 to £45,000. That would be unbelievable."

We asked Brown whether he thought crowdfunding was the way forward for small businesses.

"Absolutely. As a small business we'd usually have to take out a bank loan, then you're left in limbo between getting the loan, paying off the loan and trying to sell the product," Brown explained. "This way we can see how well the campaign is doing and start making the product before the campaign has even finished. We pay no interest on the amount either."

Kickstarter is the largest of the crowdfunding websites and has raised over $1 billion in pledges to help hundreds of thousands of projects launch across the world.

The most funded project ever on Kickstarter is for the Coolest Cooler - 'a portable party disguised as a cooling, bringing blended drinks, music and fun to any outdoor occasion' - which raised over $13,000,000 from 62,642 backers.

EditorsKeys Kickstarter campaign

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AnonymousOctober 17th 2014.

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