Latest news from Loughborough University
3 Sep 2014
Crowdfunding success for Geco Hub – the stylish way to stop losing things
Award-winning graduate designer Simon Lyons has raised over £25,000 to take Geco Hub – his fun and colourful storage system – to market. He pitched his invention to the public on Kickstarter and attracted pledges from over 310 people in more than 25 countries.
Geco Hub is a grab-and-go organiser that looks after the important things we have a habit of losing. Interior design bloggers have praised Geco Hub’s stylish looks and versatility, and its ease of use has appealed to people with less dexterity, such as those with osteoarthritis. Geco Hub’s custom colours and no-nails fixing appeals to students and those in rented homes alike, whilst caravan owners love the way it stores things in a secure and compact way when space is at a premium.
To date, Simon has funded the development of Geco Hub solely through prize money. But going into manufacture is a considerable cost, which is why he reached out to the public for support.
“I’ve been overwhelmed to receive such a great response from so many people by crowdfunding,” said Simon. “Thanks to their invaluable support, I can now pay for the tooling that will see Geco Hub launched in Spring next year.”
Whilst Simon prepares for his first product launch, his innovation pipeline also includes Nimble, a safe and easy to use finger tool that takes the fuss out of opening awkward packaging.
Simon is supported by the Studio, Loughborough University’s graduate commercialisation hub, where he has based Version 22 – his fledgling product design business – since he graduated with first class honours in Product Design Engineering in 2013.
Notes for editors
Article reference number: PR 14/153
1. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.
It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.
In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.
2. The Studio provides access to the resources, expertise and knowledge to help Loughborough graduates develop sustainable businesses. To date, the Studio has supported 27 businesses, 18 of which are now registered and 16 are trading, creating 5 permanent jobs. Studio companies have won 36 awards and will turnover an estimated £200K this year. A royalty agreement means its members pay a percentage of their sales turnover when they start trading, which long-term, means the Studio will become self-sufficient.
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