Design Council Spark awardees are rocking all over the world
With news that Design Council Spark awardee Rockit are due to appear on Channel 4’s ‘Buy it now’ competition show, we got in touch to find out how things were going with the product and what they had to share from their experience of filming for the programme.
Rockit, the aptly named rocket-shaped portable baby rocker, was an awardee in our 2016 Design Council Spark accelerator programme. The business behind Rockit has come a long way in the subsequent 18 months since they were recognised and awarded funding towards their venture. With help from their Design Council Spark mentor, they have fast-tracked the design development, manufactured the Rockit and are now selling the product all over the world.
Nick Webb, Rockit inventor, comments, “Winning the Design Council Spark Award was a massive boost to us both in terms of the advice and mentoring, but also the funding, which enabled us to produce the tooling to manufacture the Rockit and expand our IP protection.”
The trade launch took place at the world’s largest nursery trade show in Cologne where distributors from Australia and New Zealand placed orders. This was followed by orders from Canada, Taiwan and Israel. Over 14,000 Rockits have been sold so far with many other territories currently under negotiation.
Subsequently, Rockit had its public unveiling at the Olympia Baby Show last October (2017), where it received critical acclaim. Director, Matt Sparrow, adds, “It’s been a whirlwind six months since the Rockit launch with sales into independent nursery retailers and major high street stores including John Lewis. Mums and dads have been raving about it, and it has won 3 gold consumer awards already this year."
Rockit is about to get its first TV airing on a new Channel 4 show called ‘Buy it Now’. The show involves pitching new products and inventions to a studio audience of shoppers. If the pitch is successful, the inventors get a chance to secure orders from major retailers. “It was while at the TV studios, that we bumped into Hollywood star Tom Cruise, who was in London at the time filming the latest offering from the Mission Impossible franchise. We were so focused on the filming of the show that we didn’t recognise him! We walked straight past, despite him stopping us to comment on the spaceman costumes we were wearing as part of our pitch for the show,” said Webb. Rockit will feature in episode 11 on Channel 4 at 5.30pm on Monday 30 April.
The team behind Rockit are building a sustainable business and have ambitious plans for expansion. Matt Dyson, CEO at Rockit, concludes, “We are currently working on some really innovative follow-up products, all focusing on different child sleep issues. It is a really exciting phase for the business, and we are raising investment via an equity crowdfunding campaign. This will enable us to fast-track our new product development and invest in the marketing of Rockit and future products in the UK and abroad. Anyone interested in the crowdfunding campaign can find out more at www.crowdcube.com/rockit."
Design Council Spark is a support and funding programme designed to help you turn your bright idea into a commercially successful product. Since its creation in 2014, Design Council Spark has helped more than 100 innovators and entrepreneurs to develop their product ideas, intensively supported with mentoring, funding and specialist workshops in order to progress to market.
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