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Lock innovators look to Kickstarter

Published January 8, 2013
The Interlock cable pulls out of the seatpost.

VANCOUVER, BC (BRAIN) — Kickstarter.com continues to be a popular tool for innovators in the bike industry, who increasingly are using the crowd-funding site to complement other investment possibilities. The latest example is the Interlock, a cunning cable lock that slides into a seatpost, providing the user with a streamlined lock that is always ready for use.

The proposed product comes from Vancouver-based Solgaard Design. The new company's Kickstarter strategy is as savvy as the product itself.

The company hopes to raise $48,000 through Kickstarter to put the post into production, said founder Adrian Solgaard Janzen. Janzen said he already has potential investors in the wings, but is waiting to conclude the Kickstarter campaign before bringing them in. The Kickstarter campaign launched Friday and by Tuesday morning had raised nearly $10,000.

"Whatever Kickstarter raises, (the investors) will double or triple that," he said. Janzen said he launched the Kickstarter campaign before bringing in investors partly to maximize his equity in the company.

Kickstarters who pledge $29 or more will receive a seatpost when it goes into production (the post will eventually retail for about $50).

Janzen launched the Kickstarter campaign first to maximize equity before welcoming investors

Janzen said once the Kickstarter campaign concludes, the first priority is to fulfill the orders to the pledgers. Then, funds from the outside investors will go toward manufacturing products to sell into the dealer market through distributors, and to OE bike makers. He said he hopes to make the product available for late model year 2014 bikes and in the aftermarket by this summer.

A step beyond

As for the product itself, Janzen said it goes a step beyond the integrated locks common on some European commuter bikes. Those locks typically prevent impulse theft by preventing the wheel from turning. The Interlock allows the user to lock the bike to something.

"With our lock you can't just pick up the bike and carry it away," he said.

Janzen said he expects to make the post available in two or three diameters. Customers with frames requiring other diameters can use shims. He expects to make "slightly different versions" of the post for OE use. 

More information: Kickstarter; Interlock

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