Innovation Birmingham Campus-based Petalite launches campaign to raise £30,000 for production of portable, eco-friendly smartphone battery

Innovation Birmingham Campus-based start-up Petalite is gearing up for the launch of its £30,000 crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo.com. Over 600 people have pre-registered to order a portable, smartphone life-extending Petalite battery when the first batch comes off the production line next year.

The pocket-sized battery provides 2,600mAh of power, enabling the charge of any USB compatible device on the go. Once depleted, it recharges in only 15 minutes. The eco-friendly invention – which has received initial investment from Innovation Birmingham’s Low Carbon Accelerator programme – enables Smartphone owners to prevent their devices from going flat, prolonging battery life and extending overall lifetime.

From Monday 3rd November, people will be able to pledge money on indiegogogo.com in return for a reward from Petalite, to be dispatched in spring 2015. Portable batteries, together with mains-powered rapid-charging docking stations, will be available to order from £20. A day one promotion will see the batteries sold for the cost price of £15.

Leigh Purnell, founder and inventor of Petalite said: “The concept of rapid charging has fascinated me for a number of years. Having worked with a number of manufacturers to develop the Petalite prototype, it’s been really rewarding to receive people’s initial reactions; everyone with a smartphone says they want one!

“Now we have to turn that enthusiasm into thousands of pre-orders. If we don’t hit £10,000 of sales in the first two days, and a total of £30,000 of sales throughout November, the campaign will have failed and we wont receive a penny. That’s the risk you take when raising finance through crowdfunding, but in our case, we also have to be utterly mindful of minimum order thresholds.

“We have fine-tuned every aspect of the design of the product to enable pricing to be set at what you would typically pay for a branded mains-powered phone charger. However, a Petalite battery offers so much more flexibility, smartphone life-extending attributes, together with the panic-free lifestyle benefits of knowing you wont run out of charge.”

Petalite is one of nine start-ups to receive a share of £100,000 from Innovation Birmingham’s Low Carbon Accelerator programme, which is part of the European-funded Climate-KIC initiative. The grant funding is being used by Petalite to continue development of the prototype battery and docking station. The start-up has also recently taken office space at the Innovation Birmingham Campus to accommodate the staff required to support the month-long indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

Katharine Fuller, Innovation Birmingham’s Senior Project Manager for EU Projects said: “Leigh is a natural entrepreneur, who has the ambition and determination to make a success of his invention. Although there are other products with some similarities on the market, Leigh can instantly demonstrate how the Petalite battery is so much more efficient, eco-friendly and cost-effective.

“Innovation in hardware has been the big trend in the low-carbon and tech sectors this year, which Petalite perfectly epitomises. It is one of the stand-out products across our European-wide Low Carbon Accelerator programme.”

To receive notifications regarding Petalite’s crowdfunding campaign, register on http://www.petalite.co.uk/ .

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