"We created Popcord because our phones kept running out of battery life, and we decided to do something about it!"

We created Popcord because our phones kept running out of battery life, and we decided to do something about it!

Frank Milani, MA in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership student and co-founder of Popcord (Powergoat Ltd); the sleek key-ring that can be used as a charging cable for smartphones. 

After trying all the charging solutions in the market - bulky battery cases, easy-to-forget power banks, and tangled-up charging cables - we thought there should be a better way. So, we set out to put a charging cable on a keyring.

When we were researching our idea, we talked to as many people as possible, not just friends and family, but people from outside our circle too. We went to loads of networking events, to listen, and get lots of different points of view.

When doing our market research we made really good use of the “university project excuse!” It makes approaching people - from people in the street, to industry leaders, successful entrepreneurs, and even people in the same industry - a lot easier. We’d mention ‘research paper’, and wave our student card – and everything was fine!

To grow the business we used Kickstarter, a reward-based crowdfunding platform. It was a brilliant way to test our concept, spread the word and of course make money. Kickstarter allowed us to pre-sell more than 3,000 units in less than 3 months, raising £47,000 for production, spending NO money in marketing and advertising! A great achievement for a stone broke start-up.

We believe in a close and friendly relationship with our backers and our customers, and we love the way Kickstarter keeps creators and backers in touch. We use Kickstarter to keep our backers and customers updated on the status of the project and build a strong relationship with them. In turn, the Kickstarter community help to spread the word about Popcord on social media.

Most recently, John Lewis has selected us, out of 700 companies, to meet with their buying team. Our plan is to build a very profitable business relationship with them!”

Experience City Case Studies are published by the CityCareers service. If you would like to read more CityStarters Case Studies, visit http://www.citystarters.co.uk/casestudies