Off the back of a highly successful $200,000+ Kickstarter crowd funding campaign, local lads from ANTI Ordinary are shaking up a global industry.
While shredding the slopes of Queenstown, New Zealand, Rob Joseph, CEO of ANTI Ordinary was struck with an idea that would change the way he saw safety helmets, and potentially change an industry forever.
“I was wearing a helmet, but it wasn’t comfortable, didn’t conform to my head as much as I’d like it to and reduced my overall experience while shredding on the slopes. I also noticed a lot of people were wearing beanies while riding, makes sense, right? Keeps the head warm, but it was sacrificing safety for comfort.”
“I thought why do we have to sacrifice safety for comfort? Why can’t we have both? So spawned the idea, a beanie as safe as a helmet,” said Rob Joseph, CEO of ANTI Ordinary. The innovation lies beneath a soft, breathable merino wool outer layer and liner, an inner shell of non-Newtonian materials, where the helmet starts soft and flexible, but hardens instantly on impact. After the impact, the helmet returns to it’s natural, flexible state.
What seemed like such a simple and obvious idea, turned out to be an almost 2-year battle of trial and error, technology patents and overcoming many challenges. But the long journey to launching ANTI Ordinary was all worth it when friends, Rob Joseph, Brodie Robinson and Liam Norris, not only hit their Kickstarter target of $80,000, they well and truly exceeded it. The ANTI Ordinary Helmet was met with an overwhelming response from the public when their first crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter raised $207,958 from 904 backers on the 28th of February this year (2019), solidifying the idea and allowing the team to bring this innovative product to market.
After seeing the success of using crowdfunding to both raise funds to manufacture their first run of helmets and get the brand name in front of many people, ANTI Ordinary have decided to run additional pre-orders for their product on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. Rob states that the most valuable part of this journey has been the relationships and networks they have been able to build, opening opportunities for their innovative product to enter markets across the world.
Rob says, “We want ANTI Ordinary to be just that, against the ordinary, against the grain, an alternative in an otherwise crowded market for standard snow helmets”, and this approach is evident not only in their product and technology but in the way these local boys approach business and relationships.”
“We are 3 humans from Logan, Australia, building a product that we know people will love, and making more people safe on the slopes while shredding. Our mums, dads, sisters, brothers and crew will be wearing these, so we’re making something that we can all love, while being safe.”
Here’s what Rob has to say to anyone looking to start innovating, “The biggest piece of advice for someone just starting, is to just start, get amongst it, go to events, meet people, and even if the idea that you have may not be the best thing ever, you will still learn a lot.”
Check out the video interview with Rob Joseph:
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