One of the main drivers for new product development is “solving a problem” and this is the clear reason behind the development of Cabbunk®
Richard & Jane Olphin from Blythe Bridge near Stoke on Trent have been motorhoming for years. When their two granddaughters arrived they looked for a way to take the girls away for occasional short trips.
They scoured the web for child cab beds and found them available only for older VWs. None were available for the new swivel seat cabs. Richard looked at the problem and found that it would be possible to secure the rear of a bunk onto the strong rear headrests of the swivel led seats, the front of the bunk could be held by conventional hammock pole brackets.
Richard’s first thought was to seek to protect his idea and contacted Swindell & Pearson local Patent Attorneys in 2012 before being referred soon after to the BIC. Swindell & Pearson work very closely with the BIC and knew that they could provide additional support to Richard with regard to product design, funding and marketing.
Once the patent application was on the way, production commenced and by 2013 Cabbunk was on the market and was being exhibited at a number of leisure, caravan, camping and motor shows.
Having been so well received in the UK market, Richard once again approached the BIC and was awarded £2,500 towards the cost of taking out an European patent, a Trade Mark and the cost of setting up a marketing strategy to promote Cabbunk in Europe where there is currently an estimated 1 million motorhomes.
Assistance from the BIC was part of their SBIS II project funded through the European Regional Development Fund.
Richard commented ” Protecting an invention is vital but the cost of international patents is proportionately prohibitive to startup companies. Without the BIC and their funding, we may have failed to protect the product. The european motorhome market is ten-times larger than the UK and we have very exciting developments emerging. This should result in brand-new employment prospects for Staffordshire. “
For further information on Cabbunk visit www.cabbunk.co.uk