(LOS ANGELES) – California-based Bosse Tools, founded by Loyola Marymount University graduate student Stephen Walden, has just launched a $60,000 Kickstarter fundraiser to underwrite its first production run of his new line of ergonomic shovels. The project team has until October 20, 2013 to raise at least $60,000 in pledges from individual donors. If they don’t hit their $60,000 goal, they walk away empty-handed. Walden chose Kickstarter because it is a “unique opportunity to display an innovative idea on a platform that rewards forward-thinkers and visionaries.”
The campaign can be accessed via http://bossetools.com. Depending on their pledge level, donors can expect to get a special reward for their support—anything ranging from a hearty thank-you, to a discount on the tools (pointed shovels, flat head shovels, and snow shovels), to a personalized day of labor from Stephen Walden.
According to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, over 11,500 Americans were hospitalized last year as a result of shoveling snow. Injuries like those—and his own sore back—inspired Walden to re-imagine the tool after several long days wielding an old-fashioned shovel. “It shouldn’t be normal to wake up sore every day after using these tools,” says Walden.
The inventor continues, “Our shovels provide an ergonomic benefit by returning the body to a more natural position, correcting one’s posture, ultimately allowing the user to get more done in less time.” The shovel, which features a rotating second grip in the middle of the handle, is designed to reduce wrist, arm and shoulder strain as well. “With worker’s compensation claims surpassing $200 billion in 2012, I realized that the workplace needs this innovation,” explains Walden.
It was clear almost immediately that the new shovel design had appeal beyond Walden’s backyard. But unlike most backyard inventors, Walden was uniquely positioned to develop his concept. An MBA student at Loyola Marymount University’s College of Business Administration, Walden was one of the college’s first graduate students to participate in an entrepreneurship class called the Business Incubator Lab.
“I took this idea to the Incubator Lab, and I ended up winning the school competition for ‘new venture creation’…at that point I realized I had a viable product that would benefit people in many areas,” says Walden.
Next, Walden and his Bosse Tools team took his shovel idea to the 2013 LeanModel™ Competition—sponsored by the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at San Diego State University—where they won the “Pitch the Investor” competition and the “Tiger Tank” competition, earned second place in the “Show Stopper Awards,” and ultimately won the Overall LeanModel Competition Award. More successful competitions followed. Walden said that other competitions at Chapman University, University of North Dakota, and Harvard University taught him to “convince people that there is a real problem out there, and ergonomics is part of the solution. These competitions provide invaluable experience for any entrepreneur with a dream and the courage to share it.”
To read more about Bosse Tools, view the company’s Kickstarter campaign at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/619738984/the-ergonomic-shovel-by-bosse-tools-made-in-americ