Arctic Flight gets a Kickstart

For entrepreneurs, planting a seed is the easy part. Raising the awareness and funding needed to grow that seed can prove far more daunting. Fortunately for people like Anton Jachim, there are solutions like Kickstarter to help facilitate that process.

After working at 3M in engineering for almost nine years, Jachim set out in 2010 to do his own thing. Currently, that involves developing an iPad stand that easily attaches to airline tray tables.

Jachim calls it the “Arctic Flight” holder, and there’s no doubt that it’s a good idea. With the popularity of tablets on the rise, this is a potential must-have for business travelers – a demographic with which he’s very familiar, as he was flying 80,000 miles a year by the time he finished at 3M.

“If people get their hands on this thing, they’re not going to want to do without it,” says Jachim.

Getting it into people’s hands is the present objective, and Jachim wants to do so quickly (he hopes to ship the product within a few months) so he’s using Kickstarter as a platform to garner money – more importantly – eyeballs. So far, those eyeballs have converted into about a third, or $20k of his $60k crowdfunding goal.

“Kickstarter has a lot of attention right now, so that allows me to get attention from people I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise,” Jachim explains, adding that Nathan Fillion of ABC’s “Castle” recently tweeted about the project to his 1.2 million followers.

“Without Kickstarter, that would never have happened.”

Jachim is utilizing local resources to complete the project, as he’s enlisted Minneapolis-based redgroup to finalize the product design and St. Paul-based SBS Group to provide logistics.

When it launches, Arctic Flight will only support iPads but Jachim says he plans to eventually offer models that will fit other tablets. He strongly believes that handhelds are poised to overtake laptops as the preferred portable computing device, and that there’s a need to make them more ergonomic and convenient.

“You don’t see too many people working with a tablet computer with just the computer,” he says. “They have some sort of cover, they have some sort of stand, but all of them are compromises. They’re all sort of marginal.”

Jachim is making no compromises with Arctic Flight. And thanks to a solid funding platform and help from local companies, he doesn’t need to.