.

Aston graduate reaches crowdfunding goal

Petalite

14 January 2015

Leigh Purnell, inventor of the ‘Petalite Flux Battery’, had initially set a $30,000 crowdfunding target. In just two months the Indiegogo campaign has generated $42,000 and the campaign will continue to run until 16th January 2015.

The Petalite device can charge itself empty to full in just 15 minutes and is small enough to fit in your pocket or bag, eradicating the need to plug your phone into a wall electricity socket or computer USB slot. Instead, if your smartphone needs charging, you can simply connect it to the Flux battery and continue with your day.

More than 600 people have now pre-registered to order a Petalite battery when the first units are produced next year. Development of the product received a share of £100,000 in investment from the IBC's Low Carbon Accelerator programme.

In order to reach their goal, Leigh and his team put all of their efforts into gaining publicity. The project was featured in the Indiegogo's newsletter which has a large readership across the UK, and soon began to receive press coverage from across the world.

Technology and Enterprise Management graduate, Leigh, said: “We’re so happy to have reached our total, and there’s still a few days left for people to back the campaign. We’ve been really focused on driving the publicity and now we’re really excited to start manufacturing the products and getting them out to our investors and customers.”

He has been supported in his mission of creating the world’s fastest charging external battery by the Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network (BSEEN) programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Leigh was quick to praise the BSEEN programme: “Without the help of the mentors at BSEEN I would definitely not be at the point I am today. The networking opportunities provided me with so many important contacts and really helped open doors to build my business.”

Looking to the future, Leigh is exploring other areas where fast charging devices could prove useful. He plans to expand the Petalite range into other electrical devices, and even into small vehicles.

Petalite’s crowdfunding campaign will continue until 16th January, and for every $5,000 reached over the goal, a new product is released. View their campaign here.

For further media information, please contact Jaime Davies, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4377 or j.davies@aston.ac.uk.