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The innovative Irish design that stops your home looking like a bike shop

The Stowaway went live on Kickstarter this week – and we take a look.

IT’S A PROBLEM many bike-loving city-dwellers can relate to – where to securely store that beloved two-wheeler when it’s not in use.

However when Sinéad Geraghty’s home started to look like a bike shop, she turned the same dilemma into inspiration. Rather that cramming more cycles into tight spaces, she realised, the answer could be in the air over our heads.

The Dublin-based designer this week launched the Stowaway, her solution for storing bikes against the ceiling, on crowdfunding site Kickstarter with an ambitious target of raising €100,000 to get the product on the market.

The great thing about Kickstarter is you can showcase your product without investing in tooling and manufacturing, which is very expensive,” Gerathy said.

Geraghty Stowaway's Sinéad Gerathy

With a pricetag starting at €99 for one Stowaway delivered, there are numerous – and much-cheaper options – for mounting a bike flush against a wall.

However there are scant alternatives for those wanting to take advantage of spare ceiling room, short of the Italian Flat-bike-lift at €229.

How it works

Rather than sitting vertically, the Stowaway lifts and then swings a bike horizontal, positioning it out of the way.

Stowaway1

To use, the Stowaway is first bolted to a wall. Once that’s done, the bike is strapped in around the seat and handlebars to haul it to the roof.

Stowaway2

A second strap attaches across the wheels to turn the bike 90 degrees.

Stowaway3

The technical inspiration for the design came via a mish-mash of various concepts from Gerathy, who worked in sales before deciding to focus on her fledgeling company.

When I was a kid I would always make stuff,” she said. “I’m known as the MacGyver of my friends and family, if they need to get something fixed or solved they give me a shout.”

The wall-mounting component came from the punching bags she had used in Taekwondo, while the braking system to stop bikes dropping from their perches was inspired by the shutters Gerathy saw on her travels around Spain and continental Europe.

The device also employs counterweighted pulleys so that users are effectively only wrestling with half the bike’s weight, a design influenced by her experience as a sailor.

Stowaway Source: Stowaway

Crowdfunding

While the Kickstarter platform has been a fertile feeding ground for other Irish designers, many successfully funded projects have been beset by delays – although so far with few of the spectacular failures of some high-profile international concepts.

Gerathy is confident about meeting her nine-month production deadline, however, after partnering with Dundalk-based LWP to help her develop a working prototype and connect with factories to turn that into the first production model.

Earlier this year she joined Enterprise Ireland’s programme for early stage entrepreneurs, which put her in touch with successful exporters for mentors.

Bike-Storage-3 Source: Stowaway

But when it comes to making the fundraising target – which is significantly higher than most Irish projects to date – she is less bullish, despite taking in pledges from around the world in the first few days.

“I do worry about it to be honest; but the financials are purely based on the costs of getting it manufactured and to people’s doors,” she said.

There is a need there. What I’ve been saying to people is that it might not be for you – but if it’s not, pass on the details to someone else who might like it.”

READ: This Irish guy brewed up a special beer to land his dream job at a brewery >

READ: Leonardo DiCaprio is putting his money into a startup ‘growing’ real diamonds >

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