beCONNECTED was conceived in 2004 as a project to create and bring to market a range of accessories primarily for Apple's iPod (and other generic MP3 players too) that offer greater convergence between existing mobile communication and mobile entertainment sectors.
The project team, led by James Sandwith, developed the concept for the initial product; carried out a detailed feasibility study & market research; assembled a team of designers and engineers to complete the development process; executed an evaluation licence from Apple which gives us access to technical specs and know how; developed an indicative business plan with Move2Mobile (the UK's foremost wireless business incubator) which showed a realistic route to selling 400,000 units in the first year of sales, generating revenue in excess of £8m.
The work was funded by London-based innovator beBRAND with support from the London Development Agency, the DTI, and Move2Mobile.
The project team endeavoured to raise additional capital to fund:
the transition from prototype to working hardware product and software interface;
establishing licensing deals & necessary trade relationships;
extending trademark protection and other IP rights in key international markets;
the testing and regulatory approval of the product prior to launch.
We were unsuccessful as there was no appetite to fund what was perceived as "product design" and manufacturing. An opportunity to innovate and prosper was missed, but the project showed how important the timing of capital funding is, how cumbersome the fund raising process remains, and how vital independence is to launching new products successfully.
For more information contact James Sandwith on +44 (0) 20 7324 6110.