This is the story of Swoppy, a protective case that turns your smartphone into a handheld console.
It all began when Regina, the founder and Chief Unicorn Wrangler at Swoppy, found a rubber phone case that looked like a GameBoy online. She couldn’t resist buying one. From the day she had it on her phone, it was a major conversation starter with strangers as well as friends. Regina found herself pushing buttons (a lot) and dreaming about playing right there on her phone. She planned it out in her head, thought through a few ways of making it a reality and bought a ticket to the 2016 Startup Weekend in Christchurch.
The weekend exceeded her expectations by far. A talented team of incredibly passionate individuals formed around her and within the first 20 hours they had a working prototype, talked to many people on the street and had a decent amount of survey feedback that validated the idea. They even made their first sale on that Saturday. More followed on Sunday and eventually team PGC (now Swoppy) became runner up of the weekend. Astonishing to see what can be achieved with a focused, dedicated team, inspiring mentors and a bit of fun in just one weekend.
Over the course of 54 hours, valuable connections were made! A room full of inspiring, driven and passionate people led to great opportunity to learn and establish new relationships. The original team walked their different ways to work on other projects or went back to their day jobs but Aydin, another Startup Weekend attendee, came on board.
Aydin, Swoppy’s Lord Commander of Hacking All Things, is a passionate gamer with a great technical mind. They made a plan towards a Kickstarter campaign and started working on it. There were legal hurdles to jump, tricky prototyping issues, lots of R&D on the material, IP and branding alongside many other challenges. One lesson that almost every entrepreneur faces on their journey, did not go past those two – It has taken nearly double the time than expected to fulfil the plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign. But it was surely worth the wait!
The Swoppy phone case is well designed to protect your phone and to enhance your mobile gaming experience. It will be available for all recent iPhone models as well as popular Android phones. Every case comes with an emulator that emulates the GameBoy games you own using Dropbox integration. It will also run web based games. There is also an open source developer kit in the making.
Head along to EPIC INNOVATION to support the launch of the Kickstarter campaign on the 24th of February, at 12:30pm. There will be your favourite retro consoles to play, craft beer, and snacks to kick things off with a bang!
To launch your idea, meet co-founders, and grow your network sign up for Startup Weekend Christchurch 2017 on May 19th-21st!