Before founding The Roost, James Olander worked as an aerospace engineer for Lockheed Martin in Colorado and California before diving into the Silicon Valley startup scene as an employee of oDesk.
He worked largely on a laptop for three years before developing a repetitive strain injury (RSI). "My arms were sore, my back was sore," says Olander. "Everything was sore."
Olander's ergonomic solution? "You have to get the screen off of the desk," he says. With The Roost, "The screen is at the same height your desktop screen would be."
He returned to Colorado in spring 2013 to launch the company. "My girlfriend was here and all of my old friends are here," explains Olander. "I drove the laser cutter over the Rockies and found a great space here at the Walnut Workshop
Then Olander turned to Kickstarter for seed funding
and set a $9,300 goal. He hit that in 24 hours and has since eclipsed $30,000. The campaign ends in early July.
"It's amazing," says Olander. "About 90 percent of the backers have backed multiple projects. It just goes to show how strong the Kickstarter community is."
Olander says he'll start shipping his laptop stands to his 500 (and counting) Kickstarter backers in August. He's making them himself, and forecasts he could produce 1,200 units a month on his own using his laser cutter 40 hours a week
With an expected retail of $80 to $100, the collapsible Roost weighs a mere five ounces and -- in tandem with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse -- makes for a much healthier laptop working option, he adds.
Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Eric Peterson with tips and leads for future stories at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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