Meet Michael Harkins, founder of Turtle Pack; a fun swimming aid for children who won the Autumn 2017 Innovator Launchpad award.
Turtle Pack’s simple design gives children full use of their arms so they are able to swim with no restrictions. Michael’s idea came from frustration as a swimming teacher; he wanted to offer an effective swimming aid that also made learning to swim fun and enjoyable for children – his product has the tagline “Bringing children out of their shell”.
Michael used his winnings from Innovator Launchpad to work on the business full time, which helped open the doors to many opportunities including going to London to meet Sir Richard Branson, who was so impressed by Turtle Pack he gifted some to his grandchildren who are using the product to learn to swim.
Since winning the Innovator Launchpad award last year Turtle Pack has been successful in generating over £10,000 in pre-sales orders through a Kickstarter campaign. The aim now is to launch the mass production of the product to bring it to market in order to fulfil Michael’s aim to make swimming fun, safe and educational for as many children as possible.
On his quest to revolutionise learning to swim Michael has also launched Turtle Pack Swim Academy, which uses Turtle Packs within swimming lessons, last month. He has been overwhelmed by the response from parents who have noticed a big difference in the quality of swimming lessons using Turtle Packs as opposed to traditional swimming aids.
Michael believes that perseverance is the key to running a business and offers some advice for any budding entrepreneurs considering entering Innovator Launchpad this year; “if you truly believe in and are passionate about what you are doing you will make it” and also don’t forget to learn from any failings. Learning from mistakes is equally as important.
Michael aims to have Turtle Pack available to buy from early next year so sign up for updates to be the first to get your hands on this revolutionary product.
The Innovator Launchpad team are proud to support Michael’s quest and wish him well in the launch of Turtle Pack to market!
If you think you’ve got what it takes to win this year’s Innovator Launchpad award with a cash prize of £6,500 as well as IP advice and business support apply today. Good luck!