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Slovenian Project Gets Aimed Start-Up Funds in 17 Hours

Trbovlje, 22 October (STA) - A Trbovlje-based group of innovators raised the aimed US$15,000 support on the start-up funding website Kickstarter with their Bluetooth item finder Chipolo in just 17 hours.

With 24 more days to go, the keychain chip for finding misplaced items with a smartphone app has already received over US$23,000 in support for its mass production with world-wide shipping by Tuesday.

Chipolo allows users to locate misplaced items quickly with an Android and iOS supported app showing the distance of the chip attached to important belongings - from keys to backpacks or laptops -, while a beeper on the chip can also be activated from the smartphone.

Not only does it allow finding items in a distance of up to 60 metres, the item search also goes the other way around, as Chipolo can activate a sound notification on a misplaced phone.

As a special feature, the chip also has a built-in temperature sensor which smartphones usually lack, Jure Zdovc of the Chipolo Team told the STA.

According to Zdovc, the device was developed based on the team's own experience and is completely the result of Slovenian know-how with all of the parts bar electronic components made in Slovenia.

Almost a year and over EUR 10,000 of own funds were invested in the development of the first Chipolo prototype, he explained.

The Chipolo Team will start shipping the devices to Kickstarter supporters, but they are also looking for distributors to get the device in different stores.

Another successful Slovenian project is currently collecting start-up funding on Kickstarter. The smart bicycle wheel Flykly has collected over US$165,000 since Wednesday, while the goal was to get at least US$100,000 by 25 November.

The light-weight smartphone-connected electric pedal assist helps cyclists reach speeds of up to 25 kilometres per hour effortlessly and offers a number of other special features from bike locking and tracking to phone charging.

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