Kickstarter x Makerversity Residency members

Charlotte Gilks
Oct 3, 2023

Makerversity & Kickstarter are very excited to work together in 2023 on a new residency for creative businesses to launch a new project with the support from both teams. We’re happy to announce the 3 successful applicants joining Makerversity: Sym, Solar Blanket and ChaffCast. See all about them below

Deep Sym

Sym uses custom sensors to visualise the participant’s breathing in moving soothing lights within a beautifully designed lamp. The experience allows the participant/s to focus on breath and breathing deeply through the diaphragm which activates the parasympathetic nervous system, naturally relieving anxiety and stress. Sym can be used by multiple people at once, breathing together creates an intimate experience of connection to one’s breath and to others. When in sync, the lighting colour changes to rainbows, animating the object, giving extra sense of joy and satisfaction to users. Sym makes breathing fun and engaging, encouraging beneficial deep breathing techniques and creating an immersive calming experience anywhere.

"We are looking forward to launching the first Sym product to the market through Kickstarter within the next 6 months. During the residency we will be finalising our design to be ready for manufacture, and working on building a supportive community while putting all the things in place to ensure our success. These include IP, marketing, legal and supply chain set up. We are also hoping to have a few well being focused showcase events in the next 6 months, sign up on our website for our newsletter and follow on Instagram for more news"

Solar Blanket

The UK Parliament reported that in 2020, 14.5 million people lived in relative poverty after housing costs in the UK. Considering the rising cost of living, this product supports people to stay warm by alleviating some of the strains of soaring energy prices. Mireille Steinhage has designed ‘Solar Blanket’, a heated blanket that is powered by the sun. While in use, the blanket saves energy by directing heat to the user instead of wasting energy on heating up an entire area. The blanket is most effective when used as a warming layer to sit or lay on. Pleating allows the blanket to be modular by concentrating heat. It fits one person when folded and multiple people when expanded. Furthermore, it benefits from being off-grid, giving the user the option to be self-sufficient and making it portable.

"As a product designer, my aim is to design sustainable, affordable solutions. Kickstarter is a great opportunity for me to scale up, prototype further, and receive consumer feedback on portability, accessibility, and durability. To eventually provide the blanket to the people who inspired and helped me develop this product; the community of Jaywick, our neighbours and everyone who openly spoke about the effect of the cost of living crisis in their everyday lives. My ultimate aim is to develop a blanket that can be used to aid the people affected by crisis situations. For example, the earthquake in Turkey and Syria."


ChaffCast’s passion for sustainability and creativity inspired them to find a solution for the coffee industry’s waste. They realised that coffee chaff, the discarded outer layer of the coffee bean, had enormous potential as a valuable and sustainable material.

Bartosz, who had been running coffee roasteries for years, had seen first hand how this byproduct was often wasted and wanted to find a way to put it to good use. Atticus Durnell, with his background in bio-design, had developed a bio-coffee waste material that could be transformed into something new and valuable. They saw an opportunity to create a sustainable and beautiful product using coffee chaff waste.

Coffee chaff could be the perfect material for creating infills, making it cost-effective and customisable for small businesses. With their shared passion for sustainability and creativity, they are driven to find a way to commercialise the use of coffee chaff waste. They are inspired to positively impact the environment and find creative solutions to sustainability challenges.

"Over the next six months, our plan is to evaluate materials; develop a stable recipe for the project; design the manufacturing process and build the prototype using waste as components; iterate the design for the manufacturing process and product testing the functionality and finalise the Kickstarter to begin mass production!"

We look forward to hosting this residency with Kickstarter, and watch this space to as our residents build their Kickstarter campaigns!

Kickstarter x Makerversity Residency members
Louisa Clark