I came back to Bavaria in autumn 2016 after a year of traveling, feeling inspired, refreshed and motivated. The happiness of being home and reuniting with friends and family was huge, but so was my thirst for action.
First I had to find out whether it was possible to get an authorization for the design I had developed in my notebook during my journey. So my next goal was to organize the necessary documents for the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) This commission is responsible for safety licensing of electronic devices worldwide. Whereever current is involved, the IEC has to check if the design is safe. I got the documents from the VDE (Verband der Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik e. V.), which is the responsible sub-organisation in Germany. I had to find out which criteria I had to fulfill for my invention, going through 200 pages of regulations and requirements. Whew… But I couldn’t stop reading and with each page my heart was beating faster. In the end it became clear: it is possible! The composition of myPowerMate would meet the standards and requirements of the IEC and it would be possible to build the Mate as I had planned. This was great news.
I got some very good advice from the IHK (Chamber of Industry and Commerce) and one week later had an appointment with a patent attorney who listened to my idea and gladly helped me with the protection rights. The function and the design was now patented and the brand myPowerMate was protected. Good luck copycats!
On the 15th September 2016 I founded GA Bavarian Labs GmbH and was then able to fully focus on my project. Concept? check. Patent? check. Legal framework? check.
For months I built one prototype after another, as I had to ensure that the later process would be possible to manufacture. That’s why I tried to build the tools for the casting process in the same way they would be made in the future. I studied all the provisions and adjusted the design on this basis to comply with the rules. The loading unit had to be integrated and the fitting for all the sockets needed to be worked out. Ideas which came up during the developing had to fit to the original design. The most difficult part was to make myPowerMate smaller and smaller, and more compact, without constraining function. The culmination of regulations, design, features and size in one product took a long time, because I had to take different aspects of the development into account. It is hard to imagine, but the engineering aspect of such a small, outstanding product takes ages. After four and a half months of work and an uncountable amount of working hours I had reached the desired result. I had worked out all the details and I knew exactly what I had to do.
But not only the Mate itself had to be built, but also all the accessories had to be matched perfectly. First of all I worked on the product bag. myPowerMate includes quite a few parts and it is important to store them properly. I didn’t want a great product to be held back by people worried about losing pieces. That’s why I bought a sewing machine and built a new model every morning while I drank my first coffee. Also, the USB cable had to be something special. I like a great shape and I hate all the cheap cables which break quickly. myPowerMate needs a cable which is pleasant to hold in the hand and durable. I’m sure you have had that impression before where the cable that came with your new toy was a disappointment, almost an afterthought, and I didn’t want that with myPowerMate. To give you as the final user the chance to decide which cable shape suits you best, I included this question in my survey and the result will be part of the stretch goals for my crowdfunding campaign.
Parcels from all over the world…
Last but not least, I had to check if myPowerMate really fits in all the different sockets. Unfortunately another round-world trip was not an option for financial reasons. That’s why I asked my friends from all over the world to sent me the various sockets of their countries. Within a short time I received one parcel after another. Thanks again guys. You did me a huge favour. I was able to try all the sockets I expected, and even more! There were some which I have never seen before and which are definitely not standardized. But the most important finding was: myPowerMate does them all!