A Chicago-based entrepreneur who sought $20,000 through crowdfunding website Kickstarter to create a multipurpose travel jacket got more than he anticipated: $9.17 million more, to be exact.
Hiral Sanghavi budgeted 58 days to get the money he needed for his jacket, which comes with features like a built-in inflatable neck pillow, eye mask and a special phone-charger pocket. It turned out, he only needed seven hours. His online fundraiser has now become Kickstarter’s most successful clothing-related campaign ever and the fourth-most successful in the website’s history.
Nearly 45,000 backers have ordered 70,000 jackets priced between $89 and $120 that Sanghavi plans to ship in November.
The 29-year-old entrepreneur had the idea for the jacket because he was constantly traveling to visit his wife.
“She works on the West Coast and I’m studying for my MBA at the Kellogg School of Management [at Northwestern University in Illinois],” he told CNN Money. “It’s a long flight and I’d forget to take my neck pillow and buy a new one at the airport,” he added, prompting his wife — a designer — to suggest a jacket with an integrated one.
Sanghavi has enlisted four manufacturers to create four different styles of the jacket and will start selling it online through his San Francisco–based company Baubax. He has also taken a leave of absence from business school to focus on the company, and hopes to get the jackets into retail stores by 2016 while also creating more products.
“We aren’t stopping,” he said.