Contact: Mike Brown FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cell Phone: 207-619-0592
Innovative Projects vs. Student Debt – Who Will Win?
2 Tufts engineering grads need your help to fund their “Alpine Hammock” project
Raising $40,000 in 30 days for a side project isn’t the most appealing notion to most recent college grads buried in student debt, but two young engineers from Boston have created something that might just be worth the risk.
Immediately after graduation, Mike Brown (25) and Ryan Stolp (23) designed what they’re calling the “Alpine Hammock”. More than your average backyard hammock, their patent-pending invention provides comfort and weather protection in almost any outdoor weather condition. It is constructed with waterproof nylon, waterproof zippers, waterproof-breathable fabric and no-see-um bug netting.
“It combines the best qualities of both hammocks and bivy sacks (read: one-man minimalist shelter), allowing you to stay protected in outdoor environments both with and without trees,” says Brown. It features clever designs such as a built-in bug net and rainfly, making it convenient, comfortable and lightweight which are typical tradeoffs when choosing between backpacking hammocks, bivy sacks, and one-man tents.
A dream come true for fast and light outdoor travelers? Yes, but, without the funds to take their project to the next level it might take years before their product can leave their makeshift (read: basement) gear lab.
After attending Tufts University, one of the most expensive schools in the nation, Mike and Ryan realized that their looming student debt would require them to put their Alpine Hammock project on hold until they could raise the funds to produce the one-man shelter. Determined to push the concept forward, they continued to tweak the design through numerous prototypes, from a proof of concept prototype to a fully functional, technical outdoor shelter. However, “being responsible for paying our ways through college makes it almost impossible to finance this project on our own,” says Stolp. This is why they’ve decided to run a Kickstarter campaign to try and crowd-source the $40,000 necessary to continue design work, to enter a more robust gear testing phase, and to produce their Alpine Hammock at a larger scale.
Kickstarter campaigns operate under an “all-or-nothing” funding model so if the Alpine Hammock project doesn’t reach it’s goal at the end of 30 days then it Brown and Stolp go home empty-handed. Be sure to follow them on Twitter (@AlpineHammock) and Facebook to follow their progress and make sure to spread the word to your social media networks. Consider donating as little as $1 to help their project come to life. If you decide to donate more, you might be among the first in the world to travel in the outdoors with an Alpine Hammock.
Mike Brown studied Biomedical Engineering (B.S.) and Engineering Management (M.S.) at Tufts University and currently works as a Mechanical Engineer in greater Boston. He is a Tufts Business Plan winner, a MassChallenge Alumni, and a recipient of entrepreneurial scholarships. Ryan Stolp studied Engineering Psychology (B.S.) at Tufts University is currently working with the forest service. He has designed and built multiple backpacks specific to both rock and ice climbing. Both engineers were avid members of the Tufts Mountain Club and belong to a Boston-based climbing group called VICE: Vertical Ice Climbing Enthusiasts. Their technical design skills, entrepreneurial savvy, and experience in the mountains makes them a great pair to tackle the challenge of bringing the Alpine Hammock into the world.