Published: 06:00, 24 December 2019
After creating bedding set to transform the dreaded duvet cover change, it ironically caused many sleepless nights for its Tunbridge Wells inventors.
Yet the visionary pair’s insomnia leading up to a business pitch didn’t stop them securing £60,000 to bring their original product to market.
Ben King, from the town, and partner Luke Gray were presented with the cash prize by Dragon’s Den Deborah Meaden after winning an innovation award from the UK Design Council.
Growing up in the town, Ben found a passion for design and invention after taking classes in the product design department at Bennett Memorial secondary school.
After leaving the school he went on to study at Brunel University, where he met business partner Luke Gray.
The pair went on to work together at English houseware manufacturer Joseph Joseph before setting up Koa, a bedding company, earlier this year.
Their aim is simple: create something that makes changing the bed easier and the solution they have come up with is the Swift duvet cover, which is set to launch next year.
Mr King said: “Changing the bed is energy-sapping, complicated and time-consuming, yet bed sheets haven’t changed for years.
“We’re excited to have support for Swift which reduces the hassle and makes the whole experience more delightful.”
“Winning the award meant so much to us as turning an idea into business is really hard. In the months leading up to the business pitch we were barely sleeping”.
When talking about the process behind the design the 29-year-old said: “We love spotting problems with products people use everyday, the duvet cover was on our list of ideas.
“I find fitting a cover a nightmare, but it’s definitely not just me.
“One of the things that kicked off our focus on this project was Luke’s grandma, she can no longer fit a cover for herself and she had to ask neighbours or family to help. She can use our cover.“I am a little scared for the launch as it is almost two years of work now, but mainly excited.”
For launch discounts and more exclusive previews sign up at madebykoa.com.