https://innovateuk.blog.gov.uk/2016/05/31/meet-our-customers-the-time-key/

A money box with a time delay locking device, of course!

How can you save money with no will power?

January 4th 2015, while saving for my stag do and wedding, I stumbled across the realisation that the only way to save money without actually accessing saved funds was to buy a ceramic pot and then to smash it to pieces once I’d reached my target date.

After one cut finger and a kitchen table of debris, I contacted my brother, Adam, to discuss a solution to this problem.

Meet our customer - Time key, phone coversation

A money box with a time delay locking device, of course!

We spent the next 3 weeks searching the internet for money boxes with a time delay locking device and also trawled through pages and pages of current patents that had been filed, just so we were sure not to copy an existing design.

Also, we explored research regarding the need of will power to meet saving goals and found that, according to studies, there are 2 types of people:

  1. “Savers”
  2. “Non-Savers”

so Non-Savers keep reading 🙂

Research complete, we moved forward and decided we needed to assemble a dream team but Rhys and Will would have to suffice (only joking of course chaps).

Low and behold The Time Key was born.

Creating the prototype

Meet our customer - Time key, prototype

The idea was in place and the function had been set.

So, once a time-scale/date had been installed into the money box, a motor would drive the locking pin into a locating slot and would remain in that position until said time-scale/date had been reached.

The Result: accumulated funds being un-accessible for the set period of time, with no override!

Having no electronic experience, we set out to find a designer that could help bring our idea to life and this is where we introduce Cubik Innovation: a really great company that work closely with Entrepreneurs to develop ideas into working prototypes.

We signed off the project and both parties were really excited about the idea so the work commenced. That being said, the cost for a working prototype was a little over the budget that we had accumulated from our personal savings.

Let mission “we need money” commence

We spoke to numerous banks and start-up agents about securing a business loan and we, quite rightly, got turned away at the door because they can’t invest into an idea, so we turned our attention to local grants.

We spent countless hours searching through grants that were available but unfortunately, we just didn’t meet the criteria.

Until we found Innovate UK! We filled out the application form for Innovation Vouchers, with the help of their very friendly and helpful advisor over the phone, and we kept our finger crossed. On November 9th, after signing off phase 1 of our prototype, we received this email.

Meet our customer - Time key, IV acceptance email

A little went a long way

We were all obviously over the moon, we had just been granted a £5,000 Innovation Voucher to put towards our prototype.

Receiving this voucher did so much for the progression of The Time Key. As mentioned previously we had personal savings set aside for 75% of the prototype, but we no longer needed such a large chunk, thanks to Innovate UK.

With the spare funds available we were able to:

  • acquire a UK pending patent,
  • design and develop a website
  • get the ball rolling on a great new app that will complement the money box, helping the user reach their saving goals.

In just over 18 months we have manged to take our sketched proposal to 3D CAD rend to a working prototype.

Help people reach their saving goals without cutting their fingers

We are all very excited for the next few weeks. We will be nearing the end of our project and we will be exploring the use of crowdfunding to finally bring The Time Key to people’s homes across the UK and hopefully the rest of the world, helping people reach their savings goals (without having to put a plaster on their ceramic sliced finger).

To keep up to date with the crowdfunding campaign and when it will be scheduled please follow us by:

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