In November 2012 Martin and Jim had a working prototype and a refined CAD design. The next step was to prove the concept and find out how GravityLight actually performed in the environments it would be used in.
Funding was needed to support the tooling, manufacture and distribution of 1000 gravity powered lights. The plan was to gift the lights to off-grid families in Africa and Asia and to gather feedback on their experience, opinions and suggestions for improvement. These insights would then be used to develop an improved model, for large scale production.
Setting a modest target of $55,000, which would support some of these costs, they launched their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
The response was incredible! Within 4 days the target was hit, and by the end of the 30 day campaign over 6219 generous supporters had raised $399,590. Tweets from Bill Gates, Evan Davis and coverage in Fast Company and The Guardian to name a few, certainly helped!
This overwhelming support enabled the team to further improve the design, pushing back the timing of the production run and trial to Winter 2013/14, as we focused on improving GravityLight's efficiency, robustness and quality of light.