I recently found out about this business called Klymit, www.klymit.com. If you’re a scuba diver like me, or just like to spend time outdoors, it’s pretty cool stuff. With this in mind, I tracked down some insights from Klymit’s CEO, Nate Alder. Here’s what he had to say:
Tell us how and why you started your business.
Back in July of 2006, while I was still in college, I went on a trip to Brazil and went scuba diving with some friends. The Master Diver talked about the use of a noble gas called Argon in their dry suits to help them stay warm while diving into frigid arctic waters. As a snowboard instructor and avid outdoor enthusiast, I wondered “why couldn’t this concept work in other outdoor products like snow gear and camping equipment?”
It made so much sense to me to use Argon as an insulator, as proven in other industries such as diving and dual paned windows in Energy Star homes, that I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and just kept talking to people and figuring out how to make it a reality.
I started recruiting a team that could help me build this idea into a business while I was still in school at Brigham Young University (BYU). The team came together about a year later, and in 2008, I dropped out of school just before graduation to start working on initial prototypes for Klymit full time.
What do you think is the biggest secret to your success?
It really isn’t a huge secret. Any good business identifies a need, and fills it. If anything, I think we at Klymit are really skilled at identifying technologies that are proven in other industries, and finding breakthrough ways to incorporate them into innovative outdoor products.
In addition to our noble-gas insulation technology, we’re also working on a revolutionary camping pad that uses the same weaving process used to make automobile airbags very tough, packable, lightweight and durable. It’s a game-changer.
How did you build buzz about Klymit?
Initially, we earned a lot of attention by winning awards at several big business and entrepreneurial competitions across the country – we’re up to 12 first or second place finishes so far. We also have been using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to get the message out.
Our technologies really speak for themselves. Once people hear about our products, or see a demonstration, they want to talk about them and learn more.
What kind of marketing worked for you and what didn’t? Why do you think that is?
We have a great PR team in place that’s working closely with our marketing team to help launch our first two products – a vest with several high-tech performance options, each specially designed for specific outdoor needs (water sports, snow sports, etc.), and the camping pad I mentioned earlier.
To get the word out, we’re contributing to the social media community, as well as our local community and the outdoor enthusiast community. We’ve got some great marketing campaigns launching with our overall marketing plan, and I think you’ll see a lot of us soon.
One aspect of the launch will be to give our Facebook fans special discounts and early access to products. We’re also doing a media tour during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market ‘09, where you’ll be able to test the Klymit vest in a special walk-in deep freeze that goes down to -30O C, and check out samples of the revolutionary looming technique used in the Klymit camping pad.
What one piece of advice would you give to inspire other student entrepreneurs out there?
Don’t wait. If you have a great idea, start talking to people about it right away. You don’t have to wait until you graduate. In fact, there are so many great resources available to you while you are still in school that it pays to make use of them while you are still a student, from good advice and mentoring to funding. You can really get a big head start on your own business.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
It’s a very exciting time for us. We have so many projects in development right now. We are working on our own camping pad and our initial line of insulated vests, but we are also teaming up with several OEM companies on projects such as coats, ski pants, gloves, ski boots – you name it.
That’s great stuff Nate! Thanks for your insights!
To find out more about Klymit, visit www.klymit.com.
And if you have comments about this blog, or questions about your PR or SEO copywriting efforts, please let me know here or at www.rembrandtwrites.com. Thanks!