The mission behind our company is simple - we sought to maximize the potential of the [downhill longboarding] slide puck.
— Dan Schott, Grade 12
 
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The Idea

Meraki Skate, LLC was originally conceived to eliminate the need for bringing a skate tool to skate sessions.

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We accomplished this by creating a specialized set of slide pucks that have an integrated skate tool incorporated into their design.

The company was founded by La Jolla Country Day School students Dan Schott and Rostam Reifschneider in San Diego, California in 2016.

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Prototype Development & User Testing

The team 3D modeled, printed, and tested a variety of plastic puck and metal insert designs for functionality, durability and comfort.

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Professional and amateur longboarders were recruited to test the products and provide feedback. The picture above shows the various minor and major differences between iterations.

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Business Planning

The team conducted competitive analysis, financial estimates for manufacturing and shipping, and market research to build a clear plan for the first three years of their business.

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This planning led to the decision to focus on sales through their custom website and retail outlets serving this niche population.

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Venture Capital Funding

The Meraki team pitched to the Torrey Explorers' Fund, a venture capital fund for LJCDS students, and received funding to pursue production of their slide pucks.

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This money was used to incorporate the company, manufacture machined prototypes, and develop marketing tools.

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Provisional Patent Application & Limited Liability Corporation

The students incorporated their business and filed a provisional patent application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

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Their utility patent application focused on the combination of the kingpin nut within the slide puck. The other puck design choices were made from user testing and surveying the market.

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Production

With the venture capital money, the team used manufacturers in China for the plastic pucks and a local San Diego company to cut and fit the metal tool into the pucks.

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Packaging and warehouse arrangements were evaluated and finalized within the United States.

Look for the pucks to be available for purchase at skate shops and online at Science of Design soon!