An airline pilot from West Hallam has secured backing from three major retailers for his in-transit entertainment invention after appearing on a Channel 4 television show.
Mike Channon, 44, pitched his TabletHookz product on the new series Buy It Now, on Thursday, April 26, and was thrilled with the reception it got from consumers and industry buyers.
He said: “The audience and retailers placed combined orders with a retail value of £34,183 – not bad for a 90 second pitch.
“It was a great way to launch our product after a very humble crowdfunding start, which failed first time around. We’re now selling lots and getting enquires from airlines too with an interest in selling the product on-board, it seems the sky may not be the limit.”
TabletHookz is a small pocket sized mounting device which allows travellers to securely mount devices such as a tablet, phone or e-reader on the back of an airline, train or car seat to create their own personal hands-free entertainment at eye level.
It features elasticated clips to keep the device secure, offers variable viewing angles and can also be used as a traditional table-top stand.
Father-of-two Mike said: “The idea came about on our first family holiday. A lot of airlines no longer have in-flight entertainment on short or medium haul flights, so we’d taken iPads to keep the kids entertained.
“The problem was they didn’t want to hold their iPads and there just isn’t that much room with the trays down. There had to be a way I could mount their iPads to the back of the seat in-front without the need for the tray to be down.”
After first winning support from the studio audience, Mike faced some challenging questions from retailers.
Having impressed the experts, he secured initial orders from prezzybox.com, Clas Ohlson and JML.
Mike said: “I was trying not to smile like a Cheshire cat and remain calm. It couldn’t get much better.”