Oru Kayak: The Origami Boat
Lack of space is one of the main obstacles that stops many people from buying a boat. However, after moving into a new home, too small to house a kayak, UC Berkeley School of Architecture graduate Anton Willis began to design the Oru Kayak, a 12ft, 12kg kayak able to fold like origami into a 33 x 29-inch carrying case.
Willis assembled a team of designers, engineers and manufacturing experts, and soon the San Francisco based start-up began experiment with dozens of prototypes. The Oru Kayak is made of corrugated plastic, can be assembled in minutes and can be folded into carrying case that can also hold a four-piece collapsible paddle and a life jacket.
To begin production on the Oru Kayak, Willis launched sought funding on the online crowdfunding platform - Kickstarter. After a hugely successful campaign, Oru Kayak raised $443,806, 5 times more than their original goal. The company had further success on the TV programme Shark Tank, the American version of Dragons Den, where Willis shook hands on a $500,000 deal for 25% equity from Canadian entrepreneur - Robert Herjavec. The appearance on the TV show gave the company a $2 million evaluation and also national exposure. On top of Oru Kayak’s financial plaudits, the boat was also exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for its accomplished design.
The boats are now available to buy from the Oru Kayak website from $1395 and they also ship internationally.
To find out more, watch the Oru Kayak Kickstarter video below.
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Image Credit: Oru Kayak
Article by Jack Bartrop