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Former student entrepreneurs launch first units of dawn simulation alarm clock

Two engineering alumni have launched a crowdfunding campaign for a smart alarm clock they developed during their studies at the University of Southampton.

Freddie Temperton and Toby Isaacs are pursuing a £150,000 Kickstarter target over the next four weeks for Rise, a dawn simulation alarm clock that has integrated Bluetooth, Spotify and FM radio technology.

The entrepreneurs first nurtured the idea with support from the Future Worlds network during electrical and electronic engineering degrees, pitching at the incubator’s launch event in 2015 and publishing a Discover profile and video in 2016. Alongside team member Peter Garland, the founders have advanced the project in the year since their graduation and are now offering the product’s first units in return for pledges on the crowdfunding platform.

“Humans are programmed to wake up with the sun,” Freddie explains. “This isn’t compatible with modern life, so we use harsh alarms to force ourselves out of bed before our bodies are ready. Rise solves this. It gradually lights your room before your alarm goes off, simulating the sun.”

Rise can be controlled by a companion app and includes a colour changing LED lamp, omni-directional speaker, auto-dimming OLED, Spotify integration and fast charge USB ports.

“I originally had the idea to combine all the desired technologies of a bedside lamp, alarm clock and speaker in one sleek and elegant device,” Freddie adds. “Developing an electronics product has expanded our understanding in several areas over the past couple of years. We’ve learnt a lot about the economics of bringing a product to market alongside the technical implementation and more recently had a crash course in marketing and video editing.”

Visit the Rise Kickstarter campaign to find out more or make a pledge.

The Rise team worked with renowned light designer Mortiz Waldemeyer during their degrees to create a look for the product that is based on the formation of crystals.

“It was hard to get a sense of the scope of the project at first but I’m proud that we’ve been able to rise to the challenge and are now ready to launch,” Freddie says. “We hope to reach our Kickstarter goal which will fund the production setup costs. We then hope to use this supply chain to sell Rise through more conventional channels.”

Freddie was a highly active member of the Future Worlds network during his Electronic Engineering degree at Southampton and is now based in San Francisco, California, where he has continued a long distance collaboration with UK-based Rise developers.

“Future Worlds has helped us in several different ways over the years,” Freddie explains. “They’ve given us helpful advice whenever we’ve asked and we enjoyed filming our promo video with them. This helped us to understand this process which has been important for Kickstarter where all projects require a video. We’ve also been speaking to Future Worlds mentor and crowdfunding specialist Chris Buckingham whose knowledge has helped us improve our campaign.”

Freddie would encourage current students to not hold back on as they chase their own startup dreams. “Go for it!” he says. “The resources available at the University will help to push your project forward, whether that’s expert help from staff members to access to equipment such as 3D printers. Never be afraid to ask for help.”

The Rise Kickstarter campaign will run until Saturday 24th February. Click here to view the project or make a pledge.

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Freddie Temperton

Director, Rise

Freddie is an Associate Engineer at Mindtribe Product Engineering in San Francisco, California. He is the Director of Neutron Technologies and co-founder of Rise, a dawn simulation alarm clock that he developed during an Electronic Engineering degree at the University of Southampton.

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