In spring 2015, RIT students Crystal Mendoza, Bradley Dunn and Kurtis Kracke began work on what would become ThermApparel.
Since then, the trio has managed to raise $10,000 for use toward beta testing on their product, a cooling garment for multiple sclerosis patients and people with other conditions that could benefit from body temperature regulation.
Part of those funds were acquired through a loan from a local credit union. The rest of the fundraising was done from micro-lending site Kiva.
“Kiva is a crowdsourcing site. Indiegogo and those sites are funded through donations and then the company gives the donors some rewards back. Through Kiva, it’s not a donation; it’s lending. You can lend $25 or more to a company or individual to fund that mission, and then the company starts paying those loans to each person every month,” says Mendoza, 23.
Mendoza, who works on communications and product testing for ThermApparel, says the team recently reached 400 percent completion of their original Kiva goal.
Since graduation, she and her partners have obtained an office in RIT’s business incubator Venture Creations. Beta testing on their product is set to begin in the spring at Nazareth College, with hopes that the product will be on the market in summer 2017.
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