Tell us a little bit about your business.
Kickstart Design was founded by three friends and makers, Cameron Bradley, Francis Gilligan, and Lionel Rocheleau. The three of us met at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, where we studied Digital Fabrication and Design. After university we spent a few years in the workforce, each specializing in different areas of expertise, mostly working for small businesses around Milwaukee, such as Retrospekt and Parts-Badger. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, like many others around the world, we began to reassess what we wanted to be doing with our futures and with our lives. During the summer of 2020, we began to construct our idea for what kind of company we were looking to be, and by August, we had filed and started our company, Kickstart Design LLC. Since then, we have helped many individuals bring their ideas to market and helped other businesses increase productivity by providing engineering solutions.
What will people see when they visit the Kickstart Design booth at the Faire?
We plan to show off a few of the projects we have worked on thus far and display our process of how we developed it. We hope to connect with others who may need help developing a product or taking it to market. We hope to also showcase our own line of PCBs for DIY projects specifically for makers, including but not limited to, Li-Ion Charging and Boost boards, Charging and Boost Boards with built-in microcontroller, microcontrollers with built-in MP3 functionality, and potentially many more. This is dependent on the global chip shortage and stock, as most of these boards are still in development.
Why do you consider yourselves makers?
We consider ourselves makers because of the ideology and practice of how we create products or solutions. Oftentimes, there is a lot of research involved as our clients look for many different things in their products. In addition to research, prototyping and rapid iteration are crucial to our design process. 3D printing and laser cutting usually help us create our ideas and change them quickly when parts of the design need tweaking or fixing. When we create, it’s more than likely it will take us at least 3 iterations of something to finally land on a design we are proud of, which we believe is a core tenant of the maker ideology. Our facility has a small shop where we do most of our own tinkering and creating for making our client’s prototypes, trying only to outsource when there is a gap in our expertise.