Travel Devs: Creating Comfortable Travel with the Sleep Pack
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Travel Devs is a small company producing travel comfort products. Formed by Jordan Daker, Jimmie Mar, and Lingyue Zheng in the summer of201 0, the company makes international travel comfortable. Since the company's focus is on international travel, globalization is an important aspect to the company. The first focus will be on Asian countries, specifically China and Japan, due to longer travel time between the United States and the Asian countries. The current problem being solved is the passengers in economy class cannot rest or sleep on their side while sitting down. Currently, the Sleep Pack is being developed to assist in rest or sleep on airplanes. The product is a backpack and headrest system combination where passengers can feel more comfortable by leaning against the product to rest or sleep. When in backpack mode, the product can be used as a carry-on. Then, by removing the backpack cover and the inside bag containing all of the user's personal belongings, the product is converted to the headrest system. The backpack straps are slid over the back of the chair, and the headrest extension is opened to support the head, neck, and upper torso. The world is moving towards a larger global community due to the help of internet and social network sites. Barriers such as distance and communication have fallen making it easier to create friends overseas, order materials from other countries, or enlist help of specialized foreign personnel. An increase in international travel is expected. In addition, China has been a growing economic power. Thus, Travel Devs will have an Asian branch located in China as well as an America branch on the west coast of America. Sleep Pack has several competitors in the travel comfort industry. Namely, they are the neck pillow, SkyRest® pillow, and TravelRest® pillow. Despite being less expensive than Sleep Pack, the Sleep Pack in nature has several advantages over their competitors. Sleep Pack is a multifunctional device operating as both a backpack and headrest. Thus, the user does not worry where to store the headrest since the headrest is integrated with the storage system, the backpack. The headrest can extend. Thus, the headrest can support the head and the upper torso. Also, the pillow location is adjustable. Being attached to the headrest by Velcro, the user can move the pillow up and down headrest. Other competitors Sleep Pack has are the generic carry-on luggage. Although less expensive carry-on luggage can be found, they are limited by functionality. The versatilities of Sleep Pack will help in competing against the generic carry-on luggage. In addition, Sleep Pack has been designed to be accepted at all airlines. Some generic carry-on luggage may not satisfy certain airline size regulations, thus Sleep Pack would be the safest choice in deciding which carry-on luggage to purchase for travel. The three key individuals at Travel Devs are Jordan Daker, Jimmie Mar, and Lingyue Zheng who are mechanical engineering undergraduates. In addition to being the engineers at Travel Devs, these three individuals will have other roles at the formation of the business. Jordan will be the American company representative. Jimmie will be the logistics coordinator. Lingyue will be the accountant and Chinese company representative. Travel Devs will first open for production in the United States. By starting the company in the U. S. , the product, Sleep Pack, will be recognized as an American product. By having this recognition, sales in the Asian countries will be easier. American products have higher quality due to American safety standards and quality standards. In addition, those in Asian countries who can afford to travel will have the income to purchase the product. It is planned to open an Asian branch in China. By having a factory in China, Travel Devs is closer to the consumers and the consumer's culture and economy. Thus, Travel Devs can adjust to the different area easily. In addition to being in China, the materials and labor should ease the cost of manufacturing. The majority of U.S. citizens book flights online. About 39% ofU.S. international travelers book online ("Office" 4). Thus, heavy advertisement will be done on those websites. It is expected that the number will grow as the new computer literate generation comes into purchasing power. Other travel website will be targeted as well. In addition, special travel magazines such as Skymall® will have Sleep Pack advertisement. Critical risks for Sleep Pack are imitations and duplicates. Travel Devs will seek a thorough patent to discourage these imitations and duplicates in the U.S., China, and Japan. Though, patenting in China does not mean the product is safe. The fake market is an important cultural aspect of China and must be addressed. Currently, the only methods Travel Devs have to counter this risk are the Chinese patent, the American brand name and quality. Other risks are the airlines. If new regulations prevent the user bringing the product on board, then the company would encounter difficulties. In addition, if there are reduced international travelers due to terrori sm or war, there will not be enough customers to fulfill the requirements of the company. There are several different options that Travel Dev can take. One would be to sell the company to a backpack manufacturer or comfort manufacturer. The other option would be to develop other travel comfort products. The last option is to change the focus of the company. To start the business, it will require about $1.7 million. It is projected that in between the fourth and fifth year of operation, Travel Devs will break even. The company will start its offering at 10 to 1 return by 2018 and 50% ownership of Travel Devs.