What the Ruck Is Up With Reading?

Reading is proving to be the most fertile ground for SMEs outside London: born and bred inventor and entrepreneur Sarah Giblin is helping bridge the gap between London and its sibling.

Reading has been ranked second only to London for the number of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) per person. Not only that, but it's seen a growth of 5.2% in just two years, according to the Centre for Cities.

Reading's SMEs should not feel bad for coming second to London, nor should they feel London is taking business away. Instead, they should try tapping in to the London markets. Reading's big brother contributes 22% of UK GDP, representing a buoyant market ripe for our SMEs to target.

Whether it's people or businesses, located or working in London; the best way Reading SMEs can bridge the economic gap, and even the playing field, is to target this market. And that's exactly what Reading-based entrepreneur Sarah Giblin has done with her invention the 'Riut Bag'.

An acronym for Revolution In User Thinking, Reading based designer and entrepreneur Sarah Giblin said “I noticed in the commuter crush one day that there’s a problem with the conventional rucksack: the person behind you can access your belongings better than you. That’s an unnerving design problem in our densely populated cities."

Rather than joining the commuters on their daily crush to the city, Sarah decided to target them for her start-up business. Reading's own RiutBag is designed to discreetly secure commuters' belongings in a stylish rucksack designed with the traveller's needs in mind.

Commuters are big business; with companies such as Doddle cropping up just in time to launch for Christmas. Network Rail plan to invest a respectable 24m in getting shops fitted into station to help with parcel delivery at affordable rates.

This bag is formed with the commuter in mind: zips to the rear of the rucksack against the wearers back, thereby preventing access unless it's removed; discrete pockets for travel tickets sewn into the shoulder-straps. Giblin also ensured the design was neutral, not geared towards male or female stereotypes.

The RiutBag combines form and functionality. Designed to appear professional yet not ostentatious; it is equally ideal for the daily commute or for taking as a day-bag on holidays. It has the all-important 15" laptop carrying capacity, as well as compartments for an A4 notepad and separate pouch for your smaller personal belongings.

Constructed to be fully waterproof and hard-wearing, built from Kevlar and foam-lined Cordura, the Riutbag is also ideal for those having a walk or cycle as part of their daily commute or holidaying experience.

Funded using the crowd-sharing platform Kickstarter, the opportunity to purchase the bag via Kickstarter for £45 (including UK P&P) ends on 26 November 2014.

Editor's Note: Issued by Brand Refinery (www.brandrefinery.co.uk) . For more information please contact Samantha Marie-Cadman, E-mail: Samantha@brandrefinery.co.uk or phone 01886 833446.

About Riut: Based in commuter hub Reading, Riut stands for Revolution in user thinking. 1000 commuters answered Riut's rucksack surveys earlier this year which helped inform the design and style of RiutBag

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At a glance details: Live Kickstarter page link: http://kck.st/1tvaf06 Funding goal surpassed: £29,700 Current (at time of writing): £45,592 Designer: Sarah Giblin Product: Smart, safe rucksack for commuters Cost: From £45 including UK P&P Campaign ends: 26 November 2014
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