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Mercyhurst Quickstarter spotlights Solar Sack

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Busy students, hikers and sports enthusiasts often fret about where they will charge their phone or laptop while on the go. Now, thanks to an innovative new product by Nick and Sally Marinelli of Erie, the sun’s got their back.

The Marinellis created the SOLAR SACK™, a revolutionary backpack that incorporates a solar-powered battery charger in its design. A crowdfunding campaign to support the entrepreneurial effort went live on Kickstarter today. The campaign’s goal over the next 30 days is to raise $3,500 toward production of the trademarked prototype.

To back the project, visit the Solar Sack Kickstarter site, which was designed by students from Mercyhurst University and Penn State Behrend under the auspices of the Mercyhurst Quickstarter program. Conceived and directed by Mercyhurst Professor Kristan Wheaton, Quickstarter connects entrepreneurs with skilled local college students who help design and conduct the fundraising campaigns. Quickstarter operates through the Ignite Erie collaboration, led by Mercyhurst and Penn State Behrend.

Mercyhurst student Emily Platt served as project manager, supported by Carley Moynihan in the area of  graphic design and Phuong Nguyen with writing. Behrend students Rachel Frye and Jacqueline Dumont provided video production and editing services.

Besides keeping your phone and electronics charged, the SOLAR SACK™ is made with an ergonomic design for comfort. Other features include:

Dual-headed charging/data cable

Built-in pockets for efficient storage

Comfortable design; cushion-curved shoulder straps and chest support

Water resistant, ultra-durable, Rip-Stop fabric

Built-in chest strap safety whistle

Available in several colors

Early-bird pricing $35.

“We created this bag originally for our son and grandkids because their phones were always dying on them while they were gone all day,” said the Marinellis.  “Many people who wear cinch/drawstring bags complain that the rope digs into and slides off their shoulders when they have heavier items in the bag; it’s not that secure and they don’t give you any options.”