The patent-pending inventions of two Gainesville bros are catching the eyes of beer lovers around the world.
The Kickstarter campaign for Spin Chill’s Chill Bit and Beerouette, portable accessories that rapidly spin beer cans in ice and chill the contents in about one minute, ended at 10 p.m. Thursday with donations totaling $40,046.
“We were shootin’ for $10,000 in 30 days as our goal,” said Trevor Abbott, a 21-year-old UF mechanical engineering senior and one of Spin Chill’s two creators. “We got 10,000 in the first 10 days.”
More than 1,000 people contributed to the fund. Some of the fans came from India, Brazil, Australia and Britain.
Global media outlets like CNET, the Daily Mail and the Times of India have reported on the invention.
“I figured it’d be kind of a hit in the southeast kind of area, but definitely not India, Brazil and Canada,” said Tyler Parker, a 24-year-old UF mechanical engineering alumnus and the other creator.
The Chill Bit, which attaches to a drill, sells for $15. The Beerouette, a larger, self-powered unit, sells for $35. They can be preordered at http://www.spinchill.com/, with delivery estimated for November.
David Whitney, a UF engineering adjunct professor, recently invited Abbott and Parker to present Spin Chill to his engineering innovation course.
“It was the perfect example of what I said to students from the moment they stepped foot in engineering innovation,” Whitney said. “I could see or feel the proverbial lightbulb go off in their heads: This is how innovators do their work.”
Some people didn’t think it would be a hit at all. When Abbott and Parker pitched Spin Chill at a hackathon in Atlanta, it was an unconventional proposal among the ideas.
“Everybody was talking about all these apps they were gonna make, and I was like, ‘I’m gonna make this thing that spins beers to cool them down,’” Parker said. “And nobody wanted to get on the team.”
But Connor Jacobsen, one of Whitney’s students, is recognizing the value of the idea. The 20-year-old UF computer engineering junior said the example shows students can do incredible things.
A version of this story ran on page 1 on 10/21/2013 under the headline "Spin Chill takes preorders"