The world has discovered a bold new way to do laundry: DRUMi – the invention of OCAD University Industrial Design alumnus and Imagination Catalyst participant Yi Jiang – is an easy-to-use, portable, eco-friendly way to clean clothes. While it won’t be launched until mid-2016, orders are rolling in daily and Jiang is fielding interest from distributors around the world.
DRUMi’s prototype was unveiled at the Green Living Show this spring, which led to a raft of stories by, for example, NOW! Magazine, Breakfast Television, the Journal de Montréal, Digital Trends, The Huffington Post and Gizmodo.
“The online stories really got YiREGO noticed,” Jiang says. By May 8, the company’s YouTube video has had over a million hits, while its Facebook page has garnered over 100,000 likes and 3,500 people have signed on to receive news updates.
The Imagination Catalyst impact
“Involvement in the Imagination Catalyst has driven us forward in refining DRUMi’s design, creating a business plan and sorting out manufacturing,” Jiang says. “The monthly roundtable meetings with fellow I-Cats and mentors are especially valuable.” Jiang also credits the advice of his mentor, Paul Rowan (Vice President of Inspiration and founding partner of Umbra), as well as Rowan’s generosity in opening doors to major players in the household design world.
Before they take DRUMi to market, Jiang and his team will focus on making several structural refinements. They also expect to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in the fall.
From student to entrepreneur
DRUMi was Jiang’s fourth-year thesis project, which he exhibited at OCAD U’s 2013 Graduate Exhibition. That same year, Jiang won the Industrial Design Association’s Best Customer Experience Award and joined OCAD U’s Imagination Catalyst.