Three young entrepreneurs develop a pressurized bullet box to increase bullet life by four or five times.
Three thirty year olds as you can often see them on the fields and in Brabant Walloon clubs. Three fades from the little yellow ballwhether on the crushed brick of a field of tennis or on the synthetic surface of a tennis court padel. Antoine Wouters, Gregory Merguerian and Maxime Sohet, 31 years old for the first, 27 years old for the other two, are initially just passionate about tennis, and rather of a good level, judging by their respective ranking … and the number of injuries they have stumbled upon .
Balls, needless to say, they hit, martyred, cut into cannon services, during killer slices or savage depreciation. At the home of the La Hulpe Tennis Club, Antoine Wouters and his associates talk. “Typically, a game always starts with the same question: ‘Do you have’ good ‘balls?” with good balls, it is necessary to understand new balls or at most two or three pieces. “Beyond that, the quality of the comeback is no longer the same and the pleasure of the game suffers.”
“Beyond two or three games, the quality of the return of the ball is no longer the same and the pleasure of the game suffers.”
And so the ritual is quite common for these intense players, the game often starts withopening a new tube with balls, as a Grand Slam referee warns: “New balls!” several times in the game. “Only through the consumption of balls, tennis and, in recent years, padel, which is experiencing a blinding increase, have entered fourth position among the most polluting sports in the world. More than 500 million balloons are produced every year “, estimates Grégory Merguerian,” and less than 1% is actually recycled while the rubber from which they are made has a longer decomposition time than plastic bottles ”.
And all three engineers (two executives and one civilian) ask themselves the question: why are bullets denatured so quickly? And from there, how to extend the duration of use. Leaving the factory, the ballets are now packed metal pipes under pressure at 28 PSi, in order to maintain the same pressure in the pipe as in the bullet. “But as soon as he opens the tube, the external pressure returns to normal and the ball goes inside porous rubber will gradually deflate. Less when it hits (unless you are a very high level player) than when stands for a week at the bottom of a sports bag“, Comments Maksim Sohet.
So the three collaborators set out in search of a system for it keep the balls under pressure between uses. There are “inflated” pipes on the market, in which air can be blown until the initial ball pressure is regained. Especially from Spanish manufacturers, the place where the paddle has been the most popular in recent years. “We tested everything!” provides Wouters, before deciding in favor of a French supplier.
For 2 years, the trio has been Exclusive Distributor of this inflated case for Belgium, and most recently for Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. But in use, the three founders of Bounce demand possible improvements. “Silicone sealant, for example, is very prone to clogging due to soil or sand and loses its tightness. The design with the pump attached to the pipe is not very aesthetic …”
The jump thus reached one The main stage in its development, with the ambition to produce its own box office, redesigned based on experience gained. It will be a cylindrical case, integrating the pump into the outer layer. Design and design are ongoing. “The goal is to produce and assemble in Belgium!” Says Wouters. The start-up has just raised 255,000 euros to finalize this research phase and prototype. We find Novalia (Sowalfin group) along with private investors. “We were the first Belgian start-up followed by Jump, the Decathlon incubator in Belgium,” Mergurian argues.
To continue its development and achieve a general public distribution, Bounce will launch next June crowdfunding campaign. “We chose the pre-sale formula, which allows us to reach early adopters and gradually install our concept,” notes Sohet.
And also the ability to test different distribution channels. “Between full digital networks, sports or mass distribution, we will have to find the best combination,” Merguerian said. “We need to create legitimacy and fame for our cause. To do this, nothing more than word-of-mouth and step-by-step referrals at the beginning.”
“We need to create legitimacy and fame for our cause. To do that, nothing more than word-of-mouth.”
But Bounce will also seek out tennis and driving clubs, as well as the federation. “Obviously, these are the best reference vectors. But they are also necessarily very heavy ball users. Which generate a lot of waste. Our cases can give them a much more environmentally friendly image.” continues Wouters. Bounce is also working on a “barrel” version of its amplifier designed for nearly 400 bullets.
The trio’s goal is to be able to offer its first customers by the end of the year. “After all, our case should be part of the basic equipment of the eco-responsible player along with the rocket and the water bottle, which has replaced the water bottle!
- Bounce develops a pressurized case to better store tennis or paddle balls.
- This would increase the life of the lead by four or five times. And thus reduce the overconsumption of balls and waste.
- The final version should reach the public by the end of the year following a crowdfunding campaign.