Our story

- and how it all began

"Damals im Studium hätten wir niemals gedacht, dass aus unserem Studentenprojekt ein Startup wird"

Adrian, Mitgründer von Airpaq

Take...

...a 100-year-old sewing machine, scrap cars from a nearby junkyard, a lot of patience, two good friends and creates something great out of it. Adrian and Michael tell how Airpaq's success story began in 2015

"Unser Ziel ist es, Produkte zu entwickeln, die unsere Kunden ökologisch, ethisch und ästhetisch überzeugen."

Michael, Co-Founder of Airpaq

2015

Looking back to the beginning

Our story begins in September 2015, when by chance we moved into the same apartment in Rotterdam to start our Master 'Strategic Entrepreneurship'.

We got along very well right away and also immediately joined forces as a team for the group work that was due in the first course. The assignment was to come up with a recycling project. So we went to a scrap yard to gather inspiration. As we strolled through the maze of stacked cars, so many ideas came to us: You could make armchairs out of truck tires or turn cylinder heads into candlesticks.
But then we discovered an airbag and were immediately excited by the feel of the high-quality material. "Make a backpack out of that," we thought, and the idea for Airpaq was born.

"Neben der persönlichen Erfüllung, die wir durch unser Unternehmen erlangen, hoffen wir, einen Teil zu einem nachhaltigen Bewusstsein in der Modewelt beizutragen."

Adrian, Mitgründer von Airpaq

Bloody fingers and learned a lot

We left the junkyard and took an airbag, seat belts and other materials from an old small car for eight euros. That same day we started sewing, even though none of us had ever sewn before. We managed to create a prototype, which we presented to our fellow students the next day. We were proud of our result and the extremely positive reactions of the other students inspired us so much that we could not let go of the idea. Shortly thereafter, we made our first investment: a 100-year-old Singer hand sewing machine, which we bought in a second-hand store for 10 euros. During the rest of our master's degree, we spent countless hours on our faithful old Singer sewing machine and were able to continue using and improving our project in numerous courses. This brought us important feedback from fellow students and professors and the one or other helpful contact. After a very educational and intensive year, we thus graduated from Rotterdam not only with a master's degree, but also with a good foundation for starting our own business.

"Wir hoffen wirklich, mit unserem Produkt etwas entwickelt zu haben, das unsere Kunden in seiner Gesamtheit überzeugt. 
Für uns ist es viel mehr als nur ein Rucksack."

Michael, Co-Founder of Airpaq

2016

After Graduation

After submitting our master's thesis, we didn't want to waste any time and immediately continued working on our project. There was still a lot to do to bring Airpaq to the market. We had to officially establish a company, find reliable sources for our materials, finalize and professionalize the prototypes, find an experienced and suitable production partner, create a website, create content. In short, the list was endless. Even though some tasks were harder than expected and not everything always went smoothly, we had an incredible amount of fun overall. With our small company, we hope to contribute at least a small part to environmental protection and perhaps promote a sustainable awareness in the fashion world. We would like to inspire others with our idea and products just as much as we are. For us it is much more than just a backpack.

2017

Campaign in record time

In order to found our sustainable startup, we needed the support of many people who are convinced of our idea. From really very many. We decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign via the Kickstarter platform.

In just 30 days, we achieved an incredible result: 509 supporters donated a whole €69,802 so that we could turn our student project into a company.

2018 to date

Investment in the future

With the capital generated, we were able to offset the costs incurred from product development and go into production with our first 'Airpaq' model. Any further profit we reinvested in our young company.

Since then, a lot has happened: more models have been added such as new backpack, fanny packs, gym bags and several accessories.

Learn even more about our mission, resources and production