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UMD Business Model Challenge Winner Launches First Crowdfunding Campaign, Raises $10,000 In One Week

Shield Boards LLC Set to Raise $25,000 Through Kickstarter to Help Fund the Mass Production of Wheel Shields

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Aug. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Chase Kaczmarek, a senior at the University of Maryland and founder of Shield Boards LLC, launched a Kickstarter campaign on August 5 to fund production of his company's product, Wheel Shields, which eliminates a safety problem called "wheel bite" in skateboarding and longboarding. In just one week on Kickstarter, the company raised over $10,000.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101005/MTECHLOGO)

This year's first-place and $8,000 winner in the 2013 University of Maryland Business Model Challenge, Shield Boards LLC is hoping to raise $25,000 by September 4 to purchase a die cast mold needed to mass-produce and market the company's injury-reducing skate and longboard accessory, Wheel Shields.

Wheel Shields are rounded covers for skateboard or longboard wheels intended to eliminate the problem of "wheel bite." This phenomenon occurs during a hard turn when the bottom of the board comes in contact with the top of the wheels, causing the wheels to stop abruptly. This sudden change in speed throws riders to the ground, increasing their risk of injury.

After suffering from the effects of wheel bite a year ago, Kaczmarek set forth to develop a solution to the seemingly unavoidable problem.

"After experiencing wheel bite first-hand, I was surprised to find that there were no solutions for this problem on the market," said Kaczmarek. "I began brainstorming ideas to eliminate wheel bite and improve the overall safety of skaters world-wide."

One year and 20 prototypes later, Wheel Shields are coming to fruition. The patented technology is made from aircraft aluminum, an extremely durable material, and is compatible with most longboard or skateboard wheels under 75mm. A set of four shields weighs less than one pound.

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