Harrison Broadhurst and Christoper Rännefors think bats have a serious PR problem. Bats don't bother anybody, they eat a ton of bugs that people find annoying, and still everybody is freaked out by them. Why is that?
The guys, both in their mid-20s, concluded that the answer was just a bunch of nonsensical hocus-pocus.
"We play a lot of of Diablo III on XBox," says Rännefors, "and one of the character's attacks is 'fiery storm of hell bats'. These bats fly out in a firestorm onto the enemy. It might sound dumb but that's really how people think of them. People think they're evil monsters that suck your blood and give you rabies. The reality is that they're great creatures that eat a lot of pests and want to be left alone. And they need our help."
So Rännefors, a business-minded guy who works at Lexington's MakeTime, and Broadhurst, whose 9-to-5 gig is an architectural designer at the Lexington firm Nomi, combined their powers and came up with a plan that would be mutually beneficial for bats and humans alike: BatBnB, a line of stylish, well-designed bat houses that not only look cool, but function better than anything currently on the market.
With the help of some of the world's most respected bat experts and conservationists, they ironed out the details of their designs and launched a sleek Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to finance the project. With less than a week to go, they've long since annihilated their initial fundraising goal of $25,000 and are currently approaching $80,000.
With a little "creative email outreach", they even scored a shout out from actor Adrian Grenier. Now they're building a bat house for his mom on Long Island.
And if Adrian Grenier's mom isn't scared of a few bats, surely you shouldn't be either.
"Just remember that the bats are not your pets," says Broadhurst. "This is a house for wild animals. You just live your life and they live their lives and you enjoy the mutual benefits."
Learn more about BatBnB, including how you can pre-order one for your own backyard, at BatBnB.com