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The World’s First Recreational Football Launcher Intended for Professional-Grade Fun!
81 backers pledged $20,538 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$20,538

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The BALL CANNON™

  • A recreational football launcher with professional functionality
  • For football fields, backyards, tailgating and more!
  • NERF™ N-Sports Pro Grip foam football launching system
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Adjustable Launch Angles and Distances
  • Adjustable time-delayed launches for 1-player use
  • Rechargeable battery for up to 2 hours of fun

Adjustable Launch Angles (30° - 60°)

     Manually adjustable guide rails change the ball’s launch angle to simulate crisp quarterback-like passes to punts and even the “Hail Mary” bomb!

Adjustable Launch Distances (10ft – 100ft)

     An adjustable speed control changes the speed of the launch wheels, creating different launch distances.

Professional-quality Spirals

     A two-launch-wheel design provides long or short, straight or high, professional-quality spiral launches.

NERF™-style Football Launching

     The FreVon Ball Cannon™ launches NERF™ N-Sports Pro Grip style footballs that are easy to catch and provide a professional-quality experience.

Portable Design

     The FreVon Ball Cannon™ has permanently-mounted wheels in the unit’s base allowing it to be easily “wheeled-around” a user’s driveway, yard, field or other play location. The lightweight construction is convenient for transporting the unit in a vehicle trunk or back seat, for use in any location.

Rechargeable Power Supply

     A 12v, permanently sealed, rechargeable battery is included. The battery can easily be removed and replaced for recharging or swapping with another fully-charged battery. The battery can also be charged while in the launcher. A fully-charged battery provides up to 2 hours of use.

Adjustable Launch Delay (0s – 20s)

     An adjustable Launch Delay allows the user to set the time between when the “Launch” button is pressed and a ball is launched, making single-player use possible and fun! Press the Launch button, run a pattern, turn your head and catch the ball!

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The Idea

     In 2008, Fred Hafer Jr, wanted to buy a football throwing machine for his then 6-year-old son. He was aware of the professional-grade machines in the market but felt that they were too expensive, big, heavy and unsafe for a young person to operate. He also wanted a football throwing machine that could be used by one person and was battery-operated. After months of searching various retail stores and the internet, he ultimately came to the conclusion that the product he wanted didn’t exist. He was convinced that, if such a product were developed, it would enjoy wide-scale success. This realization motivated him to invent the Ball Cannon™.

2008 • Fred and his son, Peter • 2015
2008 • Fred and his son, Peter • 2015

Research and Development

     As President and Owner of Omnitech Automation, Inc. (a manufacturer of custom, automated equipment), Mr. Hafer had the resources to design, fabricate and test his ideas. The first tests involved trying to understand the physics behind launching a football with a spiral rotation using two rotating wheels. After some experimenting, Mr. Hafer and his team figured out how to position, space and rotate the wheels in order to get a consistent, spiral launch.

Launch wheel R&D prototype
Launch wheel R&D prototype

     During their testing with various types of footballs (leather, foam, etc.), the company decided that the first version of the product should be designed to launch a foam-style football (as opposed to leather) because it felt the foam-style footballs were softer and easier to catch. From this point forward, as the company continued developing the product, all of the testing was done with a NERF™ brand football.

First fully-automated concept
First fully-automated concept

     After perfecting the ability to launch footballs, the next step was to develop a system to automatically feed balls to the launch wheels so that the product could be used by one person. Multiple concepts were developed and tested over the course of several years but the company ultimately settled on a very elegant design that utilized a motorized carriage that rode on guide rails and pushed the ball into the spinning launch wheels. Another design goal was for the product to be able to launch footballs at various angles while keeping the base of the unit flat on the ground. Mr. Hafer’s team developed its now patented curved launch rail system. Patent #9,022,016.

Early Prototypes

Recent Years

         In recent years the company spent its time streamlining the design of the product, converting the metal parts that were used to make prototype versions of the product to plastic, and lining up commercial suppliers.

Ball Cannon prototypes converted to plastic
Ball Cannon prototypes converted to plastic

Trademark  •  Patent  •  NERF™ License  

     Over the past year we’ve been awarded a patent for the Ball Cannon (9,022,016), trademarked the name and secured a license agreement with Hasbro to use the NERF brand.

Fred Hafer, Jr. signing the NERF™ License Agreement
Fred Hafer, Jr. signing the NERF™ License Agreement

      After 7 years of development and hundreds of hours of testing, the Ball Cannon™ design is complete. We’ve also established sources for all of the commercial components and have the tooling for the injection-molded parts. A new company, FreVon, Inc., was established and we’re leasing a facility in Reading, PA where we’ll be manufacturing and distributing the product. We are now ready to produce a limited quantity (100) of Ball Cannons so that we can put the product in the hands of consumers to gather important feedback and refine our manufacturing, sales, marketing and other processes. Although we do have a considerable amount of user feedback, to date it’s been from family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

Our Kickstarter Campaign

     The limited market release of 100 Ball Cannon’s through Kickstarter is intended to provide FreVon with important feedback relative to the Ball Cannon’s:

  • Product performance
  • Ease of assembly
  • Quality of product labeling
  • Market demand
  • Pricing
  • Potential future improvements

     Assuming the Ball Cannon™ is well received by the market and doesn’t require any immediate, significant modifications, FreVon will use the results of the Kickstarter campaign to forecast the first year's sales, refine its manufacturing processes, hire employees and finalize its sales and marketing plan in preparation for a full market release.

Please help us make the Ball Cannon a success!

Ball Cannon™  2015
Ball Cannon™ 2015
Fred and Peter 2015
Fred and Peter 2015

      The Ball Cannon™ is a combination sporting good/recreational product. It launches footballs with professional-quality spirals and is extremely consistent. It can be used as a football training tool or for recreational use. Its portability and adjustability make it perfect for use on a football field, at a tailgate or in a backyard, and its NERF™-based launching system makes it fun for people of all ages – teenagers, college kids and adults.

  • (1) One Ball Cannon™ Model 100A
  • (2) Two NERF™ Pro-Grip Footballs
  • (1) One 12v 12Ah Battery
  • (1) One 12v 3A Battery Charger 
          

Risks and challenges

We’ve spent six years developing, testing and perfecting the Ball Cannon™. We’re confident that customers will be very happy with its design and performance, and equally as important, have a lot of fun using the product. Our Limited Market Release (LMR) of 100 Ball Cannons through Kickstarter will be our very first production run and the first time the product will be in the hands of people not closely associated with our company. We recognize that we might need to make changes to the product and our sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution processes before our official Full Market Release (FMR).

We are hoping that we get a very positive response from our Kickstarter campaign and that the interest and demand for the Ball Cannon gives us the confidence to invest in additional manufacturing capacity, employees and infrastructure. Initially we are taking a very conservative approach and only manufacturing 100 units. We intend to wait for feedback from Kickstarter customers before producing additional product. Depending on the feedback we receive, lead time of commercial components and the product demand, there could be a 2-3 month delay before additional product is available for sale. We will use this time to gather additional feedback and accept pre-orders through the Ball Cannon™ website (www.ballcannon.com).

We are very excited to start receiving feedback from the Kickstarter community. We welcome any questions, comments, or suggestions on our product, pricing, marketing, etc. Feel free to reach out to us at feedback@ballcannon.com.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    BACKER

    Receive exclusive, weekly, behind-the-scenes video updates as we prepare for the Ball Cannon’s full production release!

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    2 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    LAUNCH SUPPORTER

    Receive an exclusive BALL CANNON T-shirt

    + Exclusive, weekly, behind-the-scenes video updates as we prepare for the Ball Cannon’s full production release!

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    Ships to Only United States
    18 backers
    $
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    VIP LAUNCH SUPPORTER!

    Receive an exclusive BALL CANNON T-shirt

    + a BALL CANNON Drawstring Bag

    + Exclusive, weekly, behind-the-scenes video updates as we prepare for the Ball Cannon’s full production release!

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    Ships to Only United States
    24 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $399 or more About $399

    SUPER-EARLY-BIRD LAUNCH PARTNER!

    Receive an exclusive BALL CANNON T-shirt

    + Exclusive, weekly, behind-the-scenes video updates

    + One (1) Ball Cannon from the first batch of 100! Retail price will be $499.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 14 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $449 or more About $449

    EARLY-BIRD LAUNCH PARTNER!

    Receive an exclusive BALL CANNON T-shirt

    + Exclusive, weekly, behind-the-scenes video updates

    + One (1) Ball Cannon from the first batch of 100 at its early bird price! Retail price will be $499.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 13 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $499 or more About $499

    LAUNCH PARTNER!

    Receive an exclusive BALL CANNON T-shirt

    + Exclusive, weekly, behind-the-scenes video updates

    + One (1) Ball Cannon from the first batch of 100.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 6 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (30 days)