Support for Choi’s Snactiv has come from Kickstarter and the TV show Shark Tank.

Funding for Kevin Choi’s Snactiv has come from Kickstarter and the TV show Shark Tank.

Kevin Choi, ’09 BFA Toy Design

I came up with my Snactiv idea years back when I found myself snacking while playing a game of Counter Strike. I only ever thought the idea could be useful for me, so I never went as far as creating a prototype or even a sketch for it because I was completely fine being a slob and clicking my mouse with my pinky finger when things got heated in the game. And to be quite honest, I loved licking my Cheeto fingers.

Fast forward to October 2019, I had just started WKC Designs, Inc., an industrial design consultancy business, and things were going well for me, even as a startup. I was busier than ever and most days I would need to snack and eat at my desk to keep up with all the work that was coming in. That’s when I noticed how disgusting my workspace started to look and feel. I had orange Cheeto stains all over my workspace, my keyboard was all greased up, and my shirts were starting to change in color—permanently! But the thing that got to me the most was that I, who thought I was saving time by snacking and eating at my desk, was spending more time licking and wiping my fingers than getting actual work done. And that’s when I knew there had to be a cleaner, better, and more efficient way for me to snack while I had things to get done.

So, what did I do? I googled “Clean way to snack without using my fingers.” I was certain there would be something out there already, but to my surprise there was no real solution, and the best one I had come up with were generic chopsticks. So I started using chopsticks while working to keep my area clean.

Weeks went by as I continued to snack/eat at my desk with chopsticks and that’s when I noticed the same inefficiency problem I saw before. I was spending more time picking up the chopsticks, aligning the chopsticks, grabbing the food item, eating, and then placing the chopsticks back down. The constant cycle of picking up, aligning, eating, and placing down was driving me crazy! Just writing it here is driving me crazy. And that’s when I said enough is enough and the very first Snactiv was born.

Snactiv is a patented, multi-tasking snacking tool of the future! You can think of them as an extra pair of fingers that sit on top of your actual fingers. With sticky, chopstick-like grips that you maneuver to pick up snack items, it keeps your fingers and tech devices clean and, most importantly, it frees up your hands so you can type, text, click, and swipe, streamlining your snacking experience while working or gaming.

All that said, I wasn’t expecting much out of Snactiv. It was basically meant for a problem I had while WFH. I wouldn’t and couldn’t have fathomed how many people had the same issues as I did. It started with my friends and family stating how much they needed something like Snactiv, and evolved to watching complete strangers fund my product on Kickstarter, and then finally going on ABC’s Shark Tank and getting an immense amount of exposure for my idea there as well.

As of March 2022, it’s been 11 months since our Kickstarter launch, and five months since our official launch date. In the short time that we have been live, we have partnered with corporate giants like Doordash, among others. These new partnerships will create one of the biggest marketing initiatives we have planned to help Snactiv become a household name. Today, we have done over $900K in sales and have frozen over $1.9 million dollars on more than 230 trademark and copyright infringers’ accounts (and still counting). Think of these 230 infringers as a sales team I never asked for—they sell their fake product, they get fined, and Snactiv continues to grow.

If you’re reading this and thinking of inventing something to introduce to the world, a word of advice: Be sure to protect your inventions pronto! Utility patents, design patents, the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), national phase patents, trademarks, and copyrights are all equally important to fight infringers around the world. Don’t let your hard work go in vain!

Lastly, I would like to thank my family and kids for their patience, love, and support throughout this process. To my wife, SeoHyun (Sunny) Kim, also an Otis College alum (’09 BFA Toy Design), I want to thank her for all she has sacrificed, for believing in me, and letting me chase after my dreams.

Choi is the president and founder of Inoobi, Inc., the company behind Snactiv. He also has worked at Disney Consumer Products, Hasbro, and Fuhu, a start-up company that was acquired by Mattel. You can follow Snactiv on Instagram, @snactiv.