You might need a laptop stand for a number of reasons. It can help with ventilation and protect your MacBook from overheating. It can put you and your computer in a more ergonomically correct position, giving your shoulders, neck and wrists a rest. Also, for those who eat and drink at their desk, a laptop stand elevates the computer, protecting it from accidental drink spillage.

But most laptop stands are either really expensive or their bulky and ridiculously ugly. Enter The Prop, a portable and affordable laptop stand designed by Lincoln, Nebraska’s Justin Brouillette & Nicholas Pajerski of the MAKE Collaboration. The flexible, plastic stand features a super sleek design that accommodates most 13″ to 17″ laptops.

“Originally, the Prop was designed out of frustration when we noticed the lack of portable, well-designed laptop stands on the market. The aesthetics have changed since the original but it’s intent has stayed true. The first Prop was designed by Nick, laser cut from basswood and painted bright yellow. Many iterations have been made: testing good working and viewing angles, and how your laptop is supported so we could produce the desired form and aesthetic.  Through help and discussion with local manufacturers we believe we have achieved a great solution,” writes Justin.

DSC 6495compressed 1024x670 520x340 Youll want this: The Prop, a smart, portable laptop stand

To prove it smart design, the Prop recently won the 2011 Apartment Therapy Design Showcase; now it just needs to get made. Justin and Nicholas have designed it to feel like a natural part of your computer but in order to afford the manufacturing of the injection molding form to create Props, they need to raise $18,000. Fortunately, The Prop was recently awarded a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funding. It’s portable, affordable and looks good. I just donated $18. Go here if you want to too.

What should you expect in the mail when you order a Prop? Watch this video below: