Coming off the holidays, it’s a slower month for Columbus crowdfunding campaigns, but a couple of interesting products are raising funds to go from design to production. However, it likely won’t stay quiet for long. We spoke with two professionals embedded in the crowdfunding world about 2014 trends and what we’re likely to see in 2015.
A new tool is aiming to help artists, designers, illustrators, collectors and sneaker enthusiasts alike. Quickicks provides a shoe sketching aid. With eight unique templates full of details like stitching guides and proportionally appropriate curves, lines and ellipses, the shoe design possibilities are endless. Most of the design work is complete, but funds will go towards a few last minute design tweaks, as well as manufacturing and shipping costs.
This wine-themed game uses recycled corks for individual to family fun (yes, family!). Corks fit onto a specially designed board where players make attempts to jump other corks and gather as many as possible. Corkit has clearly outlined where raised funds will be allocated, with 80 percent going to production and rewards expenses.
Overall, it was a big year for crowdfunding.
“What you saw in 2014 was that crowdfunding became a common answer to the “How do I fund this?”question that entrepreneurs have been asking for generations,” says Fundable.com CEO & Founder Wil Schroter. “Prior to 2014 we often had to explain what crowdfunding was. Going into 2015, we don’t have to give that explanation anymore, which is a major leap forward.”
Trident Design was one business that realized the power of crowdfunding this year, running two highly successful campaigns with the Quickey Multi-Tool and tech toy Carbon Flyer Video Drone. The Quickey raised over 5,000 percent of its goal, and with time to spare, the Carbon Flyer is already at almost 500 percent.
With such successful campaigns under their belt, Trident President Chris Hawker says they plan to run another five to six campaigns this year with their own ideas, in addition to helping others with theirs.
“It’s a trend that’s going to continue,” he says, calling crowdfunding the most important tool in product development entrepreneurship since the internet itself.
The benefits are two-fold.
“It really removes the gatekeepers from capital,” Hawker says. And, for the product creator it gives them a way to find out if there is enough interest to move forward while raising the funds to do so.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs might not be the only ones taking advantage of crowdfunding platforms in the years to come.
“What we see is more corporate people getting involved,” Hawker says. Corporate entities see the same benefit of finding out whether the public likes a product before they invest in it. It’s a method to reduce risk when it comes to product launches.
Having a campaign is only half the battle. It’s getting funded that’s the real challenge. While some funded campaigns might leave us scratching our heads, other great ones fly under the radar.
“Hitting your fundraise goal has everything to do with being able to market your raise appropriately,” Schroter says. “This generally falls on the entrepreneur and her team to make this happen. If you were to take two identical campaigns on the same platform and use two entirely different marketers, you would get two completely different outcomes. What entrepreneurs have learned in 2014 is that marketing and crowdfunding go hand in hand.”
On The Metropreneur, we’ve focused primarily on the campaigns, but what happens after? This year we’ll explore some local campaigns that have hit the mark, and speak with others that are left asking “What now?” if they didn’t get funded.
See some great business campaigns that are missing or gearing up to launch your own? Submit your campaign for our monthly roundup at [email protected].