The Next Crowdfunding Evolution


Picture Courtesy of Wired

It’s been said that crowdfunding is less of a straight-forward investment and more like buying wine futures. You’re essentially paying a discounted rate for next year’s crop. And, just like wine, once you’ve put your money in, you can only hope that the weather is good, the vines aren’t attacked by bug, and the vintner is as good as he claims.

But, this analogy, no matter how clever, falls apart at one crucial stage. With wine, there is already a predetermined market, distribution channels and product awareness. People may not have heard of “Bobby Joe’s Blackberry Pumpkin Chardonnay” but they do know wine exists and they generally know where to find it. This is not the case, though, when it comes to crowdfunded projects.

For instance, Erik Chevalier’s crowdfunding campaign for the old-fashioned board game, The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, was a huge success, raising nearly $88,000 more than its target of $35,000. But, despite that infusion of capital, the game never launched. According to Chevealier, “Every possible mistake was made, some due to my inexperience in board game publishing, others due to ego conflicts, legal issues and technical complications.”

Chevalier’s tale of woe (it gets much worse and involves him moving to another city and working to replay the donations) is the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Simply put: creative types, the sorts of people who can come up with everything from new games to luminescent house plants that can light entire rooms, are generally not good at the nuts and bolts of running the daily operations of a business.

Where do people who have gotten their products successfully funded through crowdfunding go to promote and sell their merchandise? Where is the right place to sell their product alongside similar high-quality merchandise? How does someone go about attracting the attention of retail buyers?

Using sites like eBay or Craig’s List means the seller is, once again, struggling among hundreds, thousands, even hundreds of thousands of competitors for the attention of consumers. Good luck trying to move a dozen units, much less the numbers required to have a viable business.

Other options include literally going out and knocking on the doors of every related brick-and-mortar retail outlet within driving distance and hoping they’ll give you some shelf space or fighting with established manufacturers to try and get into national chains like Target, Costco or Wal-Mart.

One person who thinks she has the answer is a California housewife and jewelry designer, Candice Georgiadis, who, ironically enough, has just launched her own crowdfunding campaign for startup capital. But, given the name she’s picked for her new business, don’t expect to find her on a popular site like Kickstarter.

She’s named it KickStarted —and Candice wants it made clear she is not affiliated in any fashion with that other site with the very similar name—and has designed it to be an online marketplace for successfully crowdfunded projects and the consumers who want the finished products—essentially the next place to go after IndieGoGo, Selfstarter, GoFundMe and the dozens of others online.

“As a jewelry designer myself, I know that the hardest part of a project can be after you’ve finished your prototype and are trying to promote it and get it into stores,” the co-founder said. “Contacting your friends and family, knocking on doors, emailing, reaching out to buyers—it’s all just so hard! I want KickStarted to be a place where entrepreneurs can be found by customers, buyers, retail stores—everyone!”

Its own crowdfunding campaign, which started today, can be found at and the cease-and-desist letter from Kickstarter’s team of lawyers can be found in her email inbox. Yes, Candice has been threatened with a lawsuit before either her website or the drive to fund her website has started.

“The word ‘kick-start’ is a generic term and the first meaning is something used to start motorcycles,” said Georgiadis. “Anyone who goes to our site will soon realize they cannot raise money there. It’s clear that our site is meant for people to buy and sell, not fundraise. And, we only want to connect people. We don’t want to be involved in the transactions.”

KickStarted offers six different methods—Skype, Facebook, FaceTime, Twitter, SMS text or email/instant message—for buyers and sellers to communicate directly with one another, and vendor accounts range from free to $4.95 and $9.95 per month (no membership is required for shoppers). Sellers can create their own ads and possibly be featured on the homepage’s rotating slideshow, and KickStarted does not charge a commission on sales.

Will KickStarted be the silver bullet to the problems that come with success in the crowdfunding world? Not likely but it might develop into a powerful weapon in the budding entrepreneur’s arsenal.

Source: Drew Hendricks – Forbes


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


BloombergCouples Desperate For Children Turn to Crowdfunding FertilityBloombergCrowdfunding has become a popular mechanism for many couples who can't afford the high costs of IVF, or adoption and surrogacy. “It's not an easy thing to share publicly,” says Crystal Barrett, 33 [...]

MarketWatchWhy a crowdfunding site is giving out $10000 scholarshipsMarketWatchCrowdfunding site GoFundMe announced Thursday that it will award $10,000 to 10 students with pages on their site that fundraise for education. The award is part of a contest the site held throughout Septemb [...]

Huffington PostReal Estate Crowdfunding's Pathway of ChangeHuffington Post“Crowdfunding is just the Internet,” stated Attorney Mark Roderick as he opened last month's RealCap Chicago. RealCap is an annual conference that joins crowdfunding leaders and innovators to propel th [...]

Smart From The Start: 3 Ways To Properly Establish Your Business When CrowdfundingCBS LocalConsequently, burgeoning entrepreneurs have turned to crowdfunding platforms to get the seed money they need to get business ideas off the ground. However, seeing as 98 percent of crowdfunding p [...]

Crowdfund InsiderOn Investment Crowdfunding, Diversification & the Wisdom of the ...Crowdfund InsiderStill Time to Fix the Fix Crowdfunding Act One of the cardinal rules of investing is diversification - a critical ingredient for long-term portfolio growt.and more » [...]

ExtremeTechNew crowdfunding project promises an ATX motherboard for IBM's Power8ExtremeTechWe don't cover many crowdfunding projects at ExtremeTech, because most of the pitches we get are frankly terrible. While we can't make any promises about any crowdfunding project [...]

CoinTelegraphCrowdfunding vs. ICO: Experts Question Legitimacy and Guarantees of Initial Coin OfferingsCoinTelegraphOne major difference exists between traditional crowdfunding methods and ICO, and that is market value. When a product is introduced on crowdfunding platforms like Indie [...]

EntrepreneurIs Crowdfunding Right for You? Answer These 7 Questions to Find ...EntrepreneurLess than a third of crowdfunding campaigns reach their financial goals. Will yours be one of them?and more » [...]

MedCity NewsMedical device entrepreneur's crowdfunding campaign seeks to make vision for infusion catheter a realityMedCity NewsThe entrepreneur behind a revolutionary cancer technology is taking the unusual approach of using crowdfunding to raise $500,000 in a bid to get the dev [...]

Commercial Property ExecutiveCrowdfunding in the Investment MainstreamCommercial Property Executivebryan-hancock-redo-190x190 As I watch the crowdfunding industry play out, I am reminded of an old Bruce Lee quote about water slowing as it makes its way through cracks. Technology has a [...]

CFB Finance

Press Release

Live Crowdfunding .tv

What's Next Step in Regulation A+ JOBS ACTS Title IIII :L Interview : Steve Cinelli with Brian Korn Securities and Crowdfunding/Peer-to-Peer Lending Lawyer, Watch more video library | Conference | Interview | Campaign Showcase | Research | Education |