By: Emma McGowan , Innovation is all well and dandy but any innovator from Ben Franklin to Ev Williams knows that getting your genius product out in front of the people who are going to, you know, pay for it is even more important than having the great idea in the first place. After all of the struggle and work it takes to come up with an idea and create the product, that final step can sometimes seem insurmountable.
Luckily for folks who are interested in creating actual, physical products (as opposed to digital ones), our favorite crowdfunding company, Fundable, has teamed up with Staples to create the Crowd2Shelf Contest.
Here’s how it works:
Teams submitted to be a part of the initial voting period and now are competing to be one of the top 25 in the contest. Each contestant has created a crowdfunding page and it’s up to them to harness the voting power of their communities in an attempt to push them to the top. Ultimately, though, the companies that go on to the final round of the competition will be chosen not only on their votes but also by how well their crowd funding campaign went and the opinions of a panel of innovation experts, including Wil Schroter, Co-Founder and CEO of Fundable; and Scott Young, Senior Vice President of Staples, among others.
“We’re thrilled to work with Staples to help small businesses tap into the power of crowdfunding as well as Staples’ world-class retail capabilities,” Wil enthused. “Staples shares Fundable’s mission of empowering entrepreneurs to do great things, and we’re looking forward to helping great businesses launch through the Crowd2Shelf Contest.”
At the end of the contest, the winning team will have the opportunity to present their product to the merchandising team at Staples for the chance to have it featured in Staples stores, on Staples.com, and through the Staples Brands Group product line. It’s like Project Runway but actually practical.
And you get to be a part of it!
Head over to the Crowd2Shelf page at Fundable.com now to check out who’s in the running and vote for your favorite company. Help determine the future of your fellow entrepreneurs by voting once a day and watch as they race neck in neck to the Staples finish line.