Indiegogo’s Danae Ringelmann on Crowdfunding as Market Research

Wade Roush6/5/14,  Xconomy

On the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo right now, there’s a campaign for a product called theNew Matter Mod-t. It’s one of the first low-price 3D printers designed as a home appliance, allowing consumers to print their own craft items at home. (The New Matter video shows objects like towel holders, refrigerator magnets and pencil holders.) As of yesterday, the campaign had shot past its goal of $375,000 and was on its way to $500,000, with 28 days left to go.

Behind most crowdfunding campaigns there’s an individual or a small startup team—the kind of innovators who’d probably have a hard time raising money from traditional sources like banks, angel investors, or venture capital firms. But New Matter is a little different: the company was co-founded by Bill Gross, a serial entrepreneur best known for starting Idealab, a business incubator that has spun off dozens of successful Internet startups.

ringelmann

Gross is a multimillionaire who doesn’t really need donations from a crowd of strangers to get a cool new product to market. So what is New Matter doing on Indiegogo? And what does it mean when so many other deep-pocketed entrepreneurs are flocking to crowdfunding sites to raise money? (In a 2012-2013 Indiegogo campaign, to pick another example, Misfit Wearables raised $846,000 to get its wearable fitness tracker to market, after it had already raised more than $7 million in venture funding.)

To Danae Ringelmann, it’s all about connecting with customers.

Ringelmann is chief customer officer at Indiegogo; she co-founded the San Francisco-based startup with Slava Rubin in 2007. She says the company’s fundamental goal is to make it more efficient and less painful for average people to raise capital, or to put money toward causes they believe in. And in practice, the majority of the campaigns on Indiegogo are run by individual creators or non-profit groups.

But Ringelmann also sees crowdfunding sites as platforms that established companies and entrepreneurs can use for market testing and product validation. Because Indiegogo is open to all—fundraising teams don’t have to pass muster with Indiegogo staff, the way they do at New York-based Kickstarter—it’s turned into a vast marketplace of prototypes and potential products, from Mod-t to Puracoat (a nanotech coating that supposedly protects mobile gadgets from scratches and water damage) to Solar Roadways (a massively popular project to develop modular solar panels that can be used as an energy-generating paving system for roads, driveways, and parking lots).

Not all of these companies need the money; often, they’re just as interested in how potential customers respond to their ideas. “We are seeing venture-backed companies using Indiegogo as a way to connect and get market feedback and data,” Ringelmann says.

Ringelmann spoke about Indiegogo this week at Xconomy’s Napa Summit and I buttonholed her during a break for the short interview below. We mainly talked about the role of crowdfunding in startup innovation, and how other projects are affected when established organizations turn to Indiegogo and Kickstarter to test the market.

Xconomy: What makes Indiegogo different from other crowdfunding sites?

Danae Ringelmann: We are open, so we don’t curate what comes onto our site, at least not via human curation. [There’s a measure called the “gogofactor” that determines a campaign’s search rankings and placement on the site.—Eds.] We believe everyone deserves the right to at least try to get their idea off the ground. We see gatekeepers as the source of friction in the process, and the last thing we wanted to be was the source of friction. We are like the YouTube of funding. Not every video on YouTube will get a million hits, but every video has the chance to go viral, and it’s all about how hard the creator works.

Read more http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2014/06/05/indiegogos-danae-ringelmann-on-crowdfunding-as-market-research/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=indiegogos-danae-ringelmann-on-crowdfunding-as-market-research

Tags: ,

HEADLINE NEWS

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news [...]

ForbesHow This Millennial Built A 7-Figure Business Using Equity CrowdfundingForbesWhen he asked them to help fund his company's crowdfunding campaign, they delivered—exceeding his initial goal fourfold and ranking it one of the fastest and most successfully funded companies on R [...]

The GuardianWorboys' victims launch crowdfunding appeal against releaseThe GuardianThe women are aiming to raise £10,000 to pay for a judicial review that would initially force the Parole Board to reveal its reasons for releasing the 60-year-old, who has served 10 years in jail. [...]

Crowdfunding campaign aims to help Terrell Co. foster childrenWALB-TVAn Albany woman is hoping to help foster children in Terrell County by providing them with things people often take for granted. Kaley Hart has launched a crowdfunding campaign on TogetherWeRise.org. She hopes to rai [...]

LifesiteFacebook blocks crowdfunding site for new movie on how abortion ...Lifesite'Given Facebook's claims to be a neutral, open forum...I regard this as scandalous and I call on Facebook to cease and desist.'and more » [...]

Bristol PostBristol man crowdfunding for YouTube comedian after 'racist' millionaire landlord sues himBristol PostBristol man crowdfunding for YouTube comedian after 'racist' millionaire landlord sues him. Multimillionaire Fergus Wilson has vowed to "bankrupt [...]

Entrepreneur3 Crowdfunding Tips Every Company Forgets From a Brand That Raised $800000 and Got AcquiredEntrepreneurCrowdfunding takes a lot of planning, whether you're gearing up for a launch, a ship date or thinking about the next source of funding you'll pursue. But it [...]

The Good Men Project (blog)EPIC HAWAIIAN OPEN WORLD ACTION-RPG 'NIGHTMARCHERS' IS ON GAMER CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM FIG!The Good Men Project (blog)Wyrmbyte, makers of MOBA short-session social gaming hit Dragons and Titans (1 million + players worldwide) announced it's int [...]

XinhuaUN Palestinian refugee agency launches crowdfunding campaign following US aid cutXinhuaA Palestinian refugee child is seen at al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, on Jan. 17, 2018. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said Wednesday that it ha [...]

Prescott eNewsCrowdfunding Campaign for Downtown Coworking Space UnderwayPrescott eNewsWhy work alone, when you can co-work? For those who identify as a freelancer, entrepreneur, remote worker, small business owner, micro-business, non-profit, or startup – the coworking concept helps [...]

CFB Finance

Marketwired

  • Crowdfunding
  • Crowdfund
  • Peer to Peer Lending
  • FinTech
  • Reg A+
  • Reg CF
  • Crowdfunding USA

Press Release

CrowdFund Beat Media

2018 Fintech World Conference & Workshop, Announcement:Game Changer” Fintech World Media, PR & Marketing Group Proudly Presents: lnkd.in/gqdCrTr

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 |