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How do I find a Seasoned Partner or consultant to run Kickstarter Campaign?

How do you find someone with a proven track record of success running or working with hardware KickStarter campaigns? How can you insure they have the skills and connections to tap into blogs, online magazines, gadget sites, trade rags, etc. to promote the campaign? From what I have read, it takes tons of time and energy to run a campaign.Can I expect them to answer fan mail, update the site with progress reports, and promote, promote, promote? Is it reasonable or customary to expect them to work for cash from the campaign, and possibly a piece of the action?

I don't have any of those skills, and I think it would be a mistake to try and learn them in a month. What I do have is a great product with broad appeal, A detailed CAD design, a functional full scale prototype, a contract manufacturer with a viable quote, a great reputation in the design community, and 30 years of experience bringing consumer products to market. I need advice on how to find a partner so I can focus on what I am good at, and together, we can succeed.

What are we building? A collection of limited edition, high end outdoor furnishings, made from the finest sustainable hardwood, with a stunning design language based on an American classic- the Adirondack. Our company, Artisan Woodsmiths, is poised to launch, but we need this Kickstarter expertise!

Thanks in advance for any advice or information

11 Replies

Ashish Agarwal
2
0
Ashish Agarwal Entrepreneur
Mobile Lead + iOS Developer
You look at their track record. If they're any good at blogging, seo, etc they will have a significant online presence. Try to understand during the conversation what motivates them and if you can offer them that. How do you meet such a person: network, network, network. Posting an ad on a job board shouldn't hurt either. Good luck. Ashish Sent from my iPhone
Andy Keil
1
0
Andy Keil Entrepreneur • Advisor
Building smart products at Waldo Photos
Hey Matt,

I most recently helped Supermechanical with their successful campaign for Range. We got written up in Fast Company, Wired, Uncrate, etc and raised over $175,000 for a corded iPhone thermometer.

I've been considering using my knowledge to become a Kickstarter consultant of sorts but I haven't had the time to get the site up.

I would be happy to talk about where you are currently and what my experiences have been with campaigns and maybe we can find a way to work together.

My biggest question up front is SHIPPING. How do you plan to warehouse and ship chairs?
Matt Herron
0
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Matt Herron Entrepreneur
Principal at ClearPoint Consulting
Alex, I published a shot of some of the collection at www.artisanwoodsmiths.com.

Andy, finished product will be manufactured overseas, imported to a fulfillment house here in the US, and drop shipped to customers from there. In the furniture business, 4-12 weeks delivery is quite common and accepted. we won't be holding a great deal of inventory.

This is a very high quality line, made to our exacting standards by a factory that has been doing this for 25 years. But the design and functionality are what really set us apart. Low profile, extra wide armrests for drinks, etc. sculpted backrest for comfort and spacious cut-out armrests for curling up and relaxing. Options that include flip-up tables, ottomans, and coffee tables, all designed to enhance the intimacy of conversation and socializing. The quality and design are both fresh and familiar at the same time, leaving a lasting impression of craftsmanship and elegance. These will be limited edition, serialized offerings.

Matt
Andy Keil
0
0
Andy Keil Entrepreneur • Advisor
Building smart products at Waldo Photos
Matt,

That's a great pitch. It makes for a great video.

My next questions are how much do people care about a serialized offering when it comes to furniture? I'm unfamiliar with the market but something tells me it's less of a value add than it is for say a poster that's to be hung and not used.

What price point are you planning to hit? Have you market tested it?
Candice Hughes
0
0
Candice Hughes Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO & Founder Hughes BioPharma, AdapTac Games, Digital & Mobile Health, Biotech, Technology Scout

I suggest checking with Kickstarter regarding the product type. Their mission is to help creative products raise funding (fairly narrowly defined- movies, books, games, etc). On their website they have their criteria defined. If your product doesn't fit Kickstarter, you can use Indiegogo or another site.

Personally, I am preparing for my campaign 4 or 5 months prior to beginning the campaign. The entrepreneur should know their market very well and have connections within the market. Maybe it is useful to hire people to assist for specific functions, but in my opinion, the entrepreneur should be the one driving the campaign. It is the entrepreneur personally that people are supporting even more than the product.

Youval Nehmadi
0
0
Youval Nehmadi Entrepreneur
Founder & CEO at Wander3D
Hi Mat
I feel the same
When you get a good answer please share with me [removed to protect privacy]
Few words about what we do.

Wander3Dprovides a platform to play computer and online gameswith a low-cost handheld toy using a standardwebcam.
WithWander3D's technology users can achieve console gaming experience (similar toKinect) for the cost of an inexpensive toy.
This demomovieshows a kid playing Fruit Ninja with a sword that is detected by our technology:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNiYhG6sAmo.
Youval Nehmadi
0
0
Youval Nehmadi Entrepreneur
Founder & CEO at Wander3D
Hi Mat
I feel the same
When you get a good answer please share with me [removed to protect privacy]
Few words about what we do.

Wander3Dprovides a platform to play computer and online gameswith a low-cost handheld toy using a standardwebcam.
WithWander3D's technology users can achieve console gaming experience (similar toKinect) for the cost of an inexpensive toy.
This demomovieshows a kid playing Fruit Ninja with a sword that is detected by our technology:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNiYhG6sAmo.
Derek Dukes
0
0
Derek Dukes Entrepreneur • Advisor
Business Development, Startups at Amazon Web Services
I've consulted on two successful kickstarter campaigns, both of which have raised in excess of 160% of their target raise. I've also backed over 70 projects on Kickstarter which puts me in the top .5% of backers on Kickstarter so I've seen some campaigns :)

For both of the projects, the creators of the product were key to helping us craft the story, vision and creating a compelling video that helped backers connect with the creator and the technology / product. That was just the starting point. A ton went into developing a pricing / tiering strategy, initial press outreach and continued social media building throughout the campaign, along with updates, and project 'unlocks'.

I think where KS consultants can best be of assistance are in the following elements of the campaign:
  • Goal setting: one-off product campaign, a lifestyle business, raise to demonstrate product / market fit for venture backing
  • Story development & campaign positioning
  • Content development (campaign page / images, video, updates etc.)
  • Pricing / Tiering strategy
  • PR and Launch strategy
  • Post-campaign delivery, continuing pre-orders and supporting website strategy
If I were picking from a set of KS consultants. I'd look for the following elements:
- Have they backed projects on KS?
- Have they run successful campaigns on KS?
- Do I like their work product on KS (video, campaign content etc.)?
- Can they develop an outreach program that is specific to my campaign? and what would their high-level approach be? (Note: this is going to be different for each campaign as your starting points are unique)
- What's their pricing model? (e.g. are incentives aligned with the project's success)
- Beyond the campaign what else can they help me with? (e.g. fulfillment, backer mgmt etc.)

Happy to discuss more on / offline.
Mark Piekny
0
0
Mark Piekny Entrepreneur
Engineer, Consultant & Entrepreneur

Derek, Kickstarter is more about artthan it is about technology and hardware. There are many that claim expertise in the crowdfunding arena. Two questions: 1) Does success in one venue mean success in another; 2) testamonials or references?

Derek Dukes
0
0
Derek Dukes Entrepreneur • Advisor
Business Development, Startups at Amazon Web Services
@Mark - Agreed. In terms of sheer project volume, a little over 11% of Kickstarter projects are tech and hardware. I'm not sure, how that maps to actual funds raised via Kickstarter. There are a number of outliers on the hardware side (Pebble Watch being the most visible with a 10MM+ raise) that may skew the funding data to the hardware side of the house, but I've not looked at the data specifically.

With regards to your two questions:
1) Depending on what you mean by Venue. If venue is 'category' on kickstarter then I think the approaches that work for a Hardware category project would also work for an Art category campaign. The main differences would be how you price / tier the offering and how you focus the story around the rewards. If by venue you are referring to other crowdfunding platforms (e.g. Indiegogo vs. Kickstarter), then I think the overall approach may work for both, but the tactics of what works in the Indiegogo vs. Kickstarter communities might be different. Just as raising capital for your business on AngelList requires a similar strategy and materials as raising capital from traditional venture channels, but the tactics of getting it done are different. If I were running a campaign on a new crowdfunding platform, I'd start with doing some analysis on that platform+community, just as I did with Kickstarter.

2) The two projects I've worked on are: OMG Jellyfish and Edgertronic. OMG was an 'art project' but in the product design category. Edgertroinc is in the hardware category. I believe Edgertroinc to be the highest priced single unit product on Kickstarter to-date, but have not verified this stat yet.. There are other projects that have had higher cost tiers, but generally that has comprised either multiple units of the product or pairing the product with some sort of 'experience' related to the product as part of the reward (e.g. a dinner with the project creators):
  • OMG Jellyfish - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pattilord/omg-jellyfish?ref=live
  • Edgertronic -http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/[removed to protect privacy]/edgertronictm-the-first-affordable-high-speed-vide?ref=live
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