Crowdsourcing via Kickstarter: A New Way to Get Funds!

Have you ever had to rely on other’s opinions or resources (i.e. money) to accomplish a project? If you have you are not alone! This phenomena, known as crowdsourcing is becoming a very common practice for many businesses. Just type in “crowdsourcing sites” on Google and you’ll be amazed at the sites available to help people reach their monetary needs. One such site is Kickstarter.

Kickstarter has thousands of projects for people to help fund ranging from photography to a family wanting to spend every day out of the year in theme parks in Florida (interesting goal in my opinion). Those interested in using Kickstarter for funds can provide audiences with information about their business, purpose, or goals via bios, links, and images. For people wanting to help those on Kickstarter you can browse by most popular/trending, category, discovery or by a search. I happen to use all of these methods and found some very interesting projects going on in our world.

homegrownWhen I first visited Kickstarter I looked in the trending/popular section of the site to see if there was anything that caught my eye. A site with the name HomeGrown.org interested me. This site houses projects across the country focused on providing people with actual home grown items like honey. I really like this concept because I try and support small businesses as much as I can. Unfortunately there were no projects going on in Florida or any that would provide me with benefits.

After spending some time looking in the popular/trending section of Kickstarter I decided to do a site search for “Florida.” Doing this lead to over 400 results! Browsing through the first ten pages of the results I found some really great projects occurring in Florida near my community and places I visit frequently. One that really fascinated me is called Uten-sil. The concept this inventor has is simple. It’s a fork and knife holder that keeps utensils from touching the table. I absolutely HATE when my silverware touches the table when I go out to eat! When I unroll the napkin to put on my lap and have to put my silverware on the table a small part of me dies…it grosses me out!  uten-sil 2

I really enjoyed reading about Uten-sil. The man behind the project, Matt Rothensberg laid out his goals, deadlines, and inspiration behind this product very well. He also provides incentives for donating. For instance, for an $8 donation you’ll receive a t-shirt. I loved this because many of the projects I looked at didn’t provide an incentive for people to donate. I feel in order to get attention on the site the user needs to have a catchy name. Uten-sil, Lean and Clean caught my eye and 33 other backers. The only thing that I am “concerned” about with Uten-sil is the timeframe they are hoping to raise $25,000…just a month! I think that is a lot to ask from people for a product that won’t be too expensive. Uten-sil

Overall, I think sites like Kickstarter will continue to benefit people trying to reach goals in their lives, both professionally and personally. I believe crowdsourcing will continue to grow in popularity and be integrated into our businesses.

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6 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing via Kickstarter: A New Way to Get Funds!

  1. Hello. I agree with you. That is a lot of money to raise in one month, particularly to fund a product that once you pay for the mold shouldn’t cost a lot to manufacture! However, it is a good idea for people like us that don’t like the utensils to touch the table! You never know what they use to clean the tables prior to our visit! The idea is a good idea, but I also think it would work only in restaurants and homes where people don’t mind to use a different place setting. The idea of the t-shirt is a nice idea to get people to donate. I would lower the goal so it makes more sense.

  2. I agree with you! $25,000 is a lot of money to raise for a product that shouldn’t cost much to produce. I think it would be interesting to see how people on Kickstarter plan to use their funds. An itemized breakdown might give people who are interested in donating a better idea of the project…I know it would for me in this case!

    Thanks for your feedback!

  3. Hey Alexis,
    I like the idea behind the uten-sil. I have no idea what these things cost but $25,000 seems like a lot to me. Obviously there are a bunch of variables to consider when launching a product that I’m unaware of. Judging by the response to his levels of donation, he may have structured it wrong. He sold out of $8 tshirts. Summing the other levels of donation, he has only sold 30 of the product, including the $10 level with only 3 backers(!). Maybe the product should have been priced at $8 and the shirts at $10. This gentleman will have 270 people wearing a tshirt for a product they probably don’t own and probably won’t be able to explain. I think the way the levels of contribution are structured can influence the success of a campaign. Hopefully Kickstarter offers some type of assistance in this area. If not, I would definitely seek outside help…maybe crowdsource your crowdfunding options?

    • You make some very valid points. I think he might have structured it wrong too. Maybe having incentives for people who donate more than $20 or an exclusive coupon code for people who donate $10? This could lead to higher donations.

  4. Have you ever seen the show Shark Tank? Its a show where inventors present their ideas to a panel of billionaire investors in hope of receiving the funds needed to get their project off the ground. Kickstarter seems a lot like Shark Tank to me. When it comes to Uten-sil seeking $25,000, it reminds me of times on Shark Tank when the inventor incorrectly valuates their company. Maybe the inventors of Uten-sil are aiming high. Really, really high! It doesn’t take $25,000 to make a mold for their product! It is a good idea though.

  5. Hi Alexis,

    The uten-sil project you found reminded me of a pitch I received at the magazine just last year. The idea was very similar, only the man I spoke to was looking to break into the event and wedding industry with his silverware coasters. Additionally, they were not anywhere near as sturdy and pretty as these ones. I too question the $25,000 goal mark and would’ve appreciate a cost breakdown on the Kickstarter page.

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