Problems vs. Potential
South Africa is a country ripe with opportunity. We have pressing needs that are demanding solutions and personal initiative. What stops many from putting their business idea into action is a lack of start-up capital. If you have ideas, if you have a plan, if you have the determination, and the passion, read on.
Kickstarter was born to nurture creativity, financially fuel entrepreneurs, and give ideas that lacked funding a forum to gain support! It has grown into a massive success and it might be a tool that you could use as you work and reach for your dreams.
The Origins of Kickstarter:
It started in New Orleans with a boy who wanted to see a band he loved perform at the local Jazz Festival. When he realized he couldn’t provide enough money on his own to make it happen, this idea emerged:
What if you could present an idea to the public and then ask them to support it?
It was a system where nobody paid one lump sum; instead everyone put in a little bit to agree it was a ‘go’. This is the concept behind the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. It was refined through several years of diligent work behind the scenes before its launch in 2009. Since the first project hosted on the site (an unsuccessful bid to spray paint t-shirts) it has grown to a mega-site hosting over 55,000 individual projects. It has made crowdfunding famous and raised close to 1billion dollars.
Kickstarter has made history and changed the way we think about how to get ideas off the ground. It has brought the power of alternative funding to projects.
How it works:
Kickstarter provides you with a space to show the world your creative idea.
- Go to Kickstarter & click ‘Create a Project’
- Build your project page with video and information on your idea and provide motivation as to why it is important &/ valuable
- Set a funding goal & decide on what rewards will be offered to donors
- Launch your crowd funding campaign
- Track your funding progress
- Get funded!
- Communicate with those who have funded you
- Send Rewards
Kickstarter works on an “all or nothing” premise. If a campaigns funding goal is met then the contributors who have pledged – pay up to bring your project into reality. If your campaign does not meet its funding goal then funders keep the money that they individually pledged.
Editior’s Note: Kickstarter is not run as a for-profit organization. However, if your funding goal is met, Kickstarter does take a 5% fee for providing the hosting website.
What it’s good for:
Kickstarter is an excellent place to launch an idea, project, or product that is likely to be of interest to others. A good kick-starter campaign should be able to demonstrate the need and propose a solid solution.
Set Smart Goals
Don’t bring a half-baked idea to the table and ask for R1 million from your peers.
Set a reasonable goal amount and be prepared to convince others of why your idea is worth backing with their cash. Know what you are offering your donors in exchange for their help. Are you going to send them the product that you’ve create? Invite them to the theatre performance they funded? Send them the book you write?
Crowd funding is about creating community interest and involvement in helping make your dreams a reality. Don’t just sell the dream; be willing to include your donors in whatever activity, product, or process you are passionate about.
Know before you ask
Be aware of what is already on the market and make sure your idea or solution is original and solid. Don’t bring your first idea to build a campaign, work on your idea. Let it evolve. Test it, talk to others about it. Make sure it’s feasible.
Bring your best idea that you are confident in, to be crowd funded.
The reality of creating success
To be successful using Kickstarter, one cannot just create a campaign and watch it from afar. A campaign requires attention and administrative work. The Kickstarter platform gives you a base with which to market yourself but to be successful you will need to do lots of communicating and may need to raise awareness in other forums. Building excitement around your project and letting people know how things are progressing are two important components of achieving crowd-funding success.
Beware! If your project is funded, then Kickstarter requires follow-through! This may mean shipping products to those who bought them and doing whatever it is that you said you would!
Editors Note: If you think you have a great idea but aren’t super confident. Thundafund might be a place to start. Thundafund is a uniquely South African approach to crowd funding. It provides more than just a platform to launch your campaign. Thunderfund will help you assess the market viability of an idea, assist in refining what you are offering and coach you to help you achieve success.
Through mentorship Thundafund is helping South African success stories come to life.
Backed by Prestigio
Prestigio’s believes in a positive future and the power of individuals committed to constructive solutions. In positive South African news stories (part 1 & part 2) Prestigio looked at inspiring individuals who have already risen to the challenge and are striving for a better South Africa.
Don’t let the high cost of some tech keep you or your start-up from getting online. If your small business needs to be outfitted with tech then consider Prestigio. Prestigio offers affordable smartphones, Tablets, and multipads. All backed by a two year warranty and with a full Google certification.