Crowdfunding brings a ton of benefits to the entrepreneurs who use it, whether you’re looking to raise funds for your latest venture or gather helpful feedback from potential customers and backers. In this chapter, we’ll look at some of the major benefits of crowdfunding on Indiegogo and share specific examples of how designers, filmmakers, and entrepreneurs of all types have crowdfunded successful projects.
BENEFIT ONE: FUNDING
Raise the funds you need to bring your idea to life
Every idea requires resources to become a reality. Before crowdfunding, entrepreneurs faced a long and difficult road to secure funding. Their options included applying for a small business loan, searching for grants, pitching venture capitalists, borrowing money from family members and friends or tapping into their savings. Crowdfunding, however, provides a method to obtain the funds needed to launch an idea quickly and with the support of an engaged community.
An example of this is the father and son team, Stu and Cedar Anderson, who used crowdfunding to take their innovative beehive design, Flow Hive, from concept to market. They raised $2.1 million in one day on Indiegogo, exceeding their $70,000 fundraising goal in under an hour. Crowdfunding changed the entire industry of beekeeping and reinvented a centuries-old process almost overnight.
BENEFIT TWO: VALIDATION
Validate your idea and gauge the size of your audience
Many successful entrepreneurs have leveraged their market validation on Indiegogo to make a bigger product debut down the line. Venture capitalists monitor crowdfunding platforms as a strategy for identifying novel projects with big potential. In the case of Jibo, the crowdfunding campaign introduced its unique “social robot” concept to an audience of venture capitalists and angel investors. Jibo not only raised $3.7 million during its crowdfunding campaign, it went on to raise $16 million in Series A funding from RRE Ventures.
Market validation is one of the most powerful tools in the entrepreneurial world. Traditionally an expensive and long process, validation is now faster, more scalable and available to anyone bringing a new idea to life.
BENEFIT THREE: MARKET INSIGHTS
Gather insights from the experts: your potential customers
The traditional path from concept to market is time consuming and expensive. Crowdfunding is often a more efficient way to gather feedback and find valuable marketing insights. In many cases, insights from fans around the world help innovators to refine their ideas, think through their strategies and go to market with solutions that make a bigger impact.
In the case of the Misfit Shine fitness device, a collaborative crowdfunding process helped the creators go to market with exactly the features their audience wanted and needed. In its original concept, the Misfit Shine was offered with either a sports band or a leather band. Through feedback offered from its crowdfunding supporters, the project team found that a simple clasp was much more popular than either band option. By changing the design, the team went to market with a tested and validated offering.
BENEFIT FOUR: MARKETING & AWARENESS
Quickly and effectively build awareness for your idea
Crowdfunding introduces ideas to fans around the globe, exponentially growing the market potential for any campaign. A single idea or concept can spread like wildfire, sometimes in mere minutes, with thoughtful marketing and an engaged audience. The Solar Roadways crowdfunding campaign attracted 49,000 backers and landed on the largest stage in the country when President Obama mentioned the project in his 2015 State of the Union Address.
Crowdfunding can help whether you’re looking to fund your project, prove a concept, share your idea or bring change to the world. The true benefit of crowdfunding on Indiegogo is the potential for creative entrepreneurs to bring inspiring ideas to life.
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