May 27, 2014 8:49 pm

Inventors wishing to self-manufacture and market their new products often find themselves in the position of needing an influx of cash to help fund their ventures. For these new entrepreneurs, funding a project used to mean soliciting friends, family, or local businesses, hat in hand, presenting your idea and hoping for a handout. With the growth of crowdfunding—current numbers estimate an industry growth rate of more than 92% in 2014–there are new ways to bankroll their projects. Are you unfamiliar with fundraising ideas such as this one? Then read on to learn more.

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a popular worldwide social media and marketing strategy now used by entrepreneurs and small businesses. It allows motivated people with ideas to raise financing from Internet sources willing to donate towards the idea. What do they get in exchange?: A piece of the action through equity investment. Crowdfunding investors are putting down money in the hopes of getting something back in return for their investment.

Where to Go

There are now hundreds of platforms through which you can pitch your idea, the most famous of which is Kickstarter, which is known for launching techie projects. Rising in popularity is, which has launched more than 45,000 campaigns and raises millions of dollars each month by the socially conscious set. It’s not as simple as posting your new product, however, and waiting for the money to pour in. Crowdsourcing requires stamina and strategy. Successful crowdfunding campaigns, which average 30 days in length, can take months to prepare.

Feedback Welcome

More than just a way to raise money, crowdsourcing may help you raise a “community” around your new product with which you may build engagement and accept ideas and feedback. As many inventors have learned, one way in which to fine-tune your idea is to get feedback from parties with an interest in your idea and knowledge of the concepts and science behind it. With potential funders, you may find both.

Presentation of Quality

As you might expect, random visitors are not going to hand over money to just any idea. Your campaign needs to convince them that your project is the one to back. There needs to be a clear, concise, and persuasive presentation of your idea through video, illustrations, and text. If you are not fluent in online video production, there is a support system of video producers, editors, and other consultants available through sites such as

Crowdfunding Tips

What does it take to fund a project? We share some fundraising ideas from entrepreneurs who have been able to use crowdfunding to raise needed cash.

  1. Solve a Problem: The first tip for successful crowdfunding is the same advice you would receive as an inventor. Your new product should be seen as a practical problem-solving solution to an issue shared by many.
  2. Put in the Work: The time to refine your ideas is not after the campaign has started but before it begins. You are asking strangers to support you in this venture, and to do so successfully you need to have the very best version of your product available for their review. Going hand in hand with this idea is the following…
  3. Use Your Own Money First: To create the videos, prototypes, images, and copy you will need for a successful campaign, you will need to expend some cash. You want to present the most professional and well-polished product that you can to potential investors and doing so will mean offering more than a three-dimensional prototype made from plastic and straws in a video your teenage son created on his iPhone. To be a professional entrepreneur, you must act—and spend—like one.
  4. Set a Goal: Set a fundraising goal of how much you need, not how much you want. The browse pages of sites such as Kickstarter and Idiegogo show not just a dollar amount but your fundings percentage relative to your initial goal. Beating your initial funding goal in the early stages may actually attract additional backers. Make sure this amount is high enough to meet your costs of manufacturing and product delivery but make it one you feel you can confidently reach.
  5. Pitch Like a Winner: As stated above, people are not going to donate to your campaign unless you convince them to do so. They need to be drawn to a vision, one with which they are easily able to engage. Your pitch will have a big impact on the success of your campaign. Don’t think of it as selling a product but as launching your company to the world. Don’t cloak yourself in mystery but be transparent, as trust is a large part of crowdfunding.
  6. It’s Not Always about the Money: The contributor feedback you may receive is just as important as the money you may raise. You may be able to receive feedback that once was only possible after placing your completed product on the market. Solicit feedback—and listen to it.

Does It Work?

Only you can decide if crowdfunding is right for you and your new product. While you give it some consideration, take a look at this article from trusted business authority Forbes Magazine on the . While no one can or would guarantee success via a Kickstarter or Idiegogo campaign, it is interesting to see how others have succeeding—and failed—using this fundraising idea.

Have you had any experience with crowdfunding? Give us your feedback below!

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