DESIGN West: How to fund your tech startup with Kickstarter

-March 13, 2013

Does your entrepreneurial idea have a shot at crowd-sourced financing? What would you need to do to ensure your crowd-funded, startup is successful? Find out the answers to these questions and more at the DESIGN West session Why I Failed Kickstarter and My Friends Didn't, on Wednesday, April  24 in San Jose, Calif.

[Click here to register for DESIGN West 2013, April 22-25 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Options range from an All-Access Pass -- which includes Black Hat (security) Conference Session to Free Expo Admission].

Bob Baddeley, founder of Portable Scores will describe two Kickstarter projects which were launched on the same day. He'll analyze why he believes his friend's launch succeeded at Nomiku but his own Portable Scores failed to reach its funding goal. He'll also tell how he resurrected his failed project by emulating other successful campaigns at Kickstarter.

"Running a crowdfunding campaign takes a lot of work," said Baddeley. "You need to be very well prepared and go after every media outlet if you hope to attract enough attention."

After Baddeley graduated as a Computer Engineer from Oregon State University he worked for seven years at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory doing government research before brain-storming Portable Scores. His idea was to provide an inexpensive portable scoreboard for soccer, baseball, football and other sports like boxing where their are typically no professional scoreboards available.

Portable Scores founder Bob Baddeley snext to his tri-pod mounted scoreboard, which can be updated via remote control or smartphone app.

"I just noticed that most of the sports I participate in are played at venues that did not have a scoreboard," said Baddelely. "My friends and I were just tired of forgetting the score, turn or time left, so I founded Portable Scores."

His first job was to build a prototype, for which he applied to HAXLR8R, a venture fund which sponsors a three-month junket to Shenzhen China twice a year where it plugs entrepreneurs into the realities of mass production. In exchange for an equity interest it provides seed funding, lab and office space, as well as mentorship while startups craft working prototypes capable of being mass produced.

"HAXLR8R took over 100 applications and chose 10 winners to go to China, including both Portable Scores and Nomiku," said Baddeley. "We visited factories in China and learned how to design our prototypes for mass production."

Upon returning to the U.S., all the prototypes were displayed on HAXLR8R Demo Day where traditional venture capitalists and angle investors were invited to view them. Unfortunately, none offered to provide the funding necessary to do an initial manufacturing run in a Chinese factory.

Next: Second shot

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