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This post is about Wyldsson and it’s also not about Wyldsson. It’s really to draw your attention to the potential of crowdfunding and the Kickstarter platform in particular, and how you can look to this ‘alternative’ funding platform the next time you are considering the design/launch of a new product. It makes perfect sense and is relatively risk free.

Let’s look at Wyldsson’s recent success on Kickstarter. They looked to raise €5,000 to bring to market their design for a snack tube for trail mix. They raised over €10,000, over double their estimate. You can check out their funding story on Kickstarter here and it’s a great case study to look at. It’s not rocket science and I’m sure the team over at Wyldsson will attest to that.

I’ve written about two other Irish projects that successfully launched on Kickstarter. Back in 2014, Rob O’Reilly was looking for €15,000 for his plug and play acoustic guitar. 73 backers pledged €22,884 to help bring this project to life.

In 2015, the team at Scribia raised a massive €66,458 for their innovative stylus design. 450 backers pledged €66,458 to help bring this project to life.

There are more failures than successes on Kickstarter but there is no financial loss unless you incur marketing costs in the production of a video to promote your project. Kickstarter and other funding platforms are proving to be accessible and great testing beds for new ideas. It’s simple really – if you have an interesting product and can showcase it in an intelligent and meaningful way, then the Kickstarter community and those from your own community that are informed of the fundraising, will vote with their wallets and take a stake in the project.

319 Wyldsson backers pledged €10,165 to help bring this project to life.

73 Expressiv backers pledged €22,884 to help bring this project to life.

450 Scribia backers pledged €66,458 to help bring this project to life.

Of course, good customer service is an important aspect and shouldn’t be left to an afterthought. I pledged to both the Wyldsson and Scribia projects and both kept in constant contact during the fundraising process and afterwards.

The moment of truth is when the product arrives and Wyldsson was excellent. The packaging and branding is top class and it’s also a fantastic product. The guys from Scribia haven’t dropped a product yet but it’s coming.

So, if the bank is not an option and you’ve no cash in hand, then check out the Kickstarter platform. If your idea is a good one and you tell a good story, then you’re on the right path. Good luck!

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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