The mysterious red dot is back. All the time.
That’s what your cat will think, but in reality you’ve probably just installed a Kittyo, a new gadget that enables cat owners to play with their cats remotely.
Through the Kittyo app for iOS and Android, you can use the device as a laser pointer, watching your cat go bonkers chasing it. You can also record video, speak to your pet, and dispense treats through the crowdfunded pet gizmo.
Above: The Kittyo
Image Credit: Kittyo
At 7 inches tall, Kittyo attaches to shelves and walls to ensure it’s impervious to your cat’s curious bats. The gadget looks a bit like a coffee machine — but it’s obviously way cooler, because it has a laser.
The eponymous pet-tech startup on Monday launched a Kickstarter campaign, which hit its $30,000 goal in an absurdly fast 36 minutes, according to the company. Five days later, the campaign total stands at $177,119 raised, nearly six times its original goal with four weeks of crowdfunding left.
“We’ve had an incredible week since we launched on Kickstarter just 5 days ago,” the Kittyo team wrote in a Kickstarter update Saturday. “With [over] 1,600 backers and more than $175,000 pledged already, we couldn’t have dreamed of a better launch. We hope we can maintain this incredible momentum for the next 27 days.”
The startup is offering Kittyos to campaign backer who plunk down at least $139 (though there are still some available a lower ‘early bird’ price). The company expects to ship Kittyo to backers in November. To learn more about Kittyo, check out the video below.
OurCrowd founder and CEO Jon Medved spoke about crowdfunding at San Diego State University earlier this year. The video was recently just posted on YouTube the past week.
Medved actually was born in San Diego. His father was a professor of physics at SDSU so this was a bit of a coming home trip for him.
Medved talks about OurCrowd and his global perspective on equity crowdfunding. Definitely worth a watch.
We decided to take a look at some of the big brands who have been jumping on the crowdfunding bandwagon. Crowdfunding has been a cult phenonminon that has swept across the globe with much excitement. Whether investing in the latest techy watch, movie, album, or designer, the crowd has mobilized around hip and cutting edge concepts. Traditional investors have also benefited by participating in crowdfunding sites that offer equity opportunities for accredited investors. What has been missing from the equation is known and established brands. That has suddenly changed.
This famous hotel chain is similar to a franchise in that each location is individually owned and they pay for the rights to the brand name. The owner of the Palm Springs location, Andre Carpiac, needed to raise $1.5 million so he turned to the crowd. With a campaign for accredited investors to “own a piece of the Rock” they hit the ground running. Within a couple of days they raised $500,000. In exchange for their investment, investors received discounts on hotel stay, access to the owners pool deck, VIP treatment and receptions, food and drink credits, and a portion of the profits. This is an excellent opportunity for accredited investors to be part of the Hard Rock franchise without actually owning one.
This famous vacation state is testing the idea of crowfunding portions of their education system. If fully implemented, this will be the first state to do so. The pilot program is seeking to raise capital for the repair of two local schools.
A famous college, the University of California Los Angeles has launched crowdfunding in order to fund research and ideas that students or faculty have. They are trying to tap into this new form of capital in order to meet some of their funding goals.
Even famous movie stars are getting in on the action. Kristen Bell succesfully raised the funds she needed for a Veronica Mars movie through crowdfunding and now the movie is out in theaters. The company Junction makes movies for people like Tom Hanks. Now, movie fans can get in on the action before it ever hits theaters.
The fact that name brands and powerful players are now participating in crowdfunding should be a sign of its ability to cross over all business sizes, consumer groups, and industries. The staying power of crowdfunding will remain as long as the crowd continues to be interested. Businesses and entrepreneuers will always need capital. This is one of the sources they can turn to for it.
A key challenge going forward will be connecting the crowd to the right campaigns. Crowdfunding platforms will need to continue to improve their search and matching features. This may lead investors towards specailized crowdfunding platforms that focus on one specific industry. In the meantime, investors are enjoying sorting through crowdfunding listings in search of the next big thing and everyone is noticing.
SMEs are increasingly looking at crowdfunding as a way of raising finance without dealing with bureaucratic banks and fickle investors. However, new rules by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which came into force recently, regulate certain types of crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding involves raising finance by taking small investments, loans or donations from a large number of people. Depending on who you believe, the new FCA rules have either "taken the crowd out of crowdfunding" or "represent the right balance between the freedom to invest and investor protection".
Crowdfunding campaigns with video are more likely to attract and raise funds than campaigns without video. People are conditioned to respond to television commercials and stories they can relate to emotionally and from a multimedia perspective.
Campaigns can be very short (as short as a day!) or stretch out over two or three months, but fundedflow, Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms suggests that 30-90 days is the perfect length for a campaign.
That said, for a considerably-sized campaign of $30,000 and above, you might want to plan to spend at least one month ahead of time preparing. Then, once the campaign begins, set aside four to five hours a day to run and manage it. The biggest mistake you could make is to go live expecting money to pour in on its own. Fundraising takes time, and effort to make it work.
The 13 year old computer games company based in the Netherlands is using the crowdfunding platform fundedflow to raise US$ 100,000. “We are crowdfunding to expand the business” said CEO of Xing Interactive B.V, Alex de Vries.
Xing Interactive has a had a solid 13 year track record in the games industry, with a focus on development and publishing. What makes Xing Interactive a solid investment opportunity is the experience and interesting range of games they produce such as puzzle and adventure genres. “We have developed and published over 300 games and have existing international distribution channels in 32 countries” CEO Alex told fundedflow.
The following crowdfunding press release template has been developed by fundedflow for you to use as a guide for writing your own press release, for your crowdfunding campaign. Feel free to copy and paste this into your own text editor and use as you like.
Sample Crowdfunding Press Release
Gaming Startup Weststar Media Partners Sets To Raise US$ 100,000 through Crowdfunding Platform Fundedflow
By Brian Cohen
April 10, 2014
San Jose, CA – New Startup Weststar Media partners announced today that it will be launching a seed round funding campaign using the crowdfunding platform fundedflow.com effective April 21, 2014. The company is targeting to raise up to US$ 100,000 to launch its brand new gaming app utility on the apple iphone, ipad and android in the next 3 months. Company CEO Bryce Knight gave a webinar last week telling entrepreneurs in the gaming community about the apps innovative technology that is set to change how gamers network and multiplayers conect online.
Weststar expect to grow investor confidence and widen its customer base. In addition to ipad and iphone games, Weststar also will now also be developing for the android and windows based systems. When asked why the company decided to go with crowdfunding, Bryce Knight was quoted as saying “we decided to use crowdfunding as individuals are able to effectively make a decision about what they want before a product is developed, this type of commitment is the foundation of how we are building our business as an on demand services”.
Crowdfunding has gone on to be one of the faster ways to launch a company and earlier this year creative crowdfunding platform kickstarter announced they had hit the US$ 1 Billion mark through crowdfunded projects.More information is expected to be released following a shareholders meeting later this month.
About Weststar Media Partners
Weststar was set up San Jose at the end of 2013 and is owned by Bryce and Jean Knight. It has enjoyed early success with the free prototype game called rollerblase, which was released on the apple iphone and ipad in January this year, the free game received an astounding total of over 1 million downloads in under one month, making it the hottest game of the year. The company is now seeking crowdfunding to expand and intends to hire 6 full time developers and a sales distribution manager.
For more information, please visit http://www.Weststar.com
To learn more about this merger, please contact
By Brian Cohen
1246 NE Sandy Blvd. Ste. 210A
Office: (503) 867-5309
Fax: (503) 867-5408
Crowdfunding platforms such as fundedflow help provide an alternative method of raising capital for your startup, project or venture. The investors actually make a donation to your cause, so you are not expected to pay back the money or necessarily offer them equity in your business, but you may need to provide some give backs as a reward. It's up to you to make a concerted effort to attract as many people as possible to your project profile page. Submitting press releases to online press release and newswire sites provide some of the online tools available. You can pay to have better placement for your press release, but you can also use the free submission services. Start by understanding the key elements that make a good press release. fundedflow has also provideda free sample template which you can use to get started writing your own.
A press release is a written statement to the media. It can announce a range of news items, including scheduled events, personnel promotions, awards, new products and services, sales accomplishments, etc. It can also be used to generate a feature story. Reporters are more likely to consider a story idea if they first receive a press release. It is a fundamental tool of PR work, one that anyone who's willing to use the proper format can use. We'll show you how.
What are the best tips for running a successful crowdfunding campaign for startups using www.fundedflow.com, kickstarter, indiegogo or any other crowdfunding platform
1 Put in the Required Hours
Common failure of crowdfunding campaigns is that project creators often don't realize the intense amount of work required throughout the campaign to make it successful. You will be talking, emailing, pitching, tweeting and posting all day, every day. If managing your crowdfunding campaign doesn't become your full-time job throughout the campaign, then its odds of success decrease dramatically.