Crowdfunding

Many businesses look at the New Year as a new beginning and as such may be looking to introduce new ideas or products into their marketing plan. While ideas may be a dime a dozen, bringing them to market is not as cheap.

In the past, the development of a new product meant building prototypes, developing a business plan and knocking on the doors of financial institutions for seed money to develop the product and begin manufacturing.

Today, while the process is the same, there are many shortcuts available, thanks to technology. To begin with, crowdfunding through the internet has provided financial opportunities for products that perhaps would have never seen the light of day. In particular, a crowdfunding program called Kickstarter has raised more than $323 million for over 10,000 projects in the past three years. In most cases, the funding goal is a fairly low number – less than $10,000, and more projects fail to meet their funding goals than those who succeed.

However, the Kickstarter site is filled with success stories, most of them technology based. A local success story is Henry Liu, a 2007 graduate of Stanford University with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, who returned home to convert his garage into a laboratory and his ideas into reality. His idea was to change the way laser cutting tools are used, and in 2010 Full Spectrum Laser Corporation was born. But he still had a long way to go and in 2012, he placed an offering on the Kickstarter website that raised $259,000. With this investment, the company was able to grow from six employees to a staff of thirty, and to build a facility that processes and mass produces their new 5th generation CO2 driven hobby laser cutting machine.  The company currently sells over 2,000 laser cutting machines per year.

With the success of the hobby laser cutting machine, Dr. Liu went back to the drawing board and in February of 2014 announced the development of the Pegasus Touch, the first affordable 3D laser printer. Again he turned to Kickstarter and in less than a month Full Spectrum Laser raised an additional $819,000 from 383 backers.

From a garage to full-scale manufacturing and sales in just four years is quite incredible, but as you can see from the numbers of other successful projects, it’s not impossible.

So how do you get your next big idea to the marketplace? One way is to contact us here at Business Finance Corporation. Let our experts assist you in developing your product plan and putting it out to market either through a crowd funding venue like Kickstarter or through a more conventional means of utilizing our network of banking and financial contacts. Sometimes, the idea is the most difficult part of the equation; we make the rest easy.

Your Partner in Success,

David Cabral