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Florida Gives Birth to Yet Another Crowdfunding Platform, ClickStartMe

17 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

The funding craze that’s sweeping the globe is receiving a complementary makeover thanks to the genius of Tess Hottenroth, COO of ClickStartMe, the newest addition to the Crowdfunding scene. ClickStartMe is the first Crowdfunding site to offer individuals and businesses everything they need to realize their dreams, including a platform to attract supporters and raise funds, an e-commerce storefront, social media tools, expert guidance, and the added bonus of site-sponsored contests offering amazing perks and prizes.

ClickStartMe Launches Crowdfunding Platform in Florida

ClickStartMe Launches Crowdfunding Platform in Florida

Crowdfunding exploded across the Internet in 2009 as the latest and greatest way to generate support for funding-worthy projects, but the industry was fragmented and none of the emerging platforms offered would-be fundraisers a clear and comprehensive blueprint for success.

When Hottenroth recognized the need for a fundamental change in the Crowdfunding concept, she knew she had to revolutionize the industry by establishing her own innovative site. She now stands out as one of only a handful of women entrepreneurs in the male-dominated tech sector. According to the New York Times, women account for only 6 percent of the chief executives of the top 100 tech companies, and only 8 percent of venture-backed technology start-ups.

While Hottenroth takes on the challenge of being a groundbreaker with aplomb, she doesn’t see gender as an issue that will make or break a deal for crowdfunders. “People and businesses who need to raise money through crowdfunding don’t care if the person running the site wears a tie or slips on Louboutin pumps every day,” Hottenroth says. “People want a user-friendly experience that works and is fun, and we give that to them with ClickStartMe.”

Hottenroth does believe that being a female entrepreneur gives her certain advantages over her male counterparts in the Crowdfunding world. Her creative flair and her intuitive sense of public perception led her to design ClickStartMe in a way that makes the process of Crowdfunding uncomplicated and user-friendly.

“And let’s not forget fun,” Hottenroth says. “While Crowdfunding a project you’re passionate about is serious business, we all want to have some fun in our lives, and ClickStartMe definitely puts the fun in Crowdfunding.”

To inject a healthy dose of fun into her cutting-edge startup, Hottenroth took her cue from the public’s fascination with televised reality and talent contest shows like The Voice, America’s Next Top Model and Shark Tank and added contests for anyone who creates a ClickStartMe project. Each contest offers cash prizes, trips to fun locations and other valuable rewards for participating.

“Our Spokesmodel contest winner gets $5000. We are flying 10 models to Las Vegas for a finale on stage at the hottest club in the country,” Hottenroth said. “In our invention and product category, the contest winner gets a national distribution deal for their product and a television commercial produced for them. The perks make it fun for users and give them the opportunity to make their product widely visible, but they also add to the experience for donors – instead of just being funders, they become active supporters cheering on their contestant.”

It was after she returned to America and took the helm of a Florida media firm that Crowdfunding first caught Hottenroth’s attention. “Most of our media clients were small businesses, and as the economy continued to plummet, it was disheartening to see phenomenal ideas that were going nowhere because of the bad economy, and dreams that weren’t taking flight because traditional funding sources had dried up,” Hottenroth says. The 2012 JOBS Act put equity Crowdfunding on her radar as an alternative for small business, and she began to view the concept as the potential antidote for a multitude of financing woes.

The Crowdfunding platform Hottenroth envisioned wouldn’t kick people off once a funding goal was reached – it would encourage them to network, stay in touch with supporters and contribute to other projects. People would be able to sell the products they developed, the art they created, or the music they produced through an on-site store. They would also have easy access to key resources like accountants, patent lawyers, manufacturers and marketing experts to help them along their road to success.

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Trident Design Introduces Service to Sketch Out New Inventions via Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign

17 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

The product design world is on a roll in 2013 as new Crowdfunding tools and 3-D printing advancements propel the industry. According to Trident Design Founder, Chris Hawker, “There’s never been a better time to be a product inventor.”

Trident Design Introduces Service to Sketch Out New Invention on a Virtual Napkin

Trident Design Introduces Service to Sketch Out New Inventions and Print Them on 3D  Printer

Recent results from Crowdfunding favorite, Kickstarter, show that $61.38 million has been raised in public efforts to officially launch innovative, industrial design projects. Product prototyping, which used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, can now be done on-site with new 3-D printers for less than $2,000.

“While new technology creates exciting opportunities, inventors should always keep a few things in mind before attempting to bring the next big idea to market,” says Hawker.

Not every idea is the right idea. “The best ideas come from personal experience. Look for products or tasks that annoy you and think about a better solution,” explains Hawker. Test fresh ideas with friends and family first. “If initial reactions are not emotional and if it takes too long to explain your amazing invention – you need to move on to your next idea,” adds Hawker.

Successful product designers need to be able to separate themselves from their work. “After you settle on an invention idea that you think might have potential, don’t fall in love just yet,” cautions Hawker. It is absolutely essential that inventors make sure that somebody else is not already out in the marketplace selling something similar. Just because a new inventor has never seen a related product for sale means nothing. This research can be started with a simple search on Google. Many dreams have been launched and/or shattered with this initial search.

Inventors that make it past the quick research phase with the confidence that their big idea is unique are now ready to dig a little deeper on the legal side. “For many inventors, the mere mention of lawyers and patents can send them running for this hills, but this next step might not be as hard as you initially thought,” says Hawker.  A simple patent search related to your idea can be done for free on Google within their patent search section. This phase can get pretty technical in a hurry, but it’s another great place to validate the exclusivity of your invention.

At this point in the product design vetting process, many inventors are sick of staring at a computer screen and anxious to get their hands on something. For those that are really serious about bringing their big idea to market, the next critical step involves attending a relevant trade show in the industry most pertinent to your new product. “Trade shows are the quickest way possible to get a realistic feel for your potential market,” according to Hawker. “You want to be as educated as you can in order to contextualize all your decisions as you develop your idea into something tangible for the masses.”

Trident Design works with independent inventors and innovative manufacturers to help them create game-changing products. Trident has successfully propelled over 50 products to market with an established team of designers, engineers, patent professionals and business development specialists. Today, Trident is a full-service invention incubator in the spirit of Edison’s Lab, offering product design, engineering, prototyping, branding,

LA’s Soon-to-be Entertainment Resource Hot Spot Debuts Crowdfunding Campaign on Indiegogo

17 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

The Industry, a soon-to-be entertainment resource hot spot is making it’s initial premiere debut with the community and supporters of the entertainment industry through popular Crowdfunding website, Indiegogo. The Industry is hoping to premiere in 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The Industry will draw entertainment creatives of all types to participate in workshops, lectures, film screenings and pitch sessions. In addition, The Industry will be a place to collaborate and gather with various events, special functions and an everyday place to write, talk, watch, eat and drink. It’s truly a place for inspiration, discovery and education.

LA's Soon-to-be Entertainment Resource Hot Spot Debuts on Indiegogo.com

LA’s Soon-to-be Entertainment Resource Hot Spot Debuts on Indiegogo.com

The first phase of several planned will discover and unleash an important feature of the project; design. Finding the right place to call home, creating the perfect feel and producing the right program are all very important to any artist or creative thinker. This phase will help identify all those elements into one and form the identity of The Industry. Defining the senses: Sight, Smell, Touch, Hear and Taste is part of this process. The funds raised during this campaign will go towards: design fees, website fees, administration start-up costs and supplies to help receive further investments.

The Industry will soon there after be looking for investors seeking to partner with The Industry and find the right location for this incredible project for the entertainment creatives.

The campaign will run for 45 days with a target of $10,000 – Help support The Industry and make this one step closer to Hollywood’s next big thing.

LinkMe Launches Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign to Launch World’s Smallest Wrist Messaging Systems

17 Mar

By R. Louise Sparrow

One of the world’s first smart wrist billboards, LinkMe, launched on Kickstarter this month.  Making your entire social life available to you with just a glance at your wrist, LinkMe is designed to overcome the one issue we all face in our wired world: how to filter out the signal from the noise.  The innovative product created by Matt Sandy and Colin Glaum provides the solution to how we can stay in contact with those closest to us in situations when it might not be politically correct to do so.  LinkMe allows you to get the messages that matter most, exactly when you need them.

LinkMe Message Bracelets on Kickstarter

LinkMe Message Bracelets on Kickstarter

Whether in meetings or lunching with a colleague, being tethered to your smart phone can be frustrating.  The phantom vibrations in your pocket, or worse, the actual missed message that you wish had magically popped up to the top of your different feeds can be frustrating.  With the LinkMe bracelet, those issues have been solved.

Developed by veteran inventor and consumer display technologist with over 30 years of experience and fifty patents Tim Goldburt, LinkMe features a high performance light-emitting diode display housed in sleek, low profile design that translates and displays the messages and alerts you choose.  LinkMe works wirelessly with your smartphone to allow you to select whose messages you automatically want to receive.  The product is elliptical, not circular, to match the shape of the wrist.

After creator Matt Sandy received his MBA from Columbia University, he built high-tech start ups commercializing innovative technologies over the past ten years, including the launch of MEDEA Vodka. His experience includes over six years overseeing manufacturing, production and development of novel display applications.

Having served as the creative director of several leadings firms (OgilvyAction, Rapp Collins, Young & Rubicam), Colin Glaum is a creative guru of innovative consumer products. His direct experience involves bringing killer ideas with the potential to positively enhance the consumer experience to life.

The first 500 people to pledge at least $99 on LinkMe’s Kickstarter page will receive the product in August 2013.  Subsequent backers will receive LinkMe in September 2013.  Potential applications of LinkMe are numerous: concerts, sports stadiums, charitable causes, fraternities/sororities, safety, security and more. 

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