Crowdfunding from the Inside Out
Submitted by John J Hauer on Wed, 12/26/2012 - 12:06
At Crowd Hydrant we help startups and entrepreneurs leverage crowdfunding for financing and to market their products and services on consignment. We also help businesses use crowdsourcing to drive innovation and reduce the cost of labor-intensive processes. We work with our customers to develop the project, pitch and rewards for these initiatives. We also provide logistical support, helping our clients deliver on their promises.
I‘ve spent most of my 20+ year business career in or around commercial printing and lately, everywhere I look, I see an industry in decline. Nearly every application for print has been affected by digital technology. Need to read a manual for some device? Google it. Want to see your latest phone bill? Visit your carrier’s web site. Want to read a book or magazine? Grab your tablet. Need to advertise your business? Unless you’re sitting on a big budget, search engine optimization, email, online ads, and social media – all digital technologies – are the most effective tactics.
A few years ago, I became intensely interested in 3D printing and recently I came to two important conclusions:
1. 3D printing is like 2D printing (the production processes are similar and both are being sold and produced online, at retail, and in-home via desktop devices)
2. 2D printers could create a future for their businesses by offering 3D print
As I looked around I didn’t see many people talking about this idea, so I started a blog to help evangelize 3D print in the 2D print world. 3D4printers.com was launched about 3 months ago and has been an early success. The site has had a lot of traffic and one of the articles I wrote for the site was published on TechCrunch. With that validation and momentum, I felt this was the time to seek out even more opportunity with 3D printing, which brings me to the reason for this post.
Crowd Hydrant has become a partner in a new startup in the 3D printing space that will launch in mid-January. While we can’t disclose all of the details just yet, I can say that this concept has the opportunity to be incredibly disruptive as it solves one of the most immediate problems facing the 3D printing industry.
For Crowd Hydrant, this project is a perfect fit. The team will be using crowdfunding to secure financing and create buzz around our initial launch. We’ll be using crowdsourcing to develop innovative content, and content marketing and social media to drive traffic and leads. It’s literally a laboratory for Crowd Hydrant’s services, and focused on one of my favorite topics – 3D printing.
To successfully launch our crowdfunding initiative, we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve decided on a platform (Indiegogo for this round). Following are some of the major tasks we must complete prior to our planned launch on January 8, 2013:
- Finalize site development (punch-out) for this iteration
- Finalize the project application and video
- Review of our project’s pitch and rewards
- Implement public relations and marketing plans for our campaign
- Review and finalize back-end operations and logistics
Over the next two weeks, I’ll be writing updates on our progress and sharing them on the Crowd Hydrant website. I hope to not only share some insight on the work involved with launching a startup and creating a crowdfunding campaign, but also demonstrate that Crowd Hydrant “eats its own dog food.” We don’t simply advise others on how to start a business – we’re actively launching our own!
If you’d like to hear more about our newest project, or want to learn more about investing in this project, CONTACT US today.