Tech entrepreneur’s warning over crowdfunding
Tech firms seeking investment through crowdfunding websites have been urged to manage their expectations.
That was one of the key messages from tech entrepreneur Danny Manu when he spoke at the ‘Your Best Chance to Success Through Crowdfunding on Kickstarter’ event in Manchester on Thursday.
The breakfast event was hosted by Enterprise Europe Network North West and Nuuk Digital, which has helped its clients raise over $15 million through crowdfunding campaigns.
A former aerospace engineer and record producer, Manu is the founder of Manchester-based audio technology company Mymanu and has raised more than $500,000 in funding through campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
The start-up is behind the Mymanu CLIK wireless translation earbuds, which are capable of translating 37 languages in real-time as well as performing all the regular functions of earbuds such as playing music or picking up incoming calls from a connected smartphone.
But despite having completed two successful crowdfunding campaigns, Manu says it’s important that companies and individuals manage their expectations.
“Don’t overestimate your crowdfunding abilities or the amount of money you think you can raise,” he told BusinessCloud.
Armed with an innovative and ground-breaking product, Manu was confident that his Kickstarter campaign would become an overnight success and that raising £1m would be a breeze – but the reality was very different.
“I think businesses or individuals should launch on Kickstarter with realistic funding goals and also be ready to actively engage with the community,” he said.
“Having a strong community that will back you, showcasing a prototype of your product and spending time to engage with the community is crucial to a successful campaign.”
Manu also emphasised the importance of having a clear and honest communication plan and urged companies not to underestimate the power of thorough research and preparation.
“One of the mistakes we made is not communicating or responding to comments from the community as often as we should have – and that upset a lot of people.“
The CLIK earbuds were in development for four years and I spent an entire year preparing for the Kickstarter campaign.”According to Manu, it’s also important for a business to communicate visually to better connect with a global audience.
“Telling people our story and about our product through images and videos was absolutely a big factor in the success of our crowdfunding campaign, especially on a global platform like Kickstarter where we had backers from all over the world.”
Mymanu will begin shipping its wireless CLIK earbuds to Kickstarter backers next month, with the products set to be available for public purchase by the end of the year.
Manu is also gearing up to launch a new Kickstarter campaign in November to fund the development of a new wireless speaker.
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