Kickstarter campaigns have created a revolutionary new way to connect entrepreneurs with people passionate about their vision through crowd funding. This is particularly true for companies seeking to manufacture their product in America, which poses often insurmountable financial challenges. A few great companies I have worked with are the result of successful Kickstarter campaigns, including Bound Custom Journals, Tablet Claw and Teres Kids.
Crowd funding is a term used to describe sites like Kickstarter that offer a platform for creative projects to be funded. Each Kickstarter campaign is created and managed by the people behind that project or product. They set a funding goal and deadline to raise money to make their projects a reality. Anyone interested in a Kickstarter Campaign can pledge money towards it’s funding. Companies offer rewards to backers, from a personal acknowledgment to a great deal on their future product. If a Kickstarter campaign reaches it’s funding goal by the deadline, the company receives all the money pledged. According to Kickstarter, they have successfully raised more than $350 million for over 30,000 projects over the past three years.
Wondering why you might want to back a Kickstarter campaign? I recently was contacted by Alex Larsen of Larsen Toy Lab. They have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their natural wood building block sets made in America. Alex explains the joy that comes with funding a Kickstarter campaign. “You get to watch them open the present. You get to witness their success and take even take partial credit for it. Every time you see their product on the shelf, or see that their Facebook page got to a million ‘likes’, or overhear strangers talking about them – you get the satisfaction of knowing that you gave the perfect gift.”
Larsen Toy Lab was created as a family business to inspire children to rediscover an old classic, building blocks. They blocks are created from sustainably harvested wood in Vermont, hand-sanded, and finished with natural beeswax. Their products create a learning environment through a book series, puzzle set and strategy game that make the simple building block more accessible and engaging to today’s children. My son and I got to sample one of the “Building Bridges” sets crafted by Larsen Toy Lab. The set is absolutely gorgeous, created with fine craftsmanship and to my delight, engraved with “Made in USA Challenge.” My 2 1/2 year old instantly fell in love with the set and has already logged hours of play creating “big towers!”
The Larsen Toy Lab Kickstarter campaign deadline is in just over a week. If you are interested in supporting this initiative to revive an educational, natural toy made locally, consider backing their Kickstarter campaign. The rewards for pledges over $35 are Larsen Toy Lab products. You can also check out several other made in USA Kickstarter campaigns currently running, including:
Have you ever participated in crowd funding? What inspires you to back a project, and how do you choose a particular project to support? Do you know of any other Kickstarter campaigns seeking crowd funding to manufacture in the USA?