Crowd Funding: Help Make it in America with KickStarter

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 JournalsTablet Claw and Teres Kids.

CrowdKickstarter Pledge Backer 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.

 

Try Something New Lansen Toy Lab

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 Wooden Toys Made in USA

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!”

 

made in usa challenge building bridges

 

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:

Bodacious iPhone Cases

Chromaculture Men’s Tees

Boot Tights

 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?

Comments

    • Sarah says

      I feel the same way. A quality toy does more than entertain a child, it engages them in play and learning.

  1. says

    Tooting my own horn, I have a active KS project for our Made in the USA Bicycles that will be wrapping up this week:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/oceanaircycles/ocean-air-cycles-rambler-sport-touring-bicycle-rev-0
    Even with it being a bit of a mis on the funding scale, the whole process was incredible for leaning, and revealing a bit more about the next steps we will be taking as a business. Much like a business plan, working through the development of a crowdsourcing campaign will really force you to sharpen the pencil while taking your idea from concept to business.

    I back ideas based on a few criteria. They need to complete in the sense of ready for manufacture. I like ideas that are unique, a unique synergy of existing ideas or in their sourcing. Made in the USA is usually a clincher as well.

    Indegogo is another good crowdsourcing site. My current favorite project there:
    http://www.indiegogo.com/CoyleHelmets?c=home

    Crowdsourcing is great in that it takes the consumer’s ability to vote with their wallet and pushes it a step further with the funding of a startup.

    • Sarah says

      Thanks for visiting and sharing information about your Kickstarter campaign. I love what you said about crowd funding being another way consumers can vote with their dollar. Good luck to you in your own venture!

  2. says

    Like Rob, I’m also a horn-tooter! I started a Kickstarter campaign for unique laser-engraved wooden blocks that I designed many years ago. Once I saw that my own children and nieces and nephews were playing with them, I thought that maybe other people would enjoy them. I never would have developed them further if it wasn’t for Kickstarter.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1185929177/wye-blocks-beauty-cubed
    Crowdsource campaigns provide an outlet for many creative people. We’re not all expecting to get rich – but getting noticed and appreciated for your ideas is a terrific reward in and of itself.

  3. says

    There is a lot to like on Kickstarter, much of it made in the USA. So, if you like to support clothing, like myself, there are several companies that you can support. But there are plenty of other exciting projects that just about anybody can get behind and support. -Jack A

  4. says

    I have a kickstarter right now that I worked on with a partner thats a simple little device to attach earbuds to a helmet to listen to music on a bike while still hearing traffic:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/119104919/bipo-music-for-your-helmet

    We’re two designers and one of our key criteria was manufacturing within our metro area (Cincinnati). Many cities still have a manufacturing base and part of what we are now focusing on as a design business is finding local manufacturing companies that can make things in small batches. We think their is a big opportunity for niche products and local/advanced manufacturing to fill in spots that major large-run manufacturing can’t and doesn’t effectively serve. Its a spot where US manufacturing just makes more sense than foreign manufacturing with better control, quality, service, and heart.

  5. says

    Wow, we can’t believe we are just seeing this article! Thanks Sarah for featuring us! We are proud to be manufactured in Houston, TX and hope that we can see more companies coming back to America in the future! Keep up the great work and thanks again for the support!

  6. says

    Awesome post, thanks to share it. crowfunding is the great way for online fundraising. I am collecting donations for my charity by crowdfunding.

    Nicole Martin

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] products manufactured in America. I have had the pleasure to work with several companies to help promote their made in America Kickstarter campaigns. I recently learned of a new made in USA project about to launch a campaign on [...]

  2. [...] love highlighting and supporting made in USA start-ups on Kickstarter. I was recently contacted by Jim Snediker, founder of Stock Manufacturing Company and was intrigued [...]

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