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Kickstarter's Kicking Business Up a Notch

Kickstarter's Kicking Business Up a Notch
By Nancy Owano

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Watch for an interesting shift in crowdfunding, with Kickstarter as a signpost. Kickstarter calls itself "the largest funding platform for creative projects." While it was famous first for launching starry-eyed college students into the market, Kickstarter has become a marketforce of its own, giving businesses and creative ventures more options to innovate.
 



Why is an established photography company like Lomography chasing Kickstarter to help position its new camera lens as the next big thing? It's simple: Kickstarter, a website that acts as a platform to fund new projects, has grown from its humble beginnings to become the most well-known crowdfunding platform. In fact, Kickstarter has become a key source for tech companies and many others to generate capital for launching their own 'next big thing'.

Lomography is using Kickstarter, which was founded just four years ago, to help generate funds for launch of its new Petzval DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflect) Lens. The new device is unique because it takes the legendary high-quality glass art lens made in Russia and brings it up to 21st-century levels. It offers Petzval's super-sharp centers and bokeh (background blur) effects, together with mounts for Canon EF- and Nikon F-compatible cameras and other modern development feats.

But having a solid or unique product is not always enough to ensure success. Having the funds to produce and promote any new product is essential, explaining why Lomography and so many other companies, both large and small, are turning to Kickstarter for help.

So far, it appears Lomography has chosen its funding platform well. At the time of this writing, the company had already exceeded its $100,000 goal by raising $162,495 -- and there are still 29 days to go.

The Big Picture

While the Lomography Petzval Portrait Lens has already grabbed the interest of design shops as well as personal photography fans, something else is significant: What does the Lomography campaign say about businesses and crowdfunding?

After all, these are not lab students using a neighborhood sub shop as a home office. Lomography is an established business that is over 10 years old.

Companies are turning to Kickstarter to test what potential buyers might think about their products, to build on campaign successes when approaching next-phase backers, and also to get more ideas from eager supporters. Scientific researchers are also turning to Kickstarter to fund their own projects.

By relying on such a platform, entrepreneurs and others can better cushion themselves against the risks of failed products or creative endeavors that don't get off the ground.

Daqri Takes Campaign Route

Another case is Daqri, an established augmented reality (AR) company that has worked in over 1,000 media campaigns as well as in the medical, education and manufacturing sectors. Daqri recently turned to Kickstarter for the first time. (continued...)

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