Crowdfunding is becoming more and more crucial for hardware startups. As track organizer, HAXLR8R Founder, Cyril Ebersweiler explained to Smarter Hardware Track attendees at GMIC SV 2014, “Kickstarter and Indiegogo are only the beginning, but they’re an important beginning”.
This year’s Smarter Hardware Track is taking an in depth look at crowdfunding and the future of hardware. Matt Witheiler, General Partner at Flybridge Capital Partners shared with us what some of his predictions were for the future of hardware and what he looks for when choosing projects to invest in. For him and other VCs, “crowdfunding and hardware go together”. Successful crowdfunding is a validation to VCs that there is a market for a particular product and is something that is gaining more importance for investors. Additionally, in choosing projects, he looks into teams with over $100,000 in funding, and what market data they are using to justify their product.
Smarter Hardware Track attendees also had the opportunity to discuss successes with million dollar crowdfunders like Misfit Wearables, Giroptic, Lockitron, and Avegant who shared their experiences in crowdfunding. With over 30 different wearables on, Rachel Kalmar, Data Scientist for Misfit Wearables, shared with the crowd that unlike Yobie Benjamin, Co-founder and COO of Avegant, who used crowdfunding for validation, Misfit used crowdfunding to create a buzz around their product and attract media attention. All four successful crowdfunders could not agree more on the fact that public relations was key to their crowdfunding success, and that prior to starting a campaign, startups need to focus their energy on the media at least 4 months out and do a press tour.
As a whole, all the needed energy to run a crowdfunding campaign is more than worth it considering that the returns go beyond just getting funding. Startups receive validation and international exposure that can take them farther than money alone.
HAXLR8R will be tackling the Internet of Things during the second half of the Smarter Hardware Track starting at 1:10PM today in Imperial Room B at the Hilton Union Square.
Don’t miss all the action and Follow Us on Twitter at @TheGMIC and look out for the hashtag #GMICSV2014.