Wait, what’s this new Hackagong requirement?
Teams competing for the major “most viable business” prize are required to create a small crowdfunding campaign for their project. This does not apply to any of the category prizes like 3D printing, IoT, design, code etc.
And the schedule?
|Saturday Sep 19||
|Sunday Sep 20||
|Wednesday Sep 30||
|Friday Oct 2||
What if we can’t make it to DemoDay?
Yeah it’s on a Friday to align with the MindShift event. If you’re in the Top 5 teams and can’t pitch on the day, you can either submit a video pitch which we will play on stage or we can Skype you in. Contact [email protected] for any issues or concerns.
What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is an awesome way to raise funds from a large group of people for a new project. KickStarter is the most well-known platform, famous for funding products such as the Pebble watch. However crowdfunding isn’t limited to physical consumer products. You can crowdfund anything. Many predict it will be the future of venture capital and startup financing.
Why are you being a meanie?
Hackagong likes to try new things. It’s the reason why we’ve grown to become Australia’s largest hackathon in just 4 years. Our mission is to spark new innovations and maker communities, thus encouraging the formation of new startups in the Illawarra and Australia. The crowdfunding campaign requirement presents the following benefits:
- Competitors rapidly learn invaluable sales and marketing skills.
- Crowdfunding is the ultimate validation of product-market fit. If people give you money, they really want the product.
- Crowdfunding could potentially fund dozens of Hackagong team projects.
- Encourages teams to continue working on their projects after Hackagong.
- Provides an instant customer base and evangelised community.
- Judging for the overall prize becomes much more efficient.
What platform should I use?
It’s your choice. There are 100s of platforms in the wild that cater to different niches and have varied funding models. Something like Indiegogo is likely a better choice than KickStarter for this scenario. Wikipedia has a good comparison of platforms: http://wki.pe/Comparison_of_crowdfunding_services
How much should we raise?
It’s entirely up to you. We’re not expecting million dollar crowdfunding campaigns. If you raise $1000, that’s pretty awesome right? It’s also up to you whether you choose to use a platform that returns money to backers if the funding goal is not reached (“All or Nothing”), or a platform where all funds are kept (“Keep it All”).
What perks shall I offer our backers?
Have a look around at what perks other small crowdfunding campaigns offer their backers. You likely don’t want to be printing tshirts or anything complex. At the least you could simply offer backers beta access to the product, or a subscription, or some other small perk. Your backers are likely to be friends/family wanting to support you, and others who actually see value in the product to solve their problems. Cater perks to both.
What about the campaign video?
Videos are very important to a crowdfunding campaign. That doesn’t mean you need an expensive, high-production value video. Use your phone, add some basic editing, make it short, funny, interesting and clearly explain the pain-point you’re solving for backers and how the product solves that pain-point. If your video is less than 3min, is compelling enough to collect a new backer and a social share… perfect.
How to hustle and promote?
Learn fast, fail often. Brainstorm a list of things you could do, places to promote, people to contact, networks to leverage. Try them all. Test and measure. Whatever works best, keep doing that thing. There are also tonnes of resources online regarding tactics to promote crowdfunding campaigns.
How long should we run the campaign?
Usually you can set the timeframe yourself. Most campaigns run for 30 days. Since there are only 12 days between Hackagong and DemoDay, it makes sense to keep the campaign running for another ~18 days after DemoDay. We will promote all active campaigns at DemoDay and on all of our social channels.
What if we don’t meet our funding goal?
If you set a reasonable funding goal and did the best you can to promote, perhaps it’s just validation that the market demand/want for your product wasn’t really there. Refund backers, get feedback from them and reflect on the learnings for the next campaign.
What if we don’t want to continue on the project?
No worries, just ensure your backers are kept in the loop and nobody is burned. Refund backers, keep them happy. Those very backers are now potential evangelists and customers for your next project.
What if we raise so much money that we can ditch our job/uni and go change the world?
Awesome epicness. To the moon!