Recently Kickstarter announced the had facilitated $1 Billion in pledges to projects from startups to charities in over 224 countries around the world. So I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of the Scottish based companies using the platform to kickstart their products and what else is happening in the crowdfunding space in Scotland.
The Lupo ‘smart tag’ is a piece of wearable tech that has several useful use cases. Out the box Lupo along with it’s companion app on smartphones will allow you to track and locate the Lupo tag with the classic example being finding your keys.
Lupo is empowered through an SDK open to developers to extend the functionality of the device. Some proposed use cases of the SDK are using the Lupo as a motion controller for games and media or using it to auto lock computers when you step away from them.
The team behind Lupo are based in Glasgow in the Strathclyde University Incubator and founder says “We are confident that the benefits of the Lupo extend far beyond simple ‘lost and found’ as it has significant feature and performance advantages over Bluetooth item finders. The combined range of features offered by the Lupo in one single device coupled with the SDK option makes it a very compelling proposition both for consumers and developers and we look forward to introducing it first to the Kickstarter community.”
The funding goal for Lupo on Kickstarter is £20,000.
Founder of the well known service design consultancy Snook based in Glasgow, Sarah Drummond along with Johanna Holton is organising a hack event which is focused around one of their hobbies – cycling. As hack events go it’s largely the same as most, get a ticket (priced at at £10), go on the Friday for a pitch, get fed and watered as you power through the weekend and display your product on the Sunday night.
Where the Cycle Hack differs is with what Sarah and Johanna are doing with Kickstarter. The crowdfund is being used to fund an ‘Open Source Catalogue’. This open source catalogue is envisioned to empower cyclists around the world by providing 2D and 3D renders, 3d printing models, code, documentation and other outputs of the hack.
The funding goal for Cycle Hack on Kickstarter is £5,000.
So Kickstarter is without doubt the largest crowdfunding platform out there just now but there are plenty more, Indiegogo, Crowdcube etc but there are also some local services such as BloomVC and the recently launched ShareIn.
ShareIn is baed in Edinburgh and is focused on crowdfunding for British technology and health focussed companies. Billed as “TED with an invest button” as it specifically aims to provide equity investment from £40,000 to £1m for inspirational UK companies looking to change the world through innovation, engineering and science.
Unlike other equity crowdfunding platforms, ShareIn offers investors a best-of-breed share structure, where every share carries voting rights and establishes professional, fair legal arrangements between the shareholder and the investee company, without forcing the use of a middle-man and the associated fees.
ShareIn also sets itself apart by focussing closely on company valuations, asking companies to justify their valuation to potential investors in an extensive section containing data on actual money spent to date and the estimated costs to replicate the company to its current state. In addition, ShareIn provides investors with a secondary market for their shares, providing a bulletin board to allow investors to sell their shares.
Avenues such as Kickstarter and ShareIn give Scottish startups the ability to raise capital outside of traditional methods. This is allowing idea’s perceived as too niche or perhaps to risky to shine and reach not only audience but also advocates. It’s a strong proposition.
Have you backed a crowdfund project? Maybe now is the right time to start.