How entrepreneurs can cut through the IoT Market
There are a number of ways for entrepreneurs to raise money for their IoT projects. Joel Hughes of Indiegogo discusses some of the benefits of the crowdfunding model in this blog for IoTUK.
With reports predicting that there will be 20.4 billion connected devices in use and an average of 6.58 connected devices per person by 2020 – it’s clear that IoT devices are here to stay. To keep up with insatiable consumer demand drive for the latest tech, technology companies have started developing products faster than ever. However, with the number of gadgets multiplying on a daily basis, how can IoT entrepreneurs make their products stand out?
Look no further than crowdfunding. In the past, crowdfunding was primarily used to raise funds, but it has quickly become a go-to tool for breaking through the saturated IoT market as it can prove market viability and help raise brand awareness. Joel Hughes, Head of Europe and UK at Indiegogo, shares how to put this idea into practice.
In the past, entrepreneurs were forced to turn to banks or their inner circle of friends and family in order to raise funds for their projects. But traditional financing can be incredibly challenging. Crowdfunding is a flexible alternative that combines funding with marketing and proof of demand, which is perfect in creating a business plan to present to investors. A successful crowdfunding campaign shows potential investors that your product is viable and people are interested in it.
The gadget you never knew you wanted, Toasteroid, is an app -controlled smart image toaster that allows users to burn designs, messages and drawings on their toast. You might not have assumed that consumers would be interested in this quirky appliance, but it raised $200,909 of its funds – 125% of its funding goal. The amount raised proved that while we might not have The Jetsons’ ultimate smart home just yet, consumers want weird and wacky gadgets that make everyday life more fun.
Research and Development
We know you love your IoT device, but does your target market love it as much? Crowdfunding brings you valuable feedback that can fit into your other R&D efforts – creating a market-ready product in a fraction of the time. The dream for SME entrepreneurs!
Cocoon, a home security device, was able to gauge interest and gathered direct customer insight by having an open conversation with backers and providing regular updates on their social media and campaign page. To ensure that the functions of the high-tech gadget were spot on, the team used the real-time feedback from their supporters to continuously develop the product throughout the duration of their campaign, and they smashed their target by raising 203% of their funding goal.
It takes most companies years to build brand advocates, but you can bypass this challenge with crowdfunding. By the end of the campaign you’ll have a group of brand advocates you can nurture – setting you up to help take your concept one step further and build it into a business.
Revolar Instinct is a prime example of how crowdfunding can help raise brand awareness. Revolar Instinct is a personal panic button that can be worn on a keychain and connects to your smartphone in order to provide real time GPS tracking, thus empowering individuals to take control of their safety.
During their campaign, the team raised their profile by keeping their social media pages active and posting a mix of content including quotes, giveaways, press coverage and more. Doing this really nurtured their backers, and has given them a solid group of brand advocates to help build their business.
If you’re looking for a way to cut through the saturated IoT market and bring your innovation to life, consider crowdfunding. It’s an accessible, flexible route to finance and enables entrepreneurs to engage existing networks, conduct market research and establish relationships with a crowd of potential brand advocates.
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