By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Kickstarter isn’t just for hopeful upstarts anymore: Now established companies are getting in on the game.
Already home to hundreds of entrepreneurs looking to break into a crowded industry, Kickstarter is also raising funds for such established CE accessory manufacturers as Mimoco and BuQu Tech.
Mimoco, which makes character-themed USB flash drives, is running a Kickstarter campaign for a line of mobile charging accessories, known as the MimoPower line. The series will initially consist of 10 designs, and the company said it will produce additional designs if it surpasses the initial funding goal. According to the company’s Kickstarter page, consumers will be able to vote on which new characters should be made.
When asked why the company decided to try its hand at Kickstarter — the Boston-based design firm has been around since 2005 — Mimoco said it wants to ensure it is perfecting its products.
“Are we producing the right characters? Are we including the proper accessories? Is the packaging spot on? With [consumers’] input, we can answer these questions and more to make a crowd-sourced product [they] will love.”
It also enables the company to “raise the necessary funds to cover the expensive upfront tooling costs and the initial [minimum order quantity],” a company spokesman said.
BuQu Tech, which is best known for its Magnetyze series of smartphone cases, is running a Kickstarter campaign for an iPhone battery case. The company — founded in 2012 as a subsidiary of Battery-Biz — told TWICE it went this route “simply because Kickstarter is an effective awareness-building platform that builds engagement. More and more companies are turning to sites like Kickstarter for crowd-funding, and BuQu is jumping in.”
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.