Kickstarter is the biggest crowdfunding platform on the web. In a typical funding a startup gives up some equity to investors in exchange for money. That doesn’t happen on Kickstarter. In order to be accepted on Kickstarter you need to offer a product. Doesn’t it exist yet? No problem. Usually you don’t have the product yet, and you don’t have enough funds to develop it. You are going to use the platform to sell something that doesn’t exist. This is the nature of the platform. Kickstarter is a marketplace to pre-sell your products before they exist, to customers who are open to paying in advance and ready to wait a long time for delivery.
Even if you have enough funds to start a company by yourself, it could be a good idea to use Kickstarter. It can promote your existence to millions of customers. Moreover, at the end of the campaign you know exactly how many customers you have got, and how many products you have to make.
If you wish to join Kickstarter, the first step is to decide whether to join it in the USA or the UK. If you apply to Kickstarter in the UK you will not lose US customers, but choosing Kickstarter US or UK influences customers browsing. When you open Kickstarter on your browser, and before you use the search engine, you will see the projects in your area first. This should not be under estimated. The experts suggest to spend a few hours browsing what projects are already online. You should check what’s going on in your market and in your country, but also what’s going on in other countries you can connect with.
Clearly, your nationality could be important. If you are in the US you will probably join Kickstarter US. If you are from the UK you will probably join Kickstarter UK. What about all the other nations? For Europeans the simplest way is to join Kickstarter UK. You have no need for an immigration visa and you can reach your office in a couple of hours with a low cost flight. Commonwealth countries and other countries with an easier UK immigration visa could join Kickstarter UK, while all other countries could join Kickstarter US.
Are you European and have you decided to join Kickstarter US? Remember that investors tend to prefer companies from Delaware and that you need to open a bank account for non-US citizens. It can be very painful, but there are ways to work around this.
Another step is to check the nature of your project: local or global. Most of the projects on Kickstarter are international by the very nature of the platform. However, some projects are local. Local business are not necessarily worse than global startup, and sometimes they can be better. After you launch your local business, you can always expand through a franchising.
The last step is to manage the time. How much time should you allow for a project on Kickstarter? You need 1-2 months (part time) to prepare the project, get accepted on Kickstarter and contact journalists and bloggers that can talk of you. Then you need 3 months (full time) to raise money on Kickstarter and other 4 months (part time) in the post-Kickstarter, to maximize your fame and to set up a website to sell directly.
How to fund a project on Kickstarter