Gadgets

How Christie Street is de-risking the crowdfunded gadget

If Kickstarter is the community college for crowdfunded projects, Christie Street is the Ivy League.

The product-focused funding platform has just funded its first project, and lead inventor Jamie Siminoff is feeling pretty good about its future.

“As far as first projects go, we were pretty aggressive,” Siminoff said of the DoorBot, which raised nearly $300,000.

Launched in December, Christie Street was born in part from Siminoff’s experiences with the POP, his multiuse gadget charger that was nearly killed by Apple before receiving the green light.

That experience, along with the larger crowdfunding climate, convinced Siminoff that there was major potential for a funding platform that focused on products and products alone. Enter Christie Street, which Siminoff says is like a rich man’s Kickstarter.

“We’re weeding out 90 percent of products that don’t have what it takes to get made,” he said.

That may sound like a bad thing, but it actually makes sense given Christie Street’s primary mission. The site is trying to ensure that all of its products actually stand a chance.

“Inventors realize what we’re doing, while harder, is way better for them in the long run. We’re protecting their reputations,” Siminoff said.

In the end, Siminoff hopes that Christie Street’s inventor-focused mission will draw hopeful product makers away from Kickstarter, which was never meant to fund products in the first place.

Christie Street is looking out for the buyer, too. By being tough on inventors, the site aims to give supporters more confidence that their purchases will actually see the light of day. This is something that’s been a major problem for a lot of Kickstarter products, which have been hindered by the realities of the manufacturing process.

Essentially, what Siminoff wants to do is de-risk crowdfunding. Kickstarter may not be a store, but Christie Street certainly is.

“When people fund a Kickstarter project, they’re not being altruistic. They just want to get the freaking product,” Siminoff said.


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