Business

Life after Kickstarter: Shopstarter helps crowdfunding campaigns grow into legitimate businesses

Above: The Searzall is a blowtorch you can use on-the-go for broiling. It's on Shopstarter.

Image Credit: Shopstarter

Once the heady glory of a successful Kickstarter campaign fades away, some entrepreneurs may find themselves adrift.

Shopstarter provides a post-crowdfunding support system that helps campaigners with the reality of fulfilling orders and transition into a full-fledged business. Today, the company unveiled a new retail marketplace, where people can find and buy products that got their start through crowdfunding.

“There is plenty of material on how to be successful on Kickstarter, but what if you are?” Shopstarter founder Alex Kennberg told VentureBeat. “Who is going to help you manage all the backers, consolidate all the information, monetize late arrivals, and help with fulfillment? There is a lot of work afterwards.”

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are useful for launching a product, but not a business. Many of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns, such as the Pebble smartwatch, find themselves with thousands of orders and without the necessary tools for staying on top of it all. So it’s no surprise that an estimated 75 percent of all tech and design projects are delivered late.

Kennberg previously worked at Google on the Gmail and Google+ teams and did a side project on Kickstarter in 2012. His “cobra wallet” project raised $51,128 of a $30,000 goal, and he experienced firsthand the challenges of life after Kickstarter. He felt that the available tools were inadequate to keep everything running smoothly and on time.

Shopstarter launched a year ago with a series of management tools for backers. Campaign owners can quickly set up an online shop, continue taking preorders, communicate with backers, manage pledges, modify shipping information, and promote their product to a wider audience.

The company now works with more than 50 project owners, and Kennberg said this is enough to make an e-commerce marketplace viable.

Now on Shopstarter, you can buy a “next generation” Rubik’s cube, a souped-up pair of men’s boxers, a blowtorch that serves as a broiler, and a computer mouse you can hold like a pen.

Shopstarter’s main competition is Outgrow.me, which is a marketplace for successfully crowdfunded projects.


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