We’ve written about Novelsys before, and about how they are geared and ready to, in their own words, “Power the World”. Their product Ampere, a sleeve that charges your device upon contact, has finalized its prototype, and is now ready for production. The one tiny little thing that they need? Funding.
It comes as no surprise that they are going where most startups have gone before — crowd-funding. Their Kickstarter, with a lofty goal of USD$60,000, will run for a month, and is due to start in two days on the 15th of January, 2015.
But despite the obvious fact that the Kickstarter campaign has not been launched, Novelsys has already done something right. While the process isn’t perfect — after all, this is the first effort by a fairly young company — the leadup alone is enough to set an excellent example for startups that are looking to crowdfund their products as well.
Here are some of the things they’ve done right:
Sometimes the best way to get people to recognize that your product has potential is to get someone else to say it for you. And Novelsys has those someones — eight, in fact. Some of their names are: the 2014 Global Talentrepreneur Innovation & Collaboration (GlobalTiC), the SiTF (Singapore infocomm Technology Federation) Awards for Best Startup, Best Consumer Product and Best Tertiary Startup.
According to the founder of Novelsys, Kenneth Lou, the company had used some of their early prize money to enter more competitions, a risky but well-paying investment if you’re willing to try. It doesn’t hurt to have some shiny trophies or certificates to back your product up. You don’t even need to have a final prototype done — a great idea, a great vision, and a great attitude can bring you far, if you put the effort in.
Build A Community
You should never doubt the power of community. People in the startup scene would be aware of the community of entrepreneurs that have formed in Singapore, and this community is rich in resources and expertise that you can tap into to head in the right direction.
Novelsys has gathered quite a community around them, including close friends and fellow entrepreneurs that are supporting them and helping them out. These include experienced guides like Leslie Loh from Red Dot Ventures, the folks at FocusTech Ventures, Titan Lee from Pirate3D, and many more.
While crowdfunding is expected to be your main source of funding, it does not mean that it has to be your only one. In fact, Novelsys used the announcement of their final prototype to launch another campaign prior to the launch of the Kickstarter, making use of Thunderclap.
Thunderclap is a crowd-speaking platform that allows people to donate tweets and Facebook posts instead of money, in order to get a message heard. A campaign would set a goal for social reach, and sometimes create an option for donations. It’s all or nothing: if the social reach goal is not met, none of the donations go through.
With their pre-Kickstarter crowd-speaking campaign, Novelsys has garnered 200 supporters, for a total social reach of 152,531. The numbers also show through, raising USD$30,500 from close friends and family — 200% of their initial goal.
They’ve raised the bar for expectations to set a goal of USD60,000, which would enable them to add a card-holder to the prototype, reduce the price point for super early bird deals, and make 3 colour choices: Blushberry, Brogue, and Black. This just goes to show what that extra effort can help you achieve.
Have A Strong Team Personality
A lot of what influences masses of people who do not know you to offer their money and support is having a brand that means something. Novelsys has that strong edge over the numerous startups that are looking to bring a great product to people who need it.
From their Kickstarter page and social media channels to the founders themselves, there is a strong understanding of what this team stands for. They are young, but determined to make an impact. Their goals don’t stop at Ampere; they’re looking to tap into the future of wireless charging one product at a time, or as they say, “Power The World”. They are sending all the right messages, and you can’t help but feel convinced.
Their video, which just launched yesterday, is a prime example.
Granted, the Kickstarter has yet to be launched, but it already has signs of a great turnout.
The next biggest concern for Novelsys should be making sure that production goes right — after all, better startups have flopped when the Kickstarter ends, and it would be a shame for a well-executed Kickstarter to go to waste.
The ampere kickstarter will launch on Thursday, the same day that a Q&A session will be held with panelists Jonathan Leow from PROTAG, Titan Lee from Pirate3D, and G-Jay Yong from OAXIS, about the secrets behind crowd-funding and growth-hacking.