- A panel discussion was held on a weekend to share the insights on crowdfunding.
- Panelists include Mr. Thomas Tsao (CEO of CEREC Asia), Mr. Chien Lee (Founder and CEO of SparkAmplify), Mr. Ray Tai (CEO of Mighty Net) and our Co-Founder, Mr. Paddy Tan.
- Our Country Manager, Mr. Martin Chin was the moderator for this event.
January 18, 2020: It is always a privilege for BlackStorm Consulting to work with various partners to host different events in Taiwan. And this time, together with CEREC Asia, SparkAmplify and Mighty Net, we conducted a panel discussion on ‘Players in Crowdfunding Ecosystem’.
In this session, topics such as incorporating corporate strategy in structuring the crowdfunding campaign, marketing and creating media exposure for the campaign, and bringing the prototype to production are broadly discussed.
Crowdfunding is not just a funding alternative for the project in the recent times. It has served many other purposes – getting more media exposure, being acquired by larger players and building a strong community within the brands. Hence, it is important to know what it will take to have a successful crowdfunding campaign and the outlook of this industry.
In addition, Thomas, CEO of CEREC Asia, had introduced the upcoming dental-related crowdfunding platform Tooth Faerie during the discussion. It will be launched in March 2020.
Dentistry is a unique vertical in which the whole product development lifecycle is subjected to specific standards, from product development and design to production. The target audience are to be of a specific profile too.
During the course of discussion, Thomas was asked on the rationale of deriving Tooth Faerie. He responded confidently that there was a gap in the dental industry, especially pre-order elements. As such, the platform was created and catered for B2B (Business-to-Business). At this moment, big players like Indiegogo and Kickstarter are of B2C (Business-to-Consumer) and thus it is uncommon and novel to have B2B platform in the market, especially one that serves for dental industry. He also briefly mentioned that marketing is a vital factor in creating a successful campaign.
This leads to the next question – what is the most important marketing aspect that every campaign should not overlook? As a veteran in the helping many crowdfunding campaigns successfully, Chien, Founder and CEO of SparkAmplify, thought that crafting a good message can help convince the backers to fund for the project. Interestingly, he stated that engaging a marketing agency may not be efficient as it can be too costly for a campaign. When engaging customers and supporters in raising capital, Chien advised to spend more time on preparations, thinking what is next after the campaign. One should also remind the previous backers about any new launches and always upsell the product with accessories.
Ray, CEO of Mighty Net, responded on how crowdfunding shape the manufacturing industry. He stated that backers of crowdfunding platforms may not be pure consumers. They could be the pioneers of the industry that want to catch up with the innovation speed. He added on, saying that companies often face minimal order quantity (MOQ) issue and such issue occurs in both hardware and software. Crowdfunding can be an avenue to help meet the MOQ.
As a backer for numerous projects, our Co-Founder, Paddy would identify the corporate strategies behind the crowdfunding campaigns. One of his deepest impressions would be the acquisition of Pebble by Fitbit. In this acquisition, Fitbit was buying the talents and intellectual property of Pebble, not its products. Such moves enable Fitbit to promote new products quicker and enhance the existing products. Fitbit also had the intentions to develop customised products and third-party apps with the assistance of Pebble.
As the ending question about leveraging on crowdfunding for future growth, there are 6 strategies which can be intertwined, according to Paddy:
- Have the first version of crowdfunding campaign to gain traction and then use the second version to generate the actual revenue;
- Fail the campaign deliberately for promotion purposes;
- Fundraise with the crowdfunding traction;
- Seek financing from manufacturer(s) and sign MOU;
- Utilise the MOU and talk to retailer(s) to check for capacity support; and
- Revert to family office for funds.
Conclusively, everyone in the room had gained more insights about crowdfunding after the session. It had been a wonderful and successful event, thanks to CEREC Asia, SparkAmplify and Mighty Net. Many plans have been installed for us and we will like to co-organise more activities with our partners in the coming months. Stay tuned to our exciting updates!
About CEREC Asia
Founded in 2016, CEREC Asia (https://www.cerecsasia.com/) provides dentists and dental technicians the largest hands-on training facility in Asia and courses covering intraoral scanner, software, training phantom, milling machine, 3D printer and treatment centre.
About Tooth Faerie
Tooth Faerie (https://www.facebook.com/pg/TOOTHFAERIE.Asia/) is a dental-specific crowdfunding platform. We offer material specialists, social media advertising and marketing experts. Your ideas will be spread around the world and the collective minds will make it happen.
SparkAmplify (https://www.sparkamplify.com/) is a SaaS company based in Pasadena, California and Taipei, specializing in media outreach and influencer engagement. The platform provides users targeted media and journalist profile as well as intelligent recommendations. Founded in 2016, the team consists of a group of passionate data scientists, engineers, designers and marketers looking to reshape digital marketing via machine learning and influencer social network analysis. SparkAmplify was selected as one of the top 50 startups among 6,000+ startups from 80 countries at the 2017 Startup Grind Global Conference.
About Mighty Net
Mighty Net (https://www.might.com.tw/) has over 30 years of manufacturing experience and facilities in both Taiwan and China. Our professional team offers thorough services from product development, design verification, pilot run, mass production, to global logistics. Mighty Net delivers one-stop service with quality and confidence.
About BlackStorm Consulting
BlackStorm Consulting (http://blackstormco.asia/) is a boutique growth consultancy firm that specialises in corporate strategy, profit management and investment management. We mainly serve clients in four sectors: FinTech, Gaming, Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT), and manufacturing.
Our clients and connections are internationally present and range from small and medium sized businesses, MNCs, to government agencies.