Crowdfunded Innovation: GoGo or NoNo?

Sunday, 13 December 2015 17:04
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Crowdfunding enables inventors to underwrite their development costs. Buyers beware.

Greetings!

Crowdfunding has become a powerful means for entrepreneurs to realize their new product commercialization ambitions. Are crowdfunded innovations also a great source of open innovation product finds? Maybe...or maybe not.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends...

Crowdfunded Innovation: GoGo or NoNo?

I know from personal experience that such concerns are well founded, if not necessarily as extreme as with the case I cited above. Over the past 3 years, various clients and I have targeted 3 different crowdfunded device products for sampling and possible licensing. We placed pre-orders based on the inventor's target ship timing. In each instance, the developers missed ship timing...in some instances by a mile! The first device was preordered in mid-2013, for shipment in 2014. 2015 is nearly over and we are still waiting. Same thing for another device ordered in early 2014 and yet another ordered in mid 2015 promising fall 2015 ships...still waiting.

Net, crowdfunding is an exciting new means for would-be entrepreneurs to secure funds necessary to underwrite their new product development costs. However, as they don't guarantee (timely) project completion, interested investors and potential corporate partners should approach these with caution and some healthy skepticism.

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