TEMPE, AZ - If you've ever had an idea but had no way to actually make it a reality, Kickstarter.com may be what you're looking for.
It's a "crowd sourcing" site.
You post details about your idea and users can pledge money.
Typically a pledge means, if and when, you make the product, they get one. If you reach your goal, the product goes to market. If it falls short of your goal, everybody gets their money back.
It's a new way for inventors, musicians and movie makers to raise money.
Some local entrepreneurs say it's a "game changer."
Tempe resident Dean Heckler owns Heckler Design. His Kickstarter project was a simple idea.
"It's called OneLessDrop
. It's a decorative item that holds your power cords in place so they don't drop to the floor." explained Heckler.
He had developed and sold products before. His unique design for a desk
was already attracting interest and sales.
"I've made a product before but this product was different. This was a step into mass product which I had never done before." said Heckler.
Kickstarter helped him get the idea of OneLessDrop off the shelf and into production. Heckler's goal was $12,500. He raised $22,271 on Kickstarter. The product is made from start to finish in the Valley.
"It's extruded in south Phoenix in big long bars, they cut it down into chunks and then holes are drilled into the bottom of them. They go up to north Phoenix to get hand polished and they come back to south Phoenix to get anodized and colorized and then they go to downtown Phoenix to get cleaned up, packaged up and shipped," explained Heckler.
OneLessDrop is a simple idea that solves a simple problem. Not every Kickstarter project is that serious.
Aram Chavez is a gardener. He wanted to re-design a classic household item.
"This is Gnombre
, the world's first Hispanic garden gnome," Chavez proudly said.
It's an odd idea but people seem to love it. Within a month it raised $10,773 on Kickstarter
. Chavez's goal was set to just $3,500. Right now, he's in the process of having Gnombre manufactured.
He said Kickstarter changes the playing field for inventors.
"It gives entrepreneurs the voice to reach the mass market whereas before if it was me without Kickstarter I don't know how I would have gotten this out there. I would be going door to door, nursery to nursery." said Chavez.
He's not done with with the Hispanic Gnome, Chavez is already working on the next model.
"A Jewish Gnome and it's going to be the shalom Gnome brought to you by popular demand," said Chavez.
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