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3 Makers That Used Kickstarter To Take Prototype to Market

Hundreds of projects launch every day on Kickstarter – from potato salads to documentary films. But aside from just getting the cash to create, crowd-funding has turned into important proving ground for  startups looking to take a prototype to market. Successful campaigns establish quantitative demand and help shift the question from “is something people want” to can the “company deliver the goods?” Proof of the trend? Just take a look around #StyleTech and discover three makers who used Kickstarter to take their idea from prototype to product. 

iFetch: A fetch obsessed poodle inspired the Hamill family to design an automated tennis ball launch system. Thinking they couldn’t be alone in their need for a better way to have a ball with Fido, they took their invention to Kickstarter in June 2013.  Thirty days and more than 1,000 backers later, they’d received more than 4X their original goal – enough to make the iFetch happen. 

Gramovox: The discovery of a vintage 1920s Magnavox R3 gramophone inspired Chicago friends – Pavan Bapu and Jeff Parrish – to ask whether or not the world needed a modern take on this antique. So after figuring out how they’d do it – a proprietary audio driver fitted with an acoustically optimized circuit board with a Bluetooth module – they brought their prototype to Kickstarter to see if people would bite. The answer was a resounding yes: they surpassed goal by more than 100K. 

Wezel Wallets: A lost wallet was the starting point for this multi-tasking accessory that looks like a hard-working leather wallet, but can transform into an iPhone stand. Convinced this would forever change accessorizing, designers Kyle Parkin and Scott Sorensen turned to Kickstarter (with the most awesome video ever) to enlist a little help to get production out of a neighbor’s garage. The Wezel surpassed its goal and is now out there changing the world one well-organized pocket at a time.