Kickstarting for startups

Just a quick note more than a blog post. I’d like to see anyone that wants to draw down Government funds (EI, Enterprise Boards etc.) have to prove themselves by doing a Kickstarter type drive. We hear about embracing failure (once you learn something) and have the war scars from previous startups can be a good thing and something VCs might want to see.

Pushing the Kickstarter idea can be good for a few reasons: It shows that they can pitch their product, shows they have a network and can use it and also shows that they have some kind of business acumen. It doesn’t need to be a 6 figure kickstarter or even a high 5 figure sum but something that gets the public interested in a project but also not small enough that you get money just from savings and family.

Fund It in Ireland is great for the arts. Small and large projects are on it and there’s a great deal of learning after they’re run. A clone for startup funding could even be created for the Irish market with Government funds. The argument would be this service makes invested money have a higher chance of used well. Naturally scams would be attempted like they are everywhere else but let the crowd find the holes in it.

This was playing as I wrote the post. So there you go.

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11 Responses to “Kickstarting for startups”

  1. Paraic says:

    It would be interesting to hear what prompted you to say this as my understanding is that the vast majority of funding is provided on a funds-matching basis (akarisoftware.com’s HPSU funding certainly was).

    I’m not sure if kickstarter funding would work for a b2b business like ours although I certainly agree that government funding should only be provided if there’s evidence of traction, external funding, etc. Ironically, the biggest problem with your suggestion could be getting EI, etc. to accept kickstarter funds as the sort they’d be willing to match.

  2. Matching funding is a con. EI match funds from organisations like AIB See capital funds. And EI just happens to be one of those bankrolling that. http://www.aibseedcapitalfund.ie/go/sponsors

    There are plenty of Irish companies that happily brag about being able to pay their mortgage and feed their kids from the various grants from Enterprise boards and from EI to “test out their idea”, funding for conferences, for marketing and so on. Seems you can sustain yourself for 4 years by hopping around from grant to grant.

  3. Paraic says:

    I’ve heard others talk about these ‘grant farmers’ before but I’ve never actually met someone who’d openly boast about it. When we were looking at getting a Seed Fund in as part of our round, EI would only match half of that portion of the funds so they wouldn’t be matching their own money again. Perhaps it’s different for HPSU funding as it’s a one-shot that effectively precludes you from any grant funding in the future

  4. Filing in forms for grant applications is a full time job. And if you are not prepared to spoof then you fail at interviews where the push is for job creation, not idea worth. I think we need a new age of patronage. Like the Medici with tech start ups instead of closeted painters & sculptors

  5. All depends on who you are too it seems. Special Exceptions should be a unit in there. And as you said, for others it’s an unreal slog.

  6. Michele says:

    Damien

    Totally agree.

    I might follow up with you offline :)

    M

  7. Another new domain for you too I see!

  8. Michele says:

    Damien – b.log.ie? I’ve had that for ages :)

  9. Ah, not used to comments from you (or anyone else) on this.

  10. Not an area I’m very familiar with (i.e. I haven’t personally been involved with funding any projects on these type of communities).

    If anyone knows any Irish businesses that have raised funds on a platform like this I’d be interested in having a chat – send ‘em my way :)

  11. Michele says:

    David

    There’s always a few Irish businesses listed on there that are getting funding.

    Michele