Bringing together awesome ideas, motivated teams, and millions of generous strangers willing to back up projects, crowdfunding platform Kickstarter is one of those online gems that can restore your faith in starting a business – and in humanity. Many startups from CEE countries – Slovenian ones ranking high up there – have rocked brilliant campaigns opening people’s eyes and wallets, and reached or even exceeded their target goal within just a few days. Here’s a recap of the seven biggest success stories that we have come across in 2013. And who knows – maybe this year YOU will be on our list!
Modestly aiming at raising 15.000 dollars via their crowdfunding campaign, Slovenian startup Chipolo reached its target within the very first days. Surpassing their wildest expectations, they eventually received 293.014 dollars from 5329 backers, who were seduced by the concept of a little plastic chip with a built-in Bluetooth 4.0 transmitter designed to help finding lost or misplaced objects. The first batch of products has already been produced. Read more on their story here.
With its 100.000-dollar target reached just two days after the launch of its campaign, Slovenian startup Flykly’s project seemed already promising at a very early stage. Its products, Smart Wheel, a rear wheel with a built-in electric motor, and Smart Light – a device combining a light, and a phone holder with a charger, have indeed sparked a major interest among cycling enthusiasts, who ended up pledging no less than 701.239 dollars. The startup, now based in New York, is planning on shipping its first batch by May 2014. Learn more on their success here.
Petcube, a gadget coupled with afree app allowing pet owners to interact with their animals from remote locations via their smartphones, created a craze among animal lovers. Only six days after launching its campaign, the Ukrainian startup had already met its target goal of 100.000 dollars, and eventually ended up raising 251.225 dollars. The young company, now based in San Francisco, claims being the most successful pet product on Kickstarter. The first batch of products will be shipped in May 2014. Read more on their story here.
With 15.000 dollars out of their 150.000-dollar goal missing 12 hours before the end of their 30-day campaign back in July, the fundraising project of stillalive studios was quite a challenge. Nevertheless, in a final run boosted by active promotion on social media, the Innsbruck-based indie game developers eventually reached their target, with 2.224 backers contributing a total of 151.175 dollars. Thanks to the money pledged, they are now planning on releasing Son of Nor, an action adventure game that works in single player or co-op and is set in a dynamic world, on the market in Spring 2014. The game is currently competing for the 4th Annual Indie of the Year Awards. Learn more about the team here.
Surfing on the vintage trend and analogue photography’s revival, Slovenian startup ONDU launched a campaign, hoping to support its business of handmade wooden pinhole cameras with new tools and production’s equipment. Backers not only surpassed the initial 10.000-dollar goal in less than 48 hours, but eventually contributed a total of 109.391 dollars, pre-ordering cameras from all over the world. The manufacturing phase being now complete, the shipping started in December 2013. Learn more about ONDU’s story here.
It took less than five hours for Ljubljana-based Lumu to raise its initial goal of 20.000 dollars, the rest of whose campaign amassed 244.085 dollars. Over 2.600 backers supported their concept of a minimalistic light meter for smartphones, as useful device for photographers and filmmakers. After the purchase of bulk quantities of components thanks to the money collected, the startup is toward the end of the assembling and packaging phase, with the first orders delivered in December 2013.
Targeting a slightly smaller niche market than the startups listed above, Slovenia-based Red Pitaya launched a campaign promoting their open source measurement and control tool designed to replace many expensive laboratory instruments, including an oscilloscope, a spectrum analyser, an arbitrary signal generator, a frequency response analyser and a PID controller. The concept seems to have appealed to a great number of electronics enthusiasts, students, professors and research institutions, who altogether pledged 256.125 dollars, thus greatly exceeding the initial 50.000-dollar goal. The product is now available for purchase on their website. Learn more about their smart project here.