Startland News is continuing its segment to highlight area entrepreneurs’ efforts to accelerate their businesses. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs — like The Handy Camel CEO Tom Gray — to share their stories to gain a little help from their supporters. If you or your startup is running a crowdfunding campaign, let us know by contacting email@example.com
Who are you?
Tom Gray, CEO of The Handy Camel.
What’s the Handy Camel fundraising for?
The current invention we’re testing is the Garden Thorn. The Thorn is placed in the ground, close to the plants you want watered. You then put a thin-walled hose onto the Thorn, which pierces it with a needle. That way, when you run water through the hose, the pressure pushes to water three to six inches underground to water your plants. Unlike a drip or sprinkler, there is no evaporation or runoff or water waste, because the water isn’t wasted between plants and you’re done in a few minutes.
What’s The Handy Camel?
We invest in the best inventions, manufacture them in Kansas City and retail the final product across the U.S. and internationally.
The Handy Camel has an open-innovation process where inventors can pitch their products with a one-to-two-minute video. We have our own testing strategy to find hit inventions. During prototyping, we show the product to retailers.
Then, if everything lines up, we crowdfund for final testing, and then roll out online and retail. We are in 2000 stores and QVC in the U.S, and we’re testing in Walmart and Home Depot. We sell in Canada, England and parts of Europe, and are about to launch in Australia and NZ within a year.
How much do you hope to raise?
$7,800 , and we’ve already raised 55 percent since launch.
How are you differentiating your campaign?
We went with a more fun, fast paced video. Even the Indiegogo CEO sent me a message saying, “Awesome.”
Is there anything quirky with your campaign?
If someone donates $2,000, they’ll get to spend a day with the Garden Thorn’s inventors — lunch at Joe’s BBQ and a night at a Royal’s game.
Any advice on crowdfunding campaigns?
Have the whole 30 day strategy thought out. Your network has to be extensive to get noticed since crowdfunding is flooded more and more these days. A large investment into social media also has to be done after launch to simply get more eyes on the campaign.