Editor’s note: Startland News is continuing its Fund Me, KC segment to highlight area entrepreneurs’ efforts to accelerate their businesses. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs — like Idea Jab co-founders Matt Callegari and Alex Laughlin — to share their stories to gain a little help from their supporters. Back Idea Jab here.
Who are you and what is your product?
We are Matt Callegari and Alex Laughlin, co-founders of Idea Jab. Our product is a tabletop card game that helps players generate their own original business ideas.
We invented the game to help aspiring entrepreneurs generate an unlimited supply of new business ideas. Once we began user testing, we realized that the game was most valuable as a classroom activity or workplace team-building exercise. …
During our classroom demos, we watched students go from disengaged to idea generating masterminds. … No matter how we set up the game play, students always left class excited about their capability to generate valuable new ideas.
What is the overarching goal of Idea Jab?
We’ve discovered a huge opportunity in gamifying ideation activities and we’re extremely excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.
Due to the overwhelming support we’ve received from educators, we’ve been thinking about developing classroom specific products based upon our original game. We’ve also done demos at local startups and mid-sized businesses who have requested that we make versions tailored to their needs. We would like to start developing an extensive line of products for both markets — and a lot more.
What do you hope to raise?
Our project goal is to raise $16,000.
What do you plan to use the funds for?
With the $16,000, we’d be able to make use of bulk prices and manufacture our game at a competitive price. This Kickstarter is about more than offering a scalable product at an affordable price. It’s about getting our product into the classrooms and into the hands of people who could benefit from it.
How are you differentiating your campaign?
We plan to use Kickstarter’s new ‘Kickstarter Live’ live stream feature. We will be playing the game live as part of a “try it before you buy it” strategy. We also plan to network with local startups, schools and entrepreneurs.
In addition to live streaming, we plan to continue to broadcast our behind-the-scenes journey post- Kickstarter. … That is everything from packaging each game, getting our first office and hiring our first employee. … We wanted to be as fun, transparent and true to ourselves as possible. For us that meant creating and sharing goofy videos of ourselves all throughout our journey.
Any advice on crowdfunding campaigns?
Crowdfunding is all about the human connection. No matter how ridiculously awesome the product is, at the end of the day backers are supporting and backing real human people.
Sometimes awesome ideas get millions of dollars’ worth of backers because the product is awesome, but more often projects that really blow up, do so because the people behind the project are awesome.
Kickstarter is all about the effort you put into it — it’s not free money. … Remember that Kickstarter is only a tool. … If need be, consider hiring a consultant and a freelance graphic designer. … And most importantly, be yourself. Be fun. Let your personality shine through.