Crowdfunding 2014 Speaker Chris Place Shares Tips on JUMP’s Successful Kickstarter Campaign

Chris Place, senior product designer of
Native Union and panel speaker at this weekend’s Startup Saturday, knows how to build a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Less than two weeks into their campaign, Native Union had already raised over 500% of their goal to fund JUMP – a novel, stylish and compact way of “jump-starting” your phone when it runs out of battery.

With offices in San Francisco, London and Hong Kong, Native Union is an established startup that’s had success in getting products onto trendy boutique store shelves. While Chris has acknowledged that there’s been some push back against bigger companies looking to raise money through crowdfunding, he said that the campaign’s residual effects brought him closer to people and has actually made financial gain take a back seat.

“In the past, [Native Union] received design awards just for the design, but because of the Kickstarter campaign – everyone is sharing the success of the product,” said Chris. “It’s not just about the money. It’s the personal feedback and pulling the company together. It’s everything.”

Since meeting their goal of $40,000 early on in the campaign, Native Union was able to sign off on their first stage of manufacturing. Backers can feel good about their pooled funds since it will cover 100% of JUMP’s production. While money certainly goes a long way – Chris says it was the user feedback that was most rewarding outcome of the campaign.

“The hardware business is extremely sensitive to cash flow, and we’ve done things on this campaign that we wouldn’t have done if we had developed the product fully in-house,” explained Chris, giving backers credit for the 30-pin version of JUMP. “The [backers], they gave us the confidence. They made suggestions and we thought it was a great idea – otherwise, we would have never committed financially to that. They made the product better.”

For those that have never created a Kickstarter campaign before, it’s a lot harder than it looks. Along with producing a cool video and responding to suggestions from thousands of backers, Chris also had to tackle the legal, shipping and manufacturing side of things. Beyond marketing, customer service and logistics, Chris also says that securing media coverage is crucial.

“Press is a really important part of the campaign, and it means writing emails late into the night to get them into the idea,” said Chris. As a result, JUMP was featured on major tech blogs such as Gizmodo, Mashable and Engadget. Since Chris also took it upon himself to respond to all user feedback, he notes that having a dedicated person to build and keep the backer community happy and informed is an extremely important role in digesting the daily comments from backers.

Chris was gracious enough to share a full spectrum of advice for those hoping to launch their own Kickstarter campaign – and he’ll be on hand to share his experiences along with more pro tips at the Startup Saturday event. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Chris Place on Startbase.HK: Chris Place

Native Union on Startbase.HK: Native Union

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  1. Having recently run a crowdfunding campaign and now being in the process of preparing for a second one, I am very much looking forward to hearing Chris speak at the conference tomorrow. Chris and his team have run an amazing Kickstarter campaign.