Author Topic: What to do if your project is too niche for crowdfunding?  (Read 2637 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MasterTech

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 890
  • Country: 00
What to do if your project is too niche for crowdfunding?
« on: October 28, 2017, 01:40:04 pm »
I'm about to create a startup, the technology it needs I've been working on it for some time now. However I'm aiming a product in the industrial sector that few people knows about,
it's not a small sector, but definitively most people will not properly judge or become interested in the solution I'm offering.
As an example how could I create a crowdfunding campaign for "titanium torsional couplers" (just made up) and give them to people in exchange for their support ?

What do people do in these cases?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 01:58:07 pm by MasterTech »

Offline Kean

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 916
  • Country: au
  • Embedded systems & IT consultant
    • Kean Electronics
Re: What to do if your project is too niche for crowdfunding?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2017, 04:11:42 pm »
Most crowdfunding is aimed at consumer/hobbyist, and doesn't really target the industrial/commercial sector.  There are some exceptions, such as retailer pledge levels for things like new board games.  There are also some specialist crowdfunders for the commercial sector, e.g. CrowdCube in the UK (not sure where you are).

What I've seen my clients do is to partner with a large customer in the target sector who can see the value in the technology for their own use, and doesn't mind helping it to market.  They benefit from getting a headstart with the new tech, and also financially as a longer term partner, which you get some upfront funding to manufacture & trial your product.  This can obviously be a problem in some sectors where there are few players, or that are very competitive.

Another option is to partner with a industry group (like the local Torsional Coupler Society... LOL), who like the above example want to help get their members benefit from new tech.  Or maybe work with a university or research group who has industry contacts.  e.g. In Australia we have the CSIRO ( who works with industry to help commercialise new tech, such as in mining, health, farming, environment, or even big data.  Again, this has been something my clients have taken advantage of, but I've also done it directly in a few projects.
The following users thanked this post: Mr. Scram

Offline marklein

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 3
  • Country: us
Re: What to do if your project is too niche for crowdfunding?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2017, 06:32:04 am »
Advertise your project in industry specific trade magazines and websites.

Online Ice-Tea

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1476
  • Country: be
    • Freelance Hardware Engineer
Re: What to do if your project is too niche for crowdfunding?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2017, 08:51:46 am »
Find a forum where Titanium specialists hang out. If they like what you do/have they will spread the word for you ;)
eBay shop with all the gear you need!
FS: Agilent 54825A, R&S CMU200, CRTU, SMIQ06L, Marconi 6201B, Lecroy WP 950, 9354TM, 9354M, 9374L LC584A, Tek THS720P, TDS7154B, Anritsu MG3671A 2.75G I/Q RF gen, Keithley 238 SMU, HP 8642B, 8903A, 8110A, 8156A

Offline julianhigginson

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 696
  • Country: au
Re: What to do if your project is too niche for crowdfunding?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 02:08:34 am »
yeah, sounds like you need to find a customer/partner who wants the product and is prepared to take the risk to give you a chance to build it for them.

You will need to work on your marketing material/approach - showing a customer what exactly the benefits are that you can deliver, and convince them of how close you are to being able to deliver real benefits...

Then spend a bunch of time identifying possible customers and talk to them about what you can do for them, and what you need in return.

Unless you can re purpose the underlying tech to something more consumer related? you could always come back to the industrial applications later?
The following users thanked this post: MasterTech

Offline eclipse_real

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 6
  • Country: es
Re: What to do if your project is too niche for crowdfunding?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2018, 09:13:21 pm »
A bit of a delayed answer here.... :-//

You can make your product "custom" / "bespoke" for each customer. In this case because it will be unique, your customers would/should expect to pay some significant portion of the fee up front (since you cannot sell a "bespoke" product to someone else.)

Just go start selling.

Offline T3sl4co1l

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 13926
  • Country: us
  • Expert, Analog Electronics, PCB Layout, EMC
    • Seven Transistor Labs
Re: What to do if your project is too niche for crowdfunding?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2018, 12:03:45 am »
That's exactly what I do! ;D  But it's not exactly something you can put in an online cart.  Custom product development lies in the $10k's range and up!

If you had a semi-standard product, with configurable options, but it's not something that's a few jumpers and cables hanging off of a set of standard boards but one-off prototype kinds of production, you'd be hard pressed to sell such a thing for below $2k (and still pay yourself fairly).

I don't doubt that there are industrial (or test or lab or research) customers with needs that can be filled by products meeting that description!  But it will of course be a low quantity thing, and you'll have to search to find those customers with exactly those needs.

This is maybe getting close to the kind of stuff Mike does (@mikeselectricstuff), I don't know how much of his hardware is reusable versus custom per project -- but there is inevitably a lot of custom hardware associated with the big system projects he works on, so his customers would be looking at it in terms of total project cost, not unit cost or NRE.

Seven Transistor Labs, LLC
Electronic design, from concept to prototype.
Bringing a project to life?  Send me a message!

Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo