If you don't already know, I regularly help fund businesses on Kickstarter. Every couple weeks I login to the site and search for vegan or vegetarian (veg*an) companies. So far I've "backed" (Kickstarter's term for putting money towards a project) 4 successful veg*an companies, 2 musicians, and 1 soon-to-be successful veg*an company. You can view my Kickstarter profile here. Usually I back a company with only $10-$20. It doesn't take much to help a new business get off the ground. That's the power of scaling using the Kickstarter platform.
The way Kickstarter works is the business (or artist or other) submits a proposal with how much money they want and what kind of rewards backers will receive. Backers get different rewards based on how much they give to the project. If Kickstarter approves the proposal the project goes live and it's time to get the word out! If the amount of funding needed is reached then the project is successful and backers are charged. If it's not reached then the backers don't have to pay anything. There is no risk to you if one of the projects you back isn't funded.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris and Caleb from Bearded Bros, an organic snack food company I backed (with $10; as my reward I got 2 energy bars) a couple of months ago. I e-mailed them once the project was successfully funded and, knowing I'd be in their hometown of Austin, asked if I could pick up my reward in person and also interview them for RidiculouslyExtraordinary. As smart business people they said yes. :)
Also! Chris and Caleb were kind enough to offer a 15% off discount code (expires March 31) to y'all: ridiculous
Just type that in when you check out from their store and you'll get 15% off their organic energy bars.
Watch the interview below ... (Click here if you're viewing this via e-mail and can't see the video.)
- 00:00 - Introduction
- 00:20 - Why they used Kickstarter.
- 00:40 - The process for submission to Kickstarter.
- 01:05 - How much they raised.
- 01:16 - Why funding didn't take off in the beginning.
- 01:55 - Why they chose the name Bearded Bros.
- 02:34 - Are they real brothers?
- 02:50 - Using social media to spread the word.
- 03:35 - Different Kickstarter backing levels.
- 03:58 - The excitement of getting fully funded.
- 04:38 - How to get an extra $10-15 from each backer.
- 04:58 - How much Kickstarter takes from the funding total.
- 05:20 - How long it takes to get the money once fully funded.
- 05:43 - Getting started before all the money came in.
- 05:59 - Using friends/strangers to figure out the direction for their flavors.
- 06:49 - The power of co-working space.
- 07:38 - Some of the challenges of their business.
- 08:02 - The love of healthy snacks & business.
- 08:35 - Hitting the streets to get the product out to stores.
- 09:40 - Final thoughts about starting a food company.
If one of your goals is to start a small business then one of your other goals should be to support small businesses. So check out the Bearded Bros and buy their awesome energy bars. They're organic, vegan, gluten free, and exceptionally tasty. (I'm serious. They are really good!) I recommend the Ginger Peach flavor, but you know, that's just a rec. Do what you will. ;)
P.S. The 15% off coupon code is: ridiculous - use it at beardedbros.com (expires March 31).