Is CES a good venue to launch a crowd funding campaign? Is there a relationship between CES and crowd funding success? Do companies use CES for recruitment of executives and employees? What would be recommended preparations for showing off at CES? Is marketing or technology the breadwinner for this function?
We are in stealth and we are poor, but we have a few products coming out of prototype development at the end of the summer.
CES is a huge event in multiple facilities. I've gone as an attendee the past 2 shows. Not being too far out of stealth mode, I've held back on crowd funding in general for a couple of key reasons.
- You should have a good sized following that gives the impression of interest in your product/company
- Time & money needed to put together a successful campaign.
If you're poor, then CES may not get you the best bang for your buck. Companies spend upwards of $100k for a booth.
You could do Eureka park for less and it gets a lot of traffic.
The benefit I got from CES regarding crowd funding is I got to talk with reps from Arrow Electronics and Indiegogo. They have a certification program with access to resources to assist building a successful campaign. I was accepted into their program prior to going, but had the chance to get a session and demo my MVP which generated a lot of excitement from them.
To me, the certification program makes more sense if I decide to do a crowd funding campaign.
I can't really comment on recruiting as that wasn't my agenda.
As an attendee you can connect with companies face to face who come from around the world for a few days. If you are an exhibitor, you are pretty much stuck in your booth unless you have a scout come along with you.
Hope that helps.
Do not pay for these or any type of crowdfunding advice. If your product is legit and needed, you can connect to the needed investors and resources without paying money to attend some cattle call event. Feel free to connect to me.
Billy to expand a little bit…There is a lot of entrepreneurship buzz these days and probably 80% of it is noise that a truly motivated and talented entrepreneur can get caught up in, and too many do. Too many “coaches” “advisors” “certifications” on and on. It is a sea of secondary industry and business that relies on YOUR inability to roadmap your own success and have the competence to do so. You will find out who is worth their weight if you offer them an equity position payable on delivery of partnerships that are of value to your company. Now the catch to that is you have to ACTUALLY have something that can be moved NOW. I have had numerous entrepreneurs over the years waste my time when I offer to do the above deal because they have a subpar product, no product, no patents that are needed etc. I, and people like me, can not move ideas to top tier deal makers. But, if you have a solid product that has value…skip all of the noise in the industry and approach decision makers and don’t pay a dime to do it.
Your business plan, if written well, should guide you to evaluate your weak links and strengths. I have always been someone who if I wanted a review or consideration just went to the top. Think about where collaborative synergies exist, and then think about passion and pressure points. If conveyed correctly, those will open up most doors. For example, you want Company A to review your technology because they have a channel of distribution with dozens of major retailers. Lets say company A has $4 Billion in annual revenue. Company B which is in the same space could have more or less revenue. The passion approach is defining the strategy and communication that gets the CEO of Company A. to evaluate you and your product. I would say go ahead and do that for company B…C..D…whoever you are interested in. I can almost guarantee with 100% certainly, if you choose 5 companies, at least 1 CEO will pay attention to you, probably more. Best case scenario Company A CEO reviews it, has his products division marketing team review you and your product…they see a fit to distribute, and your company scales very quickly. In some cases they may want to see that you have all the production needs lined up, but with larger companies like in this example, they will have their own resources and likely take that part over because they produce in huge volumes and can cut costs far better than you can. Worst case scenario is no one is interested. Pressure point situation can arise if Company A is on the fence, but company B or C move forward. Then you can likely gain interest from uninterested companies by letting them know you are also being evaluated by competition.
Having said all of that. The above costs you absolutely zero dollars spent, other than a little time and research if you do it yourself.
Now I know some will say “But if a company like this gets involved this early they will want more ownership for bringing inhouse to produce and distribute.” My answer to this is SO WHAT. A far smaller percentage of a company this size is going to be worth a whole lot more than a greater percentage of a smaller piece of the pie. I had this conversation once with a CEO of a startup with a $500k operating budget. He quickly realized that if the larger company went on his idea, his company would be worth millions before the end of the quarter.
Regardless, my opinion…we live in the most connected and accessible time of the history of the world. You can get to the people you need to if you put some time and research into it.