New start-ups in today's world have more options available to them than ever before. Truly we are at a time in our history where entrepreneurs in any industry, especially start-ups like Catzenpup, now have opportunties for exposure that were never available even 5 years ago.
Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have really come into their own and are now household names in many communities, such as the film, art, design, and tech communities.
Many people when starting a new business or looking to take an exisiting business to the next level will often decide that opening up the business to different levels of investors is a logical step for anyone looking to grow their business.
Some small business owners that have been operating successfully for awhile may even be approached by investors, particularly shows like Shark Tank may reach out to young businesses that are proving to be successful and ask them to write a proposal to appear on the show.
Shark Tank is a great opportunity for a small business to receive national attention to their brand. The chance to pitch an idea to wealthy venture capitalists is something that many small business owners only dream of. However, along with the amazing chance to have a VC come on board is the hours and hours of hard work, planning, maneuvering, creating and implementing strategic goals, and much more, from developing social media platforms and engaging potential fans to writing FAQ documents.
Indeed, the exact same thing is true about crowdfunding a business on Kickstarter or Indiegogo or any of the other numerous platforms to raise awareness, funds, and fans for a small business.
So which one does a small business owner choose? There is no right or wrong answer. Each entrepreneur that uses these platforms to foster interest and generate financial backing to his or her new business will use them different ways and while there is some data that is being generated there is still much that is unknown. Entrepreneurs are typically savvy thinkers, who are willing to take risks and fail in order to learn and become successful. The more successful an entrepreneur wishes to become, the more risks they have to be willing to take.
"The greater the risks, the greater the rewards," has never been a more truer statement than in relation to funding a small business on Kickstarter or Shark tank. And some brave souls like Gary at ReKixx (aka ReMIxx) decided to do BOTH at the SAME time!
The main difference is that crowdfunding a project means an entrepreneur will be pitching to thousands of potential "investors", rather than pinning his or her success to a handful of highly paid "sharks" who are negotiating for equity of a company or even a royalty paid in perpetuity. These sharks are angling for a payout which could easily add up to millions of dollars over a lifetime. With Kickstarter, the project creator is in control. They are in charge of creating the pitch and he or she decides the financial goals and decide how the funds will be spent, without sacrificing equity in their business.
On Kickstarter, the contributions come in all sizes but a typical reward level for backing a project on Kickstarter will usually be an exchange for the product. This is the case with the Catzenpup automatic pet feeder, where a backer will have the opportunity to invest a small amount of funds (less than the MSRP) in order to not only receive the automatic wet food feeder that will revolutionize the way pet parents and pets interact at meal time, but also guarantee that the Catzenpup automatic wet food feeder comes to market successfully.
The Catzenpup inventor, Garrett Wilson, decided to launch his small business on Kickstarter. Garrett and his wife Aimee have been using the home made prototype he built of the automatic feeder with their 18 year old cat, Amber for a few years. Friends, family and fellow pet owners have often commented on the unique device, and many had expressed interest in owning one for themselves. With Garrett's experience in product engineering design and development it occurred to him that the Catzenpup automtic feeder could bring peace of mind to pet parents around the globe.
Now the dream is becoming a reality. The automatic wet food feeder is planned to launch on Kickstarter in November and be ready for production and shipping as soon as Spring of 2015.
Busy pet parents who feed their cat or dog wet food will soon be able to go to work, sleep in, run errands, visit the gym, pick up kids, or thousands of other things now knowing that their pet will get a FRESH, newly opened wet food meal at the pet's required feeding time.