← Techstars Blog

This article is written by Kristen Knipp, VP Marketing, Product Marketing & Brand at Bigcommerce

Recently, I had the honor of presenting at UP Summit. The presentation, “How should I prepare for Crowdfunding?,” was based on the lessons my husband, John, and I learned when we successfully crowdfunded our invention, RingSafe, on Kickstarter earlier this year. Check it out:

Based on the conversations I had after the talk, it struck me that while many entrepreneurs are interested in crowdfunding, few know how to run a campaign or whether it’s right for them. Those side chats inspired me to distill my knowledge into a few blog posts and a decision tree.

The first post was on the benefits and drawbacks of crowdfunding. You can see full descriptions of each of these in the original post, but for reference here they are:

Benefits of crowdfunding

  • It validates the market
  • You receive valuable consumer feedback
  • It can rake in legitimacy and exposure
  • You could receive funds

Drawbacks of crowdfunding

  • It’s a lot of work
  • You pay a percentage of what you raise
  • Most campaigns fail
  • Funds might not always be allocated for growth

Before you decide you want to give crowdfunding a go, ask yourself five questions to determine whether it’s right for you:

  1. Is your idea targeted and specific?

  2. Do you need to keep your idea secret or under wraps?

  3. Can you define a specific and attainable funding goal?

  4. Will you benefit from market validation?

  5. Do you already have a fan base for your idea?

If you need a deeper dive into any of the questions, here’s my post “Considering crowdfunding? Answer these 5 questions first.” Also, check out this decision free and crowdfunding resources onesheet I created or ask me questions on Twitter.




  • Great advice Lauren. We have worked with hundreds of start-ups from around the world and these are the top questions we review from the start. Shared with our followers…