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Showing posts with label crowdfunding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crowdfunding. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

U-Clear Dermabrasion anti-aging, acne remover skin care

U-Clear Dermabrasion marketing poster. Image provided and used with permission.

Crowdfunding campaigns allow all kinds of products to reach the market these days. Dominique Calhoun’s offering on GoFundMe, U-Clear Dermabrasion, is a remarkable acne remover skin care product which also has anti aging properties.

Still under the age of 30 today, fourteen years ago, Dominique discovered the ingredients which became U-Clear Dermabrasion. Most teens suffer skin problems at some point or another, and Dominique was convinced that U-Clear Dermabrasion could be the answer. Moving to California was the next natural goal, and that accomplished, Dominique set about marketing U-Clear.

Dominique’s dream is that millions of people will use the product, a uniquely developed abrasive skin cleaner. Given the polluted air that many city dwellers have to endure, and the dull skin that results, this is potentially a very useful product for all ages, but may well appeal more to teenagers struggling to deal with oily, greasy, spotty skin.

Suitable for age 11 and up, U-Clear Dermabrasion is a quality exfoliative skin product which helps to remove the top layer of facial skin to leave a smoother and softer finish. This makes makeup look smoother, for a start. People can look younger and healthier, perhaps even feel better because of the compliments they are receiving. Exfoliation should not be carried out too often, as this leads to skin damage which is just as bad as the acne the product is working to clear. However, there is no doubt that softer, smoother looking skin is a goal for many teens struggling with acne, whiteheads, blackheads or oily skin.

U-Clear Dermabrasion’s business goals are clearly laid out in the GoFundMe submission: great customer service, an excellent product, competitive pricing and improved quality of life for customers as a result.

The marketing and advertising plan for U-Clear Dermabrasion includes development of a website and associated web-based support, wide-ranging education about the product plus regular analysis of customer satisfaction to improve both the product and service levels. Employees are envisaged to be qualified professionals in the skincare and cosmetics fields who also possess excellent customer service abilities.

U-Clear Dermabrasion plans to operate a wide ranging initial advertising campaign, in places customers might expect, such as healthcare, beauty and medical locations, but also utilizing local newspapers, radio and television options. The product will also be publicized via mail-outs, the company website and brochures in the offices of medical referrers. The GoFundMe page gives far more information about the marketing plans, as well as a SWOT analysis and further details on the other plans that Dominique has for U-Clear Dermabrasion.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Aravinda's Mojo aromatherapy and color therapy bracelets

Aravinda logo.
Image provided and used with permission.

Therapy comes in many forms. For some, confidence comes from wearing an item of favorite clothing, or a particular color. For others, it’s the reassurance of wearing a familiar perfume which brings back good memories.

Aravinda are developing a way to combine the power of color therapy and the popularity of aromatherapy in a range of distinctive slap bracelets. Called Mojo, the range is likely to be available in four colors - orange for physical energy, green for mental health, blue for calm and violet for spiritual strength.

The idea is that the wearer would combine the two therapies by putting a couple of drops of the appropriate essential oil onto the bracelet to make the most of the effects throughout the day.

The range is currently in development, with a Kickstarter campaign planned in a few months. Potential buyers who sign up for email updates now will receive a free aromatherapy ebook and a chance to purchase their bracelet at a discounted price once available.

The bracelets are made of microfiber with a waterproof neoprene layer and a stainless steel band to give the perfect fit. The bracelets of each color are patterned in a different way in a complementary color, and carry the brand name and the sense being worked upon. Aravinda means ‘lotus’ in Sanskrit, which explains the company’s logo. The flower also provides the inspiration for the designs on the bracelets thanks to its graceful lines.

Each bracelet will come with a vial of essential oil, but for those who wish to be adventurous, there is a wealth of resources online to help choose a suitable oil to address any specific problem. The bracelets are washable with soap and water, so it would be possible to change the oil of choice.

The bracelets’ colors are based on those used to indicate the various chakras, or energy centers, of the body. In color therapy, orange relates to the sacral chakra, green is for the heart, blue helps the throat and violet is the crown of the head. Green is also the color therapists use to settle their clients. Orange promotes effective circulation and revitalizes the receiver. Blue is a relaxing color and is often used to treat nerves and insomnia. Violet is the head color, when used in therapy over the head and neck it promotes the flow of subtle energies around the body.

Aravinda hope that their Mojo bracelets will bring the worlds of aromatherapy and color therapy together in an imaginative way, offering both benefit and style to wearers. The mailing list is now open, so interested potential backers can learn more from the founders as development continues.

Aravinda logo,
Image provided and used with permission.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Lian & Méz watches - wearable sustainability

Lian & Méz logo
Image provided and used with permission.

The watchmaker’s art is alive and well in the age of the smartphone.

That’s a bold statement to start with, but what Lian & Méz are doing with their crowdfunded sustainable watch is even more unusual. They are mixing finest German precision watchmaking with Swiss-made traditional movement and a sustainable and eco-friendly vibe. Designed to appeal to those who like to make a statement with classic jewellery while still remaining ethically sound, the Lian & Méz range has straps handmade from Piñatex pineapple leaf fibers. These fibers are a natural byproduct of pineapple farming, which gives growers another source of income alongside their fruit harvest.

The watches are a real talking point, not only because they look good, but because of their ethical strength. What’s more, they are fully customizable, with cases, dials, indices and straps available in a variety of colors. The cases are available in 36mm (ladies) or 40mm (gents) diameter with the straps sized accordingly, and the straps themselves are interchangeable. The company hopes to receive enough pledges to enter full production soon but in the meantime, if their target is met, those ordering watches by pledging money will be contacted at the end of the fundraising process to finalize their order. All watches bought through the crowdfunding campaign will come with a two year warranty.


The Kickstarter page is very detailed, with information on the history of the company and the founders’ hopes for the future. It has taken them two years to reach this stage, concentrating on the sustainability and quality aspects of their product. They are hoping for €25,000 on an all or nothing basis by the end of March 2017, and if that goal is achieved they hope to start full production of their Fifth Season range shortly afterwards, with delivery to backers over the summer. Using the hashtag #wearsustainable, founders Julian and Feramez are stressing their respect and responsibility to the natural world as well as tapping into the current interest in low-impact living.

The duo hope that their Kickstarter campaign funds will allow them to place their first large order, produce tooling, work on new designs, shake up the watch industry and support the pineapple-growing countries where they will source their Piñatex pineapple leaf fibers.

Levels of backing can start from as little as €1, but to get their hands on a watch, backers will have to choose at least the Super Early Bird offer of one watch for €139. This offers a saving of almost 50% on the projected retail price of €269. There is an option with an extra strap for €185 and an offer for couples of two watches plus extra straps for €359.

Lian & Méz has been featured in many of the leading German and English business magazines for their mix of fashionable design and ethical sourcing. In addition, Piñatex has been approved as a vegan product by PETA.

One of Lian & Méz’s watches would make a memorable gift for someone on a special birthday, or allow couples to commemorate a significant date in their lives. Interested would-be backers have until the early hours of Monday 27 March to place their pledge.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Koorier is crowdfunding a delivery and ride-sharing app

The Koorier logo.
Image provided and used with permission of developer.

Ride sharing apps are not new. Neither are adverts for car shares on long journeys. Relatives and friends have been delivering items to family members for years, packing clothes and foodstuffs into their luggage or cars to take to others around the world. For cash strapped students, frequent flyers and other entrepreneurial types who know where to look, the option to fly for less by offering to personally deliver an item to someone living in the destination location has been available for some time, although not widely known about.

Koorier aims to combine all of these options in one app and offer the opportunity for people and objects to be transported from point A to point B quickly and cheaply. Now open for fundraising on indiegogo, Koorier hopes to blaze a trail in delivery/courier services to allow people to bypass the often high costs of traditional organizations.

Founder Patrick Pernia says that he came up with the idea after finding out that he had a choice between sending something express for nearly $100 or paying less but having a delivery time of several weeks. The idea is that Koorier will be divided into two areas, sending items with someone from one location to another destination and taking people in a ride share from one place to another.

Parcel delivery
All items should be presented for carrying unwrapped, otherwise the delivery person (‘koorier’) could land in all kinds of trouble with customs or border controls. Other than the fact that all items offered for delivery should be legal to take into the destination country or location, the choice is open to the sender and koorier to agree a deal. The price is offered by the sender and accepted by the koorier. On safety grounds, it is advised that sender and koorier meet to finalize the arrangement and hand over the item in a public location.

Ride sharing

Just as people want to have goods delivered as cheaply as possible, so many want to travel for less money. The ride sharing aspect of Koorier plans to address that, with drivers offering spaces in their vehicle and travelers suggesting the price they are willing to pay to make the trip. Any form of road-legal vehicle is permissible, as long as it is made clear to the traveler wishing to take the space.

The Koorier website has much more information about how this app will work if successfully crowdfunded. It certainly seems as if Patrick has tapped into the sharing economy boom at just the right time, and it may be that, given a few years, the courier standing at your door with an eBay package is someone contracted by the seller of the item rather than a representative from a multi-national.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

YourCrowdfundingTeam is the next generation of crowdfunding

Currency money dollar by geralt on pixabay. CC0.


Crowdfunding is a big deal these days. People are setting up pages for all kinds of reasons and with many different sites. I’ve written about people seeking crowdfunding for medical treatment for themselves and others or looking for investors to bankroll an invention. Personally, I have attended events paid for by crowdfunding donations, and received freebies for being there. I’ve heard about crowd sourced money helping families hit by house fires, animal shelters restocking toys and food after flooding and even newly-married couples asking perfect strangers to pay for their honeymoon.

It wasn’t going to be long, therefore, before a site arrived to show would-be crowdfunders how to achieve their goals of funding just about anything. YourCrowdfundingTeam, an intentional leveraged sharing community, suggests they have found the perfect way to receive funding for everything from tuition fees to church projects, medical bills, business startups and community projects. They bill themselves as the ‘next generation crowdfunding platform’.

The introductory video mentions all the reasons I’ve just touched on above for starting a crowdfunding project. Their suggestion is that either causes are begging or selling something in order to get funding, even if they use traditional crowdfunding methods. But with this new system, the project originator becomes a solution provider. The way crowdfunding is run through YourCrowdfundingTeam is that each new member pays a donation to the project of the person who introduced them. They then earn the right to open their own project and receive funding in turn from others. There are no quotas, no fees and no minimum amounts. As each person reaches each goal, they can choose to share a percentage of the money they have received with other projects, in a 50-25-25 split to bump up others’ totals. This ‘stepping up’ means that they move up a level in the funding tree. It’s like a viral effect for crowdfunding, based on the ‘reap what you sow’ school of thought. By paying it forward to others, funders will lead by example and be more likely to reach their own goal. Meantime, their own exposure remains at the level of the initial donation they gave to the person who introduced them, as everything else raised is from donations to their own project. It’s similar to word of mouth marketing, where success breeds success.

For prospective crowdfunding candidates, there are three steps to starting a new project. First, join the site. Then, donate to the person who introduced you (because you followed a link to get there), then finally set your own project up and promote it. Self entitlement is not going to get anyone anywhere long term, sharing is good and the more members share, the quicker they will rise through the steps and be able to help others with the money raised. Of course, YourCrowdfundingTeam also provides training materials and tips on how best to proceed, so even people who have a dream but no idea how to realize it can look to crowdfunding for the solution.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

FLYBi - more than a drone, and crowdfunded

FLYBi official logo. Used with permission.

A drone shaped something like the Starship Enterprise, available in a rainbow of colors, that gives pilots a firsthand flying experience via a wearable wrist screen and virtual reality goggles? That’ll be FLYBi.

FLYBi is set to be crowdfunded from summer 2015 with a kit including a pair of head tracker goggles with inbuilt video screens, a wearable wrist screen, a multipurpose ‘helideck’ storage system, the capacity to take aerial photos and more.

Designed by a group of engineers from Miami, under the Advance Robotix Corporation banner, the FLYBi is a more automated version of the drones currently available. It can take photographs and videos in flight, and you can then share them via the cloud and social media. CEO Tim Voss is understandably enthusiastic about launching a crowdfunding campaign over the summer for this revolutionary new bit of kit. He firmly believes it is a natural successor to the remote controlled cars some geekier families have enjoyed in the past.

The first FLYBis will be available to order via a well known (and as yet unconfirmed) crowdfunding site in the late summer. This will be a beta prototype, with delivery expected in early 2016. The team believe that FLYBi is more than a drone, as it automates the complicated parts of RC flying to leave more time for the controller to enjoy the experience of owning this device. It even has a system of automated battery charging which leads to very little downtime. Now, if only phones and laptops could be similarly helpful!

In the official product specifications, FLYBi is described as ‘an entire set of devices that work together’. It sounds like part computer, part aircraft, part virtual reality headset. With its filming and photography techniques, owners will have to ensure they abide by local and federal laws relating to the use of drones and remote controlled devices. Once those requirements are met, it could be used to gain a bird’s eye view of geography, nature and even other humans. The four parts of the set are designed to work optimally together (the drone, the wearable controller, the tracker goggles and the helideck docking system) but the remote control can be programmed to work with other makes of drone, at the owner’s risk. The FLYBi and controller will be available together; the goggles and helideck are to be offered as extras to the basic package. It will also be possible to buy the goggles and gimbal separately for use with other drones but again, modifications to the drone and the software will be required, and are undertaken at the owner’s risk.

The FLYBi is designed to be very stable so as to give optimum pictures and video. It has thick propeller covers for maximum safety and a sophisticated obstacle avoidance system. The wrist wearable remote control has dedicated buttons for takeoff, landing, hover modes as well as one touch operations for photography and video capture. The screen is almost 2 inches wide and has anti-glare glass for optimum viewing. The goggles allow the wearer to obtain the unique bird’s eye view which is the major selling point of this drone. The tracker gimbal in the drone follows the wearer’s head movements and allows a true panoramic in-flight view of the surroundings. The goggles have two internal screens which capture real time front facing live feed as the drone flies

On the ground, the helideck performs all the other necessary functions. It is a combined landing pad, battery charger and storage device. FLYBi’s helideck can be mounted on a vehicle roof rack for ease of transportation, or even connected to an external power source to keep the batteries fully charged. The designers hope this will lead to unlimited flying time, although given the beta nature of the project this is not guaranteed. Rather helpfully, the helideck also includes two external USB power points to charge other devices. Battery changing and charging is fully automated robotically, requiring no pilot involvement.

The drone has dedicated storage space in the cloud for its photographs and video, which can be uploaded automatically once the drone returns home to the helideck. There are embedded tools for sharing the videos and images to assorted social media platforms, so pilots can show off their device’s capabilities. Video capture and photography are controlled via the wrist rest without the need to wear the goggles. However, wearing the goggles will enhance the bird’s eye view experience, making it fully immersive.

The FLYBi website is detailed, including access to the full press kit and FAQs. Initial orders will only be accepted through the crowdfunding platform, and potential customers are advised to join the mailing list to keep up to speed with developments and release dates. Advance Robotix maintains that the idea behind FLYBi is to have an easy to fly device which brings the joy back to flying while delivering state of the art visuals to the pilot. FLYBi should not lose signal, but if it does, it is programmed to return to the Helideck or start position immediately.

As FLYBi is crowdfunded, the funders will have the final say about which features should be included in the first full production model. So not only will pilots buying at this early stage be able to enjoy a fully first person view experience with their new device, they will actually become involved in the production itself. Mailing list subscribers will be the first to hear anything further so interested parties are advised to sign up now.


FLYBi components - FLYBi, helideck, tracker goggles and wrist wearable controller.
Image used with permission.
 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Healing Rahena's Heart

Rahena, Monir and their sons. Image supplied by the founders of Koala Karma relaxation beverage.


We’re all used to seeing the heartfelt advertisements for charitable relief efforts following natural disasters by now. Almost everyone must have seen one, whether it was a television broadcast for urgent assistance after an earthquake, a call by an international relief fund for basic supplies to help establish a camp for refugees of a local civil war, or a national charity’s pleas for donations to help child or animal victims of abuse.

Occasionally someone puts a face to the suffering. Michael Buerk’s famous BBC news report from Ethiopia was the catalyst for Live Aid, because it brought starving children front and centre of everyone’s consciousness. The Rohingya have come to the attention of international media as they flee their erstwhile homeland in Myanmar (which some people will know as Burma) because they are no longer recognized as citizens there. This has led to large numbers of refugees arriving in Bangladesh, a country not far above the poverty line itself and ill-equipped to help the new arrivals. However, the Rohingya are doing their best to help themselves, and thus it is that people such as Rahena are looking after the disabled and children in their community, teaching them and supporting them, despite not being in the best of health themselves.

Rahena, a second generation refugee, who has been in Bangladesh all her life after her parents fled Myanmar, suffers from rheumatic heart disease. Her husband Monir explains more about their situation in a piece he wrote for the iPledg page Healing Rahena’s Heart. The young husband and wife (he’s 28, she’s 22), together with their three children (a son aged 4 and twin sons aged 2), have been dealing with her serious illness while trying to maintain a life for themselves in the refugee camp at Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh. The initial iPledg page was designed to raise just AUS$720 (US$570) to allow Rahena to travel from Cox’s Bazaar to Dhaka for further tests. That target met, the next hurdle is to raise the US$2,550 for the cost of the heart surgery that Rahena needs.

At the time of writing, AUS$1,060 of the larger total has been pledged. That's about one third of the cost of Rahena's surgery. As Monir says, Rahena wants to 'give education to her children and her community.' The Rohingya already face many challenges. Education will allow them a way out of the refugee camps. Rahena is still young and, with the chance of surgery, has the opportunity to continue educating and caring for not only her own three young sons, but also the children of others in the camp.

The alternative is grim. Without surgery, Rahena, like many Rheumatic Heart Disease sufferers, will die prematurely. Her young sons will lose their mother, and a loving husband will lose his wife.

The Rohingya are among the world's most persecuted communities. Monir, Rahena and their three sons have already faced more hardship than many. Please consider pledging to help Rahena have the life saving surgery she needs. After surgery, she will repay that pledge by continuing to help her fellow refugees, passing on the gift of hope that you gave her.