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The Intrepid Entrepreneur

The Intrepid Entrepreneur is here to inspire those who are hell-bent on becoming a kick-ass entrepreneur, striving to level-up their business that they’ve started or are gearing up to launch their incredible ideas into successful small businesses! Join Kristin Carpenter-Ogden, founder of LivingUber and Verde Brand Communications, as she interviews inspirational, motivated, and kick-ass small business owners who have made their mark on the outdoor industry.
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Now displaying: May, 2016
May 27, 2016

Six years ago, crowdfunding barely even existed. Now, it seems like every start-up and invention idea is launching a crowdfunding campaign. But what sets the successful campaigns apart from the ones that don’t hit their funding goals?

I’m super excited to be talking with Roy Morejon, digital marketing powerhouse, crowdfunding expert, and President and Founder of Command Partners digital marketing on this week’s podcast. With you in mind, we’re talking about the incredibly important topic of raising funding in a constantly changing world.

Roy launched Command Partners in 2010, when crowdfunding was just beginning to show up on the scene. His company was focusing on digital media until a client approached them with a crowdfunding project. Command Partners doubled the client’s funding goal in a matter of weeks!

After this experience, Roy saw the niche need for crowdfunding expertise and started replacing retained clients with crowdfunding projects for start-ups. To date, they’ve worked on over 175 campaigns and have raised over $75 million dollars. This year, 95% of their projects have raised their full funding goals. Wow!

As Roy says, crowdfunding can be a challenge because you’re selling clients on a product they don’t know exists yet, something they might not have known they needed until they hear about it or visit your site. You only get one opportunity to get them to that page, so you want to convert them right away!

This is why crowdfunding can also be a great way to build your market—it allows you to directly interact with potential consumers and industry experts. Social media enables you to be in conversation with people interested in your product all throughout this funding and producing process.

These people supporting your campaign are the people that will become your brand evangelists. When your product launches, they’ll be the ones telling their friends that they knew about it before it was cool, maybe they can even say they tested out a prototype!

Along with all this, you’re about to hear Roy’s list of the five most important things to know about crowdfunding. It’s all super interesting and helpful, you won’t want to miss a minute of his advice!



Bravery in Business Quote

“In crowdfunding, you’re selling people on something they don’t know that they need yet. But they will.” - Roy Morejon

(click to tweet)

 

Cliff Notes

 

  • Command Partners has 15 -20 crowdfunding client a month, on average raise 100s of thousands, have run over 175 campaigns and raised $75 million
  • This is an exciting time because so many people have not heard of crowdfunding or haven’t backed their first project yet, There are 11 million backers total on Kickstarter, 15 million Indiegogo unique visitors
  • Crowdfunding allows companies to fail faster, getting direct feedback from customers and industry professionals, before they’ve sunk years of time into to project
  • An exciting new market for Roy’s business is enterprise clients—big corporations looking to use crowdfunding to test out ideas. Sony has an internal crowdfunding site for employees, GE used Indiegogo for several campaigns
  • In the past these companies would have paid for focus groups and feedback from customers but social media & crowdfunding allow them to get this crowd response for free.
  • Clients don’t have the chance to touch the product so you have to really sell them on it and make them believe that you will deliver.
  • Press is a key component in any successful campaign, connections and interviews/ PR should be arranged before the campaign launch, not just to drive it mid-campaign
  • Do your homework before the campaign launches: talk to industry, experts, make sure you are selling a product with a market and that hasn’t been made before. Build a pathway back to consumer, reach out to journalists & try to get feedback on prototype
  • To crowdfund successfully, you “gotta have that hustle”, even before you turn the key and launch the campaign
  • 90 % of crowdfunding projects don’t deliver on time, but this is often because they’re doing their due diligence, testing out the product with all of the community feedback and responses available through social media. Crowdfunding allows for easy communication channels with backers / clients so that they can understand your timeline/ process in production.

 

5 Things To Understand About Crowdfunding

 

  1. Make sure your idea is a good fit for crowdfunding
  2. Set a realistic funding goal
  3. Do your homework and pre-campaign before you launch
  4. Have good design and quality video for your site
  5. Communicate with your backers and potential customers, industry professionals, throughout this process.   




“Crowdfunding allows companies to fail faster. Take their product/business, through it out, and then pivot toward a need their consumers are stating.” - Roy Morejon

(click to tweet)

 

Resources

CommandPartners.com

TheArtOfKickstart.com - Roy’s podcast

 

Full Show Notes: IntrepidEntrepreneur.net/roy-morejon

 

May 20, 2016

I feel honored to be able to interview Martin Zemitis in this episode of the Intrepid Entrepreneur podcast.

 

Martin is the founder of SlingFin, a technical tent and shelter company headquartered in the Bay Area.

 

For 33 amazing years, Martin has served the outdoor active lifestyle markets with the world’s best tent designs. He’s literally been part of every tent innovation over the past three decades and has designed for The North Face, Sierra Designs, and Mountain Hardware.

 

What a stellar career, you might be saying. You may even think I’m about to tell you that Martin decided to retire after leaving Mountain Hardware nearly 20 years after he helped found it.

 

Well, you’d be wrong.

 

When he left Mountain Hardware, Martin was dreaming and scheming about launching his own tent brand – the one that would enable him to finally design for the user, for the harshest environments.

 

In SlingFin, his upstart company, Martin wanted to truly innovate with his passion for tent and shelter design and not be walled in by the guardrails of the wholesale market. This is where things got interesting. Martin set up SlingFin in 2010 and set about protecting his trademarks. then, like all of us entrepreneurs, he needed funding.

 

Today, in this interview, you’ll hear about the six-year battle he fought staying true to his vision while working to find the right funding solution. You’ll also hear what happens when an entrepreneur hell-bent on doing it his way collides with equity crowdfunding.

 

That’s right – Martin and SlingFin were part of the 20 company launch of the Title III Wefunder portal that went live May 16, 2016.

 

This episode tells the story about one of the outdoor industry’s absolute legendary gear designers staying true to his vision and making it work with the Wefunder platform.

 

After listening to this podcast, you’ll be convinced that things will never be the same again for entrepreneurs in the outdoor active lifestyle markets – HERE WE GO!

 

PS - Turns out that Wefunder’s Operations Director, Dylan Enright, is a former river guide and ski instructor. He wants to see the Wefunder portal become the go-to location for outdoor brands to connect with outdoor enthusiasts. I hope you enjoyed this episode of The Intrepid Entrepreneur as much as I enjoyed putting it together for you. This episode is a super important one – by going to ITunes and giving the Intrepid Entrepreneur podcast a positive rating and review, you’ll be giving Martin, SlingFIn and the WEfunder platform more visibility. And iTunes is a HUGE platform – let’s light it up for Martin!

Until next time, GO BIG!

 

 

Bravery in Business Quote

“Time in the past doesn’t mean much to me, because it’s all about what’s going to be done in the future.” – Martin Zemitis

(click to tweet)

 

Resources:

SlingFin.com

 

Slingfin: WeFunder Campaign

 

GearJunkie: Title III Jobs Act Equity Crowdfunding

 

Forbes Article About Equity Crowdfunding

 

WeFunder.com

 

Full Show Notes: IntrepidEntrepreneur.net/Martin-Zemitis

May 13, 2016

Have you ever had a business idea that you were immediately passionate about and felt on the most guttural level, an incredibly strong need to create?

You’re about to meet two outdoor founders who have gone through just that and emerged – somewhat - on the other side, successful Kickstarter campaign in hand.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, my Intrepid Entrepreneurs. Lindsey Elliott and Jainee Dial, the co-founders of Wyldergoods.com, are alive to share this story in podcast form with you today.

Lindsey and Jainee personify a modern outdoorswoman. It’s an archetype who they’re intent to serve with a new formula that’s not retail or storytelling – it’s both and it doesn’t fall under either.

Wyldergoods.com is an online marketplace, community and network hub for today’s outdoor adventure-ess.

Lindsey and Jainee didn’t stop with just the concept – they focused on creating a Benefit Corporation (B-Corp), and use their sustainability and give-back mission to screen potential brand partners on their platform.

You’re about to hear first-hand what it’s like to do a Kickstarter campaign. First of all, it’s really ((*&%$#) nerve-wracking. As Jainee says: You’re putting yourself and your ideas out there, and people judge and vote for your work with their money.

But Kickstarter is, above all, a storytelling platform, and Lindsey says it needs to treat it as one to be successful.

Let people know the story of your business and how that story is relevant to their lives. In her words, “If you believe in it fully, and you’re telling an authentic story, the people who align with that will find you.”

You won’t want to miss what else Lindsey and Jainee have to say about getting this company started, serving the greater good, and how their love for the outdoors affects their professional lives!

 

Bravery in Business Quote

 

“How can we serve a greater good, outside of a basic consumer model, and bigger than business as usual?” - Lindsey Elliott

(click to tweet)

 

The Cliff Notes

  • Focus on products that can meet a diversity of needs
  • Kickstarter is a storytelling platform, and should be treated as such if you want to be successful on it
  • Kickstarter gives potential customers an opportunity to vote with their dollars, showing their true commitment to the idea
  • There is something really nerve-wracking of putting yourself and your work out on kickstarter, with how much people judge you based on the response the dollar number
  • Find time to get away. You have to clear your mind, and find the activity that will do that for you
  • Keep the question “how can we serve the greater good?” in mind all the time
  • As money cycles through hands in the economy, businesses need to drive the economy to be more responsible
  • B-Corp: Benefit corporation. Corporations that are vetted and analyzed for the amount of good that they are doing in the world. Wilder Goods is working toward that certification

 

“If you believe in it fully, and you’re telling an authentic story, the people who align with that will find you.” - Lindsey Elliott

(click to tweet)

 

Habit for Success

Find whatever it is that recharges you, gives you renewed energy, strength and purpose, and make sure that you make time for that activity!



Resources:

 

WylderGoods.com

Wylder Goods Kickstarter Project

 

Show Notes: IntrepidEntrepreneur.net/WylderGoods

May 6, 2016

As we go through life, we tend to gradually and over time lose more and more of the enthusiasm we had as beginners in whatever field we find ourselves. Shoshin, a concept of Zen Buddhism, refers the idea that “In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities. But in the expert’s, there are few.” Believe it or not, this is why beginners can often accomplish such incredible things!

This is another SoloCast from the Intrepid Entrepreneur, and on this episode I’m introducing you to an awesome new offering I’ve been working incredibly hard on for months and months now. That is, my brand new membership site, A-Game Alliance! This is the first ever membership community designed to help entrepreneurs, founders and other leaders in the active outdoor and lifestyle industries!

If you’ve been an entrepreneur for a while, you’ve probably become a lot wiser over the years. Entrepreneurialism is a crash course in a lot of things, including business, personal skills, resourcefulness, energy, and much more. And while that knowledge and experience is valuable and essential, it’s also important that we never lose our enthusiasm for the dream that started it all!

That’s the encouragement that I want to bring you through the A-Game Alliance membership site. Whether you’re just starting out, seeking the wisdom of those who have been through it all, you’re in the middle of your journey and need inspiration to keep plugging away as well as some advice to skyrocket your results, or you consider yourself an expert in the industry, the A-Game Alliance is the place for you to learn and take your business and life to the next level!

 

Full show Notes: IntrepidEntrepreneur.net/Community

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