Aiming to solve the myriad of problems that bog down Kickstarter projects, Entrepreneur Jamie Siminoff launched the new crowd funding site Christie Street with the goal of providing “a platform that gave inventors the support they needed to succeed.” Will the more filtered process of launching a project encourage more inventors to launch, or will it turn them away?
SS: What prompted you to start a crowdfunding site specific to inventors?
JS: We used Kickstarter for our first product and loved the platform but with their new guidelines we knew that DoorBot would not be allowed on the site – just like Lockitron. So we began looking for an alternative but quickly realized there wasn’t a platform out there that gave inventors the support they needed to succeed, and so Christie Street was born.
SS: What were some of the strengths and weaknesses you noticed with the Kickstarter process?
JS: Their strengths included great visibility and an overall awesome platform run by great people, however they don’t audit the products or escrow the funds, they leave backers and inventors vulnerable when issues arise, which forces them to enact rules that have negatively affected the product category.
SS: How is the process of launching a campaign different from that of Kickstarter or other crowd funding platforms?
JS: We do a third party audit of the factory where the product is going to be made, we check the design to make sure that it is feasible to manufacture (i.e. DFM approved), we escrow the funds once the campaign ends, we assist the inventors with PR strategy, and then help with cost analysis and amount they should raise.
SS: What sort of projects are you expecting people to launch from Christie Street? How big/small, complicated?
JS: There isn’t any particular type of product we look for. It can be anything really – big or small, simple or complex, so long as it’s feasible we will leave it to the believers and buyers to determine whether or not it should be made into a reality.
SS: Do you have any long term goals for Christie Street besides offering a crowdfunding platform, like offering resources and advice for Makers/Inventors?
JS: We have many long term goals such as assisting inventors with design, bringing manufacturing jobs to the U.S., we’d like to assist with U.S. manufacturing, design, for now we’re just trying to build a successful marketplace.
SS: Similar to how Kickstarter now requires a proof-of-concept in the application process versus a rendering, are you on the same boat with that philosophy?
JS: We don’t believe that a proof of concept is any more valid than a rendering because a proof of concept does not necessarily guarantee that it can be manufactured, or what the unit cost of the product is.
SS: What is your target market with Christie Street?
JS: Anyone who loves cool, innovative, and unique products. We know this won’t be easy, but we also believe that this type of platform is necessary for the community of inventors and believers. We’re committed to supporting the inventor community, and the passionate believers that drive it. Please feel free to tell (SolidSmack) readers that we love feedback so don’t hesitate to reach out with suggestions, ideas, or questions – we’re happy to chat!
To launch your own project or find out more, head over to Christie Street!