How to Succeed on Kickstarter
Turing Tumble

How to Succeed on Kickstarter

The founders of North Oaks-based Turing Tumble have raised $1.7 million on Kickstarter for their educational games. They offer crowdfunding advice.

At a time when raising venture capital has become a badge of honor for many startups, Alyssa and Paul Boswell went old school, relatively speaking. They needed $40,000 to launch their first educational game, Turing Tumble. They raised $400,000 on Kickstarter. Last year, the couple, who work out of North Oaks, did it again with their follow up game, the soon-to-be-released Spintronics, raising $1.3 million on Kickstarter.

“The thing about launching a business this way, on Kickstarter, is every person that buys your product is investing in you, and you’re giving them something back,” CEO Alyssa Boswell said on a recent episode of By All Means podcast. “What a cool, grassroots way to develop a business.”

The Boswells offer these tips to standout and succeed at crowdfunding:

  1. Share your story. People will feel more compelled to invest when they know something about you and your motivation.
  2. Take people along on the journey. Show them your office, share the product in development. Make them feel like part of the team, and invested in the product’s success.
  3. Make sure your product is a good fit for the platform you’re using. Kickstarter works well for consumer facing products. Other startups, without a tangible product that you can show, might be better suited to Go Fund Me or other sites.
  4. Get your Kickstarter page all ready, and then devote 4 to 6 weeks to obtaining earned media (reporters writing about your company). This helps to build buzz around the fundraising effort in advance of the Kickstarter launch date.
  5. Make sure your content (videos, graphics, photos) is high quality. Kickstarter is a great platform for people getting started, but the quality of your content will make potential backers have confidence that you will be able to deliver what you are promising.
  6. Spend time learning from other successful Kickstarter projects and read the blogs and articles from those people. There is a wealth of information out there and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can learn about how to frame the campaign, how to set the price, how to manage shipping, and what backers are looking for.

Listen now: On By All Means Alyssa and Paul Boswell share the story of how they came up with the idea for Turing Tumble, and how it went from a side project to a $4.5 million business in four years.