We all know it. Social proof is the tool that every founder needs to unlock funding. What happens to those entrepreneurs who don’t have easy access to quality investors though? As a first time entrepreneur it can be difficult to get access to brand name investors. It’s also just as difficult to get traction, something that’s also useful for attracting funding. But to get traction, you likely need funding. So it’s a bit of a catch-22 situation here, especially if you don’t live anywhere near Silicon Valley. It is therefore not a big surprise to see a bit of an emerging new trend among up-and-coming entrepreneurs: launch on Kickstarter first and onAngelList second.
Here are three startups that have successfully done this recently:
earthCell is Netflix for batteries. You get a box of batteries, use them, return them back to earthCell in the mail, they send you a new pack while re-charging the ones you’ve used. earthCell started out on Kickstarter with the goal of raising $17,300, but ended up over-subscribing to a total of $24,711 from 689 backers. After this success, the startup has had enough funding to actually launch (my wireless keyboard is currently powered by these batteries), and they’ve joinedAngelList, raising funding fromGeneral Catalyst Partners andKurt House and getting[Jason Calacanis as an advisor.
Ninja Blocks are really cool physical blocks that connect your things to the web. Ninja Blocks are so fascinating (I highly recommend watching their video to really understand their true power), they way over-subscribed theirKickstarterround, raising a total of $102,935 past their goal of $24,000 from a total of 578 backers. Ninja Blocks launchedon AngelList this past week, and have already gotten 128 followers. They also have a few investors, including Ryan Junee, Nick Holmes A Court, and Ash Fontana. Ninja Blocks is also participating in the Australian[Startmate incubator since January 2012, so it looks like they’ve joined Kickstarter after joining this incubator.
Ubooly is a cuddly creature for kids, powered by your iPhone or iPod touch. Check out this video of kids playing with Ubooly. RememberFurby? It’s kind of like that but a lot more intelligent and educational for kids. Ubooly is still in the process of raising fundingon Kickstarter, and with 36 more days to go, it looks like the company will very likely reach their goal of $25,000 - they’re at $17,627 right now. Meanwhile, Ubooly just joinedAngelList, and is already popular with 72 followers andBrad Feld being the first commenter on their profile. They’ve also already been funded by[Dan Soha, President of Five Mill Ventures.
The bottom-line is that Kickstarter is a great platformto get “traction” on before raising serious funding if you’re a first time entrepreneur or are just not well connected with Silicon Valley. Of course, this strategy does have it’s risks. For one, if your project is super successful on Kickstarter, copycats who are better connected than you are might take your idea and execute better on it.
Do you think it’s a good idea for startups to raise funding Kickstarter first and AngelList second?
](http://angel.co/dan-soha) ](http://angel.co/startmate-exploration-fund) ](http://angel.co/jason)