I'm not sure if you need a subscription for this article or not. 4/5/13 Bend Bulletin.
Eight local firms seek Kickstarter funds
Projects range from cable-suspended video cameras to a maker of growlers
By Rachael Rees / The Bulletin
Published: April 05. 2013 4:00AM PST
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Nick Braun, of LineCam Systems, shows off his company's cable-suspended camera system Thursday, which Braun hopes to use to get better action video of mountain biking. LineCam Systems is seeking funding through a Kickstarter campaign.
Rob Kerr / The Bulletin
Three years ago, Nick Braun started searching for a new way to film mountain biking. Unable to find a product on the market that gave him the perspective he desired, the Bend resident set off to make one himself.
Today, Braun — partner and designer of LineCam Systems — hopes to finance production of his cable-suspended camera system through a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign.
Braun's project is one of eight active Kickstarter campaigns in Central Oregon, ranging from a clothing-line startup in Redmond and a growler maker in Bend, to renovations of the Belfry community event center in Sisters.
Braun and others with Kickstarter projects seek funding pledges from website visitors, who often receive rewards, depending on the amount pledged. A project must meet its fundraising goal by a specified date, or it won't receive any of the money raised. The Web has many crowd-funding sites, but Kickstarter is one of the better known.
As of Thursday, 92,824 Kickstarter fundraising campaigns had launched, with about 44 percent successfully reaching their goals, according to the website.
With 18 days to go, funding for Braun's project had reached 20 percent of its $15,474 goal, as of Thursday.
“The Kickstarter thing is really exciting for us because it involves the community and gets people supporting something local," he said.
Zeke Kamm, who's successfully raised money twice through Kickstarter, launched a third campaign March 25 for his camera dolly system, The Rocket. Within 10 hours, he met his $25,000 goal, and as of Thursday pledges had reached $50,182 with 40 days left in the campaign.
Although he's met his goal, he said, the work doesn't stop.
“The bigger your Kickstarter, the more exposure, and the more chance you have of your project being a success even after the Kickstarter ends," said Kamm, founder of Nice Industries, a Bend camera equipment and accessory company. “The goal is just the minimum that you need to launch the project, actually manufacture. But you have all kinds of other developmental expenses that it would be nice to recoup."
Inspired by Kamm's success, Bend resident Dustin Driver started a campaign to produce The Freelance, a gear/laptop bag, for his company, Packswell.
“It's a great place to test out your idea or product before manufacturing it and bringing it to market," he said. “Through Kickstarter and other crowd funding sites, you can test out whether or not it is viable, whether or not it will resonate with people."
Half way through his campaign, funding pledges have surpassed the 50 percent mark. But Driver said they have slowed. Regardless of whether he makes his goal or not, he said, the learning experience has been valuable.
“I may have to re-list the campaign with a lower funding goal," he said. “At this point it's about getting as many eyes on the site as possible ... The more people who see it, obliviously the more people will buy it."
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