UK-Based Hyperstarter Provides Hands-On Advice On Improving Kickstarter Campaigns

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Hyperstarter already raised an additional 4 million Euro for campaign owners using a hands-on approach. Founder & CEO Giles Dawe on the most common pitfalls and ways to improve crowdfunding campaigns:

How would you describe Hyperstarter in a few words?

Hyperstarter is web based company and analytics tool that works with crowdfunding campaigns and gives valuable advice on how to make them successful.

UK-Based Hyperstarter Provides Hands-On Advice On Improving Kickstarter Campaigns

Giles Dawe, Founder & CEO Hyperstarter

What inspired you to create the platform? How did it you discover the need for it?

I had a site called Gifts and Coupons and I was receiving regular crowdfunding campaigns submitted to our inbox. I was turning away these potential customers because our website promoted existing physical gifts, not crowdfunded products which may or may not be made.

I was getting so many inquiries related to crowdfunding, that I decided to look into the biggest reward based platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Then I discovered that, on average, only 30% of campaigns reached their initial funding goal, so it meant around 70% of all campaigns failed.

I built Hyperstarter to check the biggest reward based platform Kickstarter and give real-time advice on how owners can improve their campaign page – for free. As we were gaining more campaign owner’s trust, I found that we were getting inquiries on how we could help further. We developed Hyperstarter into an online platform that lists campaigns on our site, social media, and our popular newsletter but we also work hands-on with owners to get their campaigns funded.

When analyzing campaigns, what parameters do you take into consideration? What can you tell us about the process?

Our tool can check a page in seconds and it focuses on a few key areas such as the amount of text on a page, the number of images and whether social media has been added.

The amount of text on a page is important, as having the right balance can determine whether a potential backer stays on your page or leaves. The same goes for the number of images on a page, as having the right imagery can attract attention, particularly in this day and age of people having a limited attention span and using devices such as mobiles to scroll through sites. Social media is important as it’s a great way for potential backers to find out more information about campaign owners and their mission.

In terms of the process of our custom work or hands-on help, we look at various factors depending on what stage the campaign owner is at and expand on them. For example, if they’re at in pre-launch stage, perhaps they need to get the word out or collect emails from potential backers in their niche. I also find it useful to look at a campaign’s closest successfully funded competitors, seeing who they connected with – whether it’s influencers, writers or sites and then approaching these individuals in a similar way.

Did you consider a crowdfunding campaign yourself?

I haven’t yet started a crowdfunding campaign, mostly because I’d want to make sure it would be fully funded on day 1 and have enough traction to survive. I did my degree in Fine Art and Design, so I think I’m quite creative. If I were to create a crowdfunding campaign, I’d choose something with a worldwide appeal, something small and useful.

One of the coolest campaigns I came across was custom decorated stickers for bank cards. I think the idea was fabulous because phones, electronics, and other items are decorated but bank cards have the same boring colors and are used every day.

More and more startups are raising funds through crowdfunding options. From your experience, what are the most common pitfalls for startups? Why do they fail in achieving their funding goals?

I find the most common pitfall is lack of preparation. The idea of just launching a campaign, hoping that others will come across it, then have the same feeling and passion as you is incredibly rare. I think it’s perhaps naive to think that because you believe your product is great, that everyone else would love it too.

Novelty products are another common pitfall, even if they do get fully funded the product is still a novelty and a startup can’t survive based on something which may not be popular in the long term.

What is the biggest challenge that Hyperstarter has faced and which were your biggest learning points?

I feel the biggest challenge is that crowdfunding is huge and it’s growing all the time, so at times it’s difficult to keep up. For example, Kickstarter has raised 2.8 billion Euro for campaign owners and around 160 new campaigns are launched daily. According to Forbes, crowdfunding has now overtaken Venture Capital funding, with over 28 billion Euro crowdfunded in 2016.

Our biggest learning point is to gain the potential client’s trust. We’ve worked on over 200 campaigns, raised an additional 4 million Euro for campaign owners and worked on projects from the British Invention of the Year to Carlos Santana’s shoes! In order to get to the stage we’re at, we had to work closely with campaign owners and of course, generate positive outcomes for the projects we work on.

I guess our unique approach is that once we work on a campaign, we really want it to succeed and feel like we’re part of the team. I think campaign owners have picked up on what we’re doing, which is why we’re seen as an alternative to big agencies who charge a fixed fee and percentage of sales for running paid adverts.

You’ve mentioned you’ve raised roughly 4 million Euro for campaign owners – what’s next for Hyperstarter?

We think we’ve got a great business model, in a popular niche sector and we’re looking to grow. We’ve already taken on our first UK member of staff and we’re looking to launch version 2 of Hyperstarter soon. This would move the hands-on work we’re doing, into a more affordable, scalable subscription-based model.

As a UK-based startup, what is one thing you wish for in improving the European startup ecosystem?

Previously Hyperstarter was based in China and only in August 2017, we moved back to the UK. We’ve been accepted into Entrepreneurial Spark, a UK-based business accelerator hub, and have some great free office space and resources to develop. We’re also working with Outset, a part of the European Regional Development Fund, who are helping us with our business plan and giving advice on raising investment.

I think a lot of competitions, loans, and grants are available in the European startup ecosystem, but it seems a very complex and a huge process to actually get them.

What’s one piece of advice you can give to fellow founders for their startup?

I would say, make sure there’s a need for your product. You don’t have to create something that everyone likes, but if you can find a specific audience and make them very happy then this is a sign of a successful startup.



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