ITM301 Module 1, Case 1

To start with, I have never heard of crowdfunding until this class. And I am really impressed on this great way for entrepreneurs to find way to fund by business or idea by having people “back” them up and support their market. I have explored the Kickstarter website and browsed through various of project people have ask people to fund. I find the website really interesting because there are a lot of ideas here that are really good and could make a change to the world but that also scares me to think what if someone just comes here to steal idea from these people and use it as theirs to start a business because they have the capital. I guess that something to think about.

With that being said, the project I decided to go with is called Unocup. This is a new to-go paper coffee cup that is foldable and there is no need of lids. With the use of this new coffee cups they are able to build a healthier earth with cleaner oceans. While making this cup, they used a well-tested design to create the lid of the cup by using an easy 3 step folding process to craft its own lid as a top for the cup. Tom Chan and Kaanur Papo are both the Co-Founders of Unocup. Tom came up with the idea of making a new paper coffee cup that will get rid of plastic lids because he was frustrated by the amount of waste of lids on the streets. The prototype of the cup gained a lot of attention and got to will a prize of $100,000 in the international design contest New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize (Kickstarter, 2019). Then years later, Tom teamed up with his friend Kaanur to make the cup come to life.

They are approaching their customers by making a cleaner planet with Unocup. They claim 8.25 million tons of plastic waste enters the ocean each year and these types of plastics takes millions of years to decompose. NYC alone uses disposable plastic lids each year that could wrap around the earth three time over (Kickstarter, 2019). By using Unocup, you will be helping the movement of a cleaner earth while still enjoying your coffee in a to-go cup.

They are also teaming up with a New York City artist, Alexis Kandra, to help them design unique custom made Unocups with high quality prints on them and this will be offered to customers through Unocup’s Kickstarter. But why this particular artist? “Alexis paints animals from different environments and time periods to raise awareness of the threats they face from human activities. She brings diverse animals together in surreal arrangements, inviting viewers to think about the connections the creatures share.” (Kickstarter, 2019).

Unocup has to reach a pledge of $14,500 goal for the project to be funded by 19 December 2019. The table blow shows their current status as of 18 December 2019.

Amount of Pledge

Number of Backers

$30,866

739

Even though they have seemed to have met their pledge goal, they still have 15 more hours for backer to keep pledging. Customers pledge to back a project for various reasons. Some are moved by the idea, some might have a strong connection to the project, some also might just want to support because the know the creator and while others do it for the project’s reward. For this project, a backer can pledge without a reward or pledge for other reward. These are the reward to this project below:

Amount Pledged

Reward

Numbers of Backers

Delivery Date

$12 or more

20 Unocups (White)

266

July 2020

$20 or more

10 Limited Edition Unocups

142

July 2020

$30 or more

5 Limited Edition Unocups, T-shirt and a Sticker

49

July 2020

$45 or more

30 Limited Edition Unocups

46

July 2020

$99 or more

200 Unocups (White)

32

July 2020

$99 or more

1 Alexis Kandra Artwork and 1 Alexis Kandra Unocup

20

July 2020

$109 or more

1 Alexis Kandra Artwork, 1 Alexis Kandra Unocup and 5 Limited Edition Unocups

0

July 2020

$150 or more

1000 Unocups (White)

15

July 2020

$225 or more

2000 Unocups (White)

2

July 2020

$349 or more

One Hand Painted Unocup by Alexis Kandra

2

March 2020

$535 or more

5000 Unocups (White)

0

July 2020

Their timeline is to have the funding concluded by December 2019 as long as they meet their pledge goal. After that, January 2020 they will begin to manufacture all their products. They are expecting to be done with all their manufacturing between February to April 2020. And then all the cups and artwork will be shipped during the months of May, June and July, giving themselves time just in case they run into any unexpected troubles.

Crowdfunding has numerous advantages to new entrepreneurs. This process gives new entrepreneurs easy access to be able to get capital for a new idea that want to turn into a business or just a way to raise money for something they would like to build on. It is usually not easy for entrepreneurs to have access to a certain amount of capital for them to start their business and crowdfunding gives them that opportunity to attain that. They are able to pitch idea and based on the pledges they can see where they stand and what kind of support they can get to either continue the project or reconsider. Crowdfunding also kind of eliminate the risks that the entrepreneurs could have taken and lose all their capital if the business is not successful.

For an entrepreneur to get funding he or she will have to first start a project on the Kickstarter website, provide to the website that they are of age and they also have to produce document that shows they are allowed to run that certain business signed by either government or local authority. Kickstarter employs a 5% charge to the money that have been garnered by the creators. Good thing that Kickstarter uses an all or nothing funding model. Meaning if the project doesn’t meet the goal no fund will be collected and the creator will not have to pay anything. I would definitely recommend this website to people that have new ideas or that have a business they would like to pursue.

References

Chan, T. & Papo K. (2019, December). Unocup. Kickstarter. Retrieved from https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/unocuptogo/unocup-the-new-foldable-paper-coffee-cup/description

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