Innovation in the outdoor gear industry has long been driven by small-time tinkerers, so it’s no surprise that crowdfunding has had a meaningful impact on the way that new equipment comes to market. Some of the most significant revolutions in outdoor equipment—e.g. neoprene wetsuits, waxless Nordic skis and Clif Bars—were dreamed up in sheds and kitchens. Now, crowdfunding is empowering the next wave of equipment innovators. Since Launcht counts a few outdoor sports junkies among its ranks, a number of these projects caught our eye.
Klymit is a Utah-based manufacturer of outdoor apparel and equipment that uses pocketsof noble gasses to provide insulation. To complement their established line of sleeping pads, packs and vests, Klymit used crowdfunding to finance a first production run of their newest offering, a futuristic argon-insulated shell for cold weather sports. They pulled together $50,000+ in a little over a month, and the Ulaar jacket was born.
In San Francisco, designer Tae Kim founded Boreas with a “motley crew” of creative minds and outdoor industry alums. Since 2011 his team has been building high-end, minimalist packs for urban and outdoor purposes. Kim and the Boreas team and used crowdfunding to launch their most innovative product yet, a modular pack frame that can attach to three different carrying units. They raised fourteen times their goal in just 30 days.
These projects were successful in their primary objective: they crossed the funding finish line above target. However, both brands missed a crucial opportunity by farming out their project to conventional funding platforms. Klymit and Boreas have established brand identities, social media presence and PR support, so why not host their project locally with a white label crowdfunding platform to amplify reach, save money, and own their data? Crowdfunding can be a key driver of customer engagement, and a project hosted on a brand’s own site can accelerate—rather than sidestep—brand recognition and value.
Launcht’s white label crowdfunding platforms are the ideal way to implement fundraising initiatives, all while driving brand value and engagement. Learn more about our platforms here.