It’s finally here! Please help support our crowd-funding project by going either to www.indiegogo.com and search for “chocolate” or go directly to our project by going to this shortcut: www.emoc.info Lots of great tasting chocolate awaits you! Also, keep your eyes and ears peeled for our weekly surprise awards. Our first one will be announced sometime next week.
It still seems so far away, but we are now down to the last 10 days before we launch our project on Kickstarter. It’s been an exciting, stressful, and mind blowing time. We are at the final stages of completing our project video. it’s really looking great. We also created a couple of short “concept” videos that will be included in the project, that I hope will help demonstrate what we can do.
Additionally, our press released has been approved for distribution. It will go out to the media at large early Friday morning. Also, our project has been submitted to the Kickstarter staff, and we should hear back any day now on our approval status.
I also had the opportunity to talk with people about our project and our new business at a dog training event recently called the Jubilee and handed out some samples. We had an amazing response. At the last minute, we decided to put together a little video of the experience, and will put it on the project page as well. We also finalized our rewards, and put together a few weekly surprise rewards that we’ll announce once a week, every week the project runs. These surprise rewards will be in limited supply. So keep your ears, eyes, and email open for the announcements.
Wow! Where does all the time go. I was thinking the other day, that it has now been a little over a year since I first considered fundraising to get this business off the ground, and specifically to consider using Kickstarter. We are in the home stretch! The video is being edited this week, Eric and I worked on a press release that we will be pushing out to the media on launch day (September 27th), the animation of the logo for the video is almost done, and we are also working hard at getting the project page up and ready to go. One important thing we got out of the way that almost would have bitten us in the butt is Amazon Payments. In order to process payments for a Kickstarter project, you need to setup a business account with Amazon Payments (like Paypal, but Amazon’s version). Kickstarter warns you that you need at least 7 days to get your account approved and ready for use. We had a few issues getting the account up and running, but thankfully we are now good to go.
Additionally we are continuing to build our network to get the word out as far and fast as we can.
Let the countdown begin:
Wow! What a weekend! Well, it was a long day of shooting (with a break in between to catch my son’s championship basketball game – which they won! Go Hoosiers!). Anyway, the perfectionist I am, I keep thinking there is something more we could have done, but alas, I’m sure the final product will be great. A big thank you for everyone who helped: Alec, Eric, Melanie and her husband Tony, Joe, and of course my wife and son (Fabi and Diego – Oh and our dog Malo – she has a cameo). An extra special thank you to Alec for not only shooting the video, but also allowing us to use his wonderful home.
Well, I can happily say that we can now check off one more milestone on the road to Kickstarter. So, you may be asking…what’s next? Well, we shipped the footage off to Jon (my cousin and editor extraordinaire). He will probably start editing sometime next week. We also were lucky enough to get a professional voice over artist to help us with the intro. I’m looking forward to hearing how that came out.
As we crawl into September, Eric, and I will be preparing the Kickstarter project page, and finalizing our rewards! We will also finally start our advertising and spreading the word campaign to get everyone ready for the big launch. Dariush is also putting together some nice concept designs that we will be including in the project, and Aziz is hard at work animating our logo for the intro to the video.
Thanks for listening.
We are making more progress, and bringing our Kickstarter project a little bit closer to reality. This weekend we will be shooting our video. We are happy to welcome Alec Tuckman (experienced filmmaker) to our team. With his experience, and support I know we will have a great and entertaining video for all of you to watch.
As we build up to the final climax of our Kickstarter launch, I started to reflect a bit on what we’ve done up to this point, and realized how much work it truely is to get our project off the ground. We could have probably done a lot less work, put a lot less time in, and just “let it happen”, but my feeling is that we want to guarantee as much as possible a successful funding project, and I believe the more you put in to something, the more you will get out of it.
We do still have lots to do, but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel…
More updates still to come.
We’ve selected the start date for our Kickstarter project. We plan to launch Friday, September 27th. We will run for 30 days, and will end either on Saturday, September 26th or we may and try to stretch to end on Sunday, September 27th, just to get that extra day on the weekend.
We’re very excited as things are starting to come together. We’ve just decided on our “stretch” rewards and a few “add-ons”. We are still sorting out our weekly (limited) “surprise” awards. These awards will be announced by the end of each week of our project, and will be something that will go above and beyond what we will normally be offering as rewards. Because of the “above and beyond” part, we will only be offering a few of these, and each week will be something different.
We will also be offering some special “bonus” awards that will be totally FREE! We will be announcing those in the near future.
This is a little belated, but I want to put a shout out to our other advisory members: Eric Bram and Dariush who’s invaluable help has really gotten this business to our current “turning point” with our Kickstarter project just a few short months away. Eric’s creative writing skills and Dariush’s business and computer graphics experience have brought incredibly valuable skills and experience to us, and we are thankful for their undying support.
I am happy to announce the latest member of our advisory board. Jon Emmet is an experienced avid editor for television entertainment, and all around great guy. His enthusiasm, support and encouragement for our new venture is both inspiring and appreciated. We believe his participation on our advisory board will bring great insight and great energy and look forward to working with him.
On a separate note; he is gracious enough to help us edit our Kickstarter video.
We are excited to report that our first mold design is officially in production. The manufacturer that we will be purchasing our equipment from will be building our first mold design for us. This mold is of our mascot, and will be used for our rewards for Kickstarter. We should have them done and delivered in a few weeks.
Here’s a sneak peak of what the mold will look like when it’s done (the test mold):
We were planning on doing a project about a year ago, and at the time realized that perhaps that wasn’t the best way to go. Our reasons were sound at the time. Kickstarter requires that your “project” have a specific, limited goal. At first we thought we’d just ask people to help us raise money for a single piece of equipment to satisfy Kickstarter’s project requirements. We soon realized we need a lot more to get our business off the ground and then abandoned the idea.
After looking at traditional funding options (angel investors) we came full circle and realized that if we could just get the equipment for making chocolate and build molds, that would get us far enough to help raise the rest of our total needed funds. So, we decided that we’d ask for funds to purchase just that equipment, which in turn would also allow us to produce the rewards that we’d want to offer. So we will now be doing the Kickstarter project after all.
For those of you not too familiar with the website. Well, it’s what’s referred to as a “crowd-sourcing” website. Which basically means, you are asking for funding support from anyone for a project with a specific goal, like trying to record an album or create a comic book. The idea is that if your project is interesting and compelling enough, people will want to support you and contribute money. To encourage people to help, you offer “rewards” at different levels of contributions. For example: If you are trying to produce a comic book. Simple offering a copy of the comic book (pre-order) for so much money etc.
The catch with Kickstarter is it’s an all or nother scenario. Which means that if by the end of the project deadline, you don’t succeed at meeting your funding goal, you get nothing. Also people who offered to contribute to the project then give nothing.
We will be running the project for 30 days. We are allowed to run it up to 60 days, but from our research, most projects that fund successfully fund with a 30 day duration. I think that makes sense in a way. Any more than 30 days, and you run the risk of fatigue or people simply forget to contribute thinking they have plenty of time.
There is plenty of work still to do. We have to get our project video produced (a must for any project), and are still revising our rewards. Finally we are consolidating our contact network. I believe people (especially those who’s projects fail to raise the funds) that once you launch your project, you simply wait for the word of the internet to tune int and throw money at your project. Most projects that are successful, perhaps not surprisingly enough, get most of their supporters from their own connections and social networks.
Yes we will probably get some people that simply stumble onto our project and support it, simply because they like it. Obviously we’d love that and more, but can’t count on that as the entirety of our support framework.
Please don’t forget to sign up on our Kickstarter email list, and we will let you know when the project starts, share our progress, and announce cool, surprise rewards. When our project launches, you can click here to go right to our page.
Thanks, and wish us luck!