Entrepreneurs across the globe are actively marketing their business ideas and raising funds for their implementation on crowdfunding platforms. However, the overall project success rate on Kickstarter, one of the most popular platforms, is only 35.86%. This means that launching a successful crowdfunding campaign is a venture in itself: You need to convince potential backers to support your idea over others’. This requires a well-executed marketing campaign. Then you risk losing your brand reputation if you do not deliver on your promises. Still, the international exposure which crowdfunding platforms provide allows entrepreneurs to test market entry options for their products and promote their brands. Realizing these risks and opportunities, more and more Lithuanian entrepreneurs are launching crowdfunding campaigns. Here are 3 cases of successful Lithuanian projects backed on Kickstarter. Their campaigns exceeded the fundraising goals.
SPYNDI is a multifunctional furniture system with a flexible design. One set consists of 60 or 75 handmade birch plywood elements. They are shaped like vertebrae, and can be assembled in different ways. You can create various forms of indoor or outdoor chairs, stools, tables, chaise-longues or partitions by attaching the elements to each other at different angles. The SPYNDI team led by designer Mindaugas Žilionis has prepared manuals of 25 designs.
The SPYNDI concept allows creating a truly personal piece of furniture. For example, you can create a chair which will take the exact shape of your spine. Once you assemble the model you like, it will be bending to your spine. You can fix the preferred position by securing locks on both ends of each element.
SPYNDI won the international design competition Non-Format held in 2007 in Vilnius, Lithuania. It was the first-ever presentation of the product. “I had no doubt giving SPYNDI the first place […]. It has it all: design, functionality and is indeed incredibly beautiful,” commented on his decision Roberto Palomba, an architect and designer at the Palomba Serafini Associati studio, one of the jury members.
The SPYNDI team has received a lot of inquiries about product distribution abroad. Some distributor companies operate on such a large scale that it has not been possible to make a deal yet only because the team is not able to produce furniture elements in the quantities they need, said project developer Raimonda Klimašauskaitė.
Lava Drops is a collection of 3 electric guitars handcrafted from one piece of maple, sapele and merbau wood in the form of drops. The most innovative model is Lava Drop X. It is carved out of merbau, which is resistant to fluctuations in moisture. It has aircraft aluminium contours, which help balance the guitar body. It is decorated with stiffened volcanic lava inlay. It has an interface box with many connections, including USB, as well as 2 pickup combinations and a tone / volume control. In addition, there is a laser MIDI controller which allows changing chords on the fingerboard while connected to a computer or synthesizer.
The Lava Drops models have a minimalist design. You cannot see where the strings start and finish on the front side. Their edges are on the back side. Also, many unnecessary details have been left out.
Project designer and developer Rapolas Gražys is not going to produce Lava Drops on a large scale. His goal is to make a few hundred units to retain high product quality. However, he does not reject the idea of mass production completely: he believes it is an option worth considering in the case of guitars for children, his potential new project.
Pigeon is a compact and functional orange kick scooter. The deck and bar have shoulder-shaped curves which overlap when the scooter is folded. Thanks to them, you can comfortably carry it around on top of your shoulder. When it is folded, it reflects the profile of a pigeon, which gave the product name.
The scooter frame is made of aluminium. It weighs only 3.5 kg. Product designer and developer Ignas Survila would like to make it even 0.5 kg lighter. This would make Pigeon the lightest scooter in the world, he explained.
Asked about the choice of the product colour, he answered: “[…] we, generation Y, want to be unique, want to expose our personalities. That’s why bright orange is our colour.” He also assured that he is going to include other colours in his offer.
Survila’s project has already received international acclaim: He persuaded his main investor, Michel Barro, to set up a scooter company, City Birds, together. Survila became its president. The production of Pigeon scooters has already started. Survila expects to sell 10,000–20,000 units each year.
In addition, his project won the 2015 Silver A’Design Award in the Vehicle, Mobility and Transportation Design Category. It is a prestigious international award given to top 5% designs which have demonstrated “an exemplary level of excellence”, indicate the organisers of the A’Design Competition on their official website.
References:  Kickstarter /  Darius Verseckas, Verslo žinios /  SPYNDI, Kickstarter /  Leanna Garfield, Tech Insider /  Rapolas Gražys, Kickstarter /  Premier Guitar /  Ignas Survila, Kickstarter /  Gerda Prancūzevičienė, 15min.lt /  A’Design Award & Competition