Indeed, that has been the question, lo these many weeks. Today we make our decision official. And we hope you'll help us shout it from the rooftops...
On May 19th, Team TTT&T will kick off a Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds for IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS, an interactive unveiling of Michelangelo's David by Mary Hoffman.
THIS MILESTONE has been a long time in coming. Most of you will have heard the back-story already:
How it started with a book that became a better app that pioneered a new concept: the Story App Tour.
How the dream nearly died for lack of financing and collaborative help.
How it was resuscitated again, one year ago in April, when award-winning children’s author Mary Hoffman and I began scheming about a Time Traveler Tour to Renaissance Florence.
Since then, I’ve been tinkering tirelessly in the proverbial garage; first raising seed money, then pulling together an extraordinary team to help me turn my concept into a digital publishing company with Mary’s story headlining our future library of title suites.
Now we invite YOU to participate in our little start-up dedicated to TURNING HISTORY ON and turning kids on to history.
JOIN THE LAUNCH TEAM!
Celebrate with us on May 19th by live-stream from anywhere in the world, or in person at your choice of several live events. RSVP below.
Contribute to our campaign! There are many ways to do so. Take a glance at the various options, also below.
BUT WAIT! FOR THOSE OF YOU NEW TO CROWD-SOURCED FUNDING,keep reading: Here'sa peek at the questions that fueled our decision-making process over at TTT&T headquarters...
Q: What is crowd-sourced funding?
A: Crowd-sourced funding is the process of appealing to the “crowd” to determine if a project or business idea is worth making a reality. A project initiator pitches an idea to the crowd; that is, you, your friends, their friends, and on and on until, hopefully, perfect strangers are made aware of the idea and weigh in as well with a positive response.
Imagine the team of a business start-up pitching its idea to a room of venture capitalists in the hopes of raising equity-based investment that will help bring their concept to life. Crowd-sourced funding follows the same principle, but instead of pitching to career investors, we ask you, the crowd. And instead of selling equity shares in the future business, we offer you participation and really cool rewards emanating from our project.
In a crowd-sourced campaign, the initiators -- in this case me and Team TTT&T -- provide to you -- the crowd -- everything you need to know about our project. We do so as succinctly and clearly and honestly as possible. We hope it excites you. We hope it captures your attention. We hope that you will communicate your enthusiasm and support with your credit card through an internet-based intermediary, such as Kickstarter.
Q: What is Kickstarter?
A: Kickstarter is the mother of all crowd-sourced funding platforms. It is the place for pitching creative projects and entrepreneurial endeavors. Kickstarter loves publishing ventures, in particular. It has an entire category dedicated to just our sort of project, so it doesn't have to compete with technology, and consumer products, and film projects, etc.
Kickstarter is also an "all-or-nothing" platform, meaning that if you don't reach your goal, you receive zero monies pledged. While this makes Kickstarter riskier (and a little scarier) than some of the other crowd-sourcing platforms, we felt it better suited our needs. We need specific amount of money (TBA) to get to Stage Two of our business development. We can get there by producing Mary's title. The cost of that project will therefore be our funding goal. Anything less, we can't really proceed.
Q: Why attempt a crowd-sourced funding campaign?
A: There are three answers to that question:
1. To raise capital. We have a team, a validated concept, and a viable business plan. We have an exciting launch project. But we’ve exhausted the seed money that has enabled us to get this far. Until we raise more money, our machine is arrested in time.
2. To market the company and concept. While we have been gaining traction for a couple of years now, thanks in large part to your help, we need content creators and future customers to
know we’re out there,
like what we’re doing, and
trust that we can deliver what they want and need.
By conducting a crowd-sourced funding campaign, we hope to market Time Traveler Tours & Tales and create buzz that will carry us through to our next product launch.
3. To attract future investment. Achieving our Kickstarter goal will provide us the oil that will get our pistons firing again. But it will represent only about 1/3 of what we really need to pilot this ship securely into the future. Angel investors looking to sink their teeth into a good project trawl crowd-sourced platforms, especially Kickstarter, which they consider the grand Poo-Bah of crowd-based campaigns.
On Kickstarter, Angels are part of the crowd, too. They can, and do, provide support above and beyond the funds raised from a successful campaign. We need your help getting those Angels to notice us, because let's face it, we all need a few Angels in our lives :)
Q: How do you run a successful crowd-sourced funding campaign?
A: We're figuring that out as we go! And we've figured out a lot. So, stay tuned in the coming weeks for more sneak peeks that will take you inside TTT&T campaign strategy headquarters as we...
endeavor to create a video that touches hearts and minds;
work creatively to get the rewards right;
cultivate contributors in advance of actual launch; and
put in place various schemes to ensure that we maintain momentum for 30 whole days!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this backstage pass to the what, why, and how of a crowd-sourced funding.
If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments to the right.
Wish to contribute to our Kickstarter campaign? Here's How:
CELEBRATE WITH US IN NYC ON MAY 19TH, by live-stream from anywhere in the world (RSVP here), or at your choice of several live events (check them out here).
DONATE A SERVICE OR PRODUCT AS A REWARD in exchange for free promotion through our campaign. So far, we have donations for:
works of original photography and art pertaining to Florence, Michelagnelo, or the David
manuscript reviews for authors
platform audits for creatives
recipes from one grandmother's Tuscan kitchen
books, apps, coloring pages, and more
personalized tours to Florence by Team TTT&T members
TTT&T swag (what would a campaign be without a little swag?)
MAKE A "PROMISE TO PLEDGE" TODAY! Help us kick off the campaign on May 19 with a BANG that reverberates around the world! Contact Sarah here to whisper your promise directly in her ear.