Lumapod – The World’s Fastest Tripod (Interview)

In fall 2018, a young team from Austria started a Kickstarter-campaign called Lumapod – The World’s Fastest Tripod, aiming to finance the first series of their innovative travel-tripod. A few weeks later, 3,785 backers pledged €501,691 to help bring this project to life. Now the team is further pre-selling the Lumapod on Indiegogo, while finalizing the product-development, securing production and looking for new team-members. In an interview, Martin Grabner – founder and inventor of the Lumapod – told us some background stories, how they prepared for their Crowdfunding-campaign and what the are planning for the future.

Wolfgang: Hi Martin, you are the founder of Lumapod, an innovative tripod. Please tell us more about the product and the idea behind it.

Martin: I love traveling. And I always packed my tripod. But it is heavy, bulky and takes forever to set up. After a trip through Iceland, we decided to create a new kind of travel tripod, which is compact and fast to set up. We developed two different models and optimized it for different demands. So you can use Lumapod with your smartphone, GoPro, mirrorless or DSLR Camera. A quick and simple setup will empower you to take full advantage of every photo opportunity … 4 seconds and you’re ready to go.

Wolfgang: How long did you work on the prototype and when did you decide to enter the market?

Martin: I’ve been working on the project for about 2,5 years. Very soon it was clear that I want finance our product by using Crowdfunding. A lot of time went into development and prototyping. But we also had to invest a lot of time into topics like grant-applications and registering a patent and a trademark etc. As well as into the preparation of the Crowdfunding campaign itself. We defined the launch date a few months in advance and from there on we focussed everything towards this day.

Wolfgang: Why Crowdfunding?

Martin: Our product is perfect for Crowdfunding. On Kickstarter we were reaching exactly our target group for photography, design, tech and gadget. On the one hand, we did the campaign because of the financing. But Crowdfunding is much more than that. The campaign was also a market test. You can find out what the community thinks about your product and therefore you get a lot of feedback you can take into account before entering the market. If the campaign is successful (and it was) and the press covers you, you also get international marketing and can already build up a brand.

Copyright: Lumapod

Wolfgang: How did you prepare for the campaign? What worked and what did not work for you?

Martin: We prepared very long and very intensively for the campaign. We did a lot on Social Media and also set up an email list. We  used Facebook ads, affiliate marketing for getting email-addresses which worked very well. Less good were raffles – you get a lot of leads, but with poor quality. The day we launched, we informed all our email contacts that we are now live and that the best offer is only valid for 24 hours. We also researched relevant journalist-contacts and sent them our press release. That worked well, so we were featured in some big international media. During our campaign we also used cross promotions which were performing also quite good.

Wolfgang: What are the learnings that you got from the Crowdfunding campaign, for your team, your product, your marketing?

Martin: We were indeed able to learn a lot during the campaign. From my point of view it is important that the most important skills can be covered in your team. This is the only way to always have an overview. The product definitely reaches the community, which is very valuable learning. :-) The community gave us praise, but also really valuable input for improvements. Of course, there are naysayers, but you have them everywhere, so don’t let them discourage you. A Crowdfunding-campaign means a lot of work. The effort should not be underestimated. Also concerning the costs for marketing.

Wolfgang: Now that the further financing is secured, what are the next steps for Lumapod?

Martin: We are currently working on the selection of production partners in order to be able to start series production. At the same time, we are working on topics such as fulfillment and the setup of sales channels. The Kickstarter campaign drew the attention of several dealers and distributors to Lumapod. We will process these enquiries more concretely and hold talks with potential partners. When the first Lumapods are delivered to the Kickstarter backers, which means we have a finished product, ideally all distribution channels should already be in place. We also already have ideas for the next Lumapod models ;)

Wolfgang: Thanks for the interview and good luck with your product!

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