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Cubetto – A hands on programming language for girls and boys aged 3 and up

Can crowd funding be applied to schools and other public utilities? The answer is yes and we found a great example in the campaign launched by the primary school Secondo Istituto Comprensivo Francavilla Fontana in Brindisi that collected via the platform Eppela the funds necessary to create “L’Officina dei Giocattoli” (i.e. Toys’ Factory). The aim of the campaign is to literally make one of the pupils dream come true and to create a common space where they can transform old, and obsolete toys in smart ones. The project has been developed in four main phases: to recover old toys; to bring them into the Montessori Creativity Space; to re design their hard and soft ware; and to complete them with digital features in order to give them a total new look made up of sensors, small video cameras, led lights and so on. In the kids mind this represents the concrete realization of creativity process that allows them to even develop tools to control their old tractors and cars with smartphones and tablets. The campaign was launched in 2006 and collected around 150% of the original quotation. The funds have been spent for 3d printers, sensors, laser cut working table, 3d scanners, all instruments the kids need to improve the space they share as common thinking lab, team work space and for stem didactic activities. Also the project is recognized as green as it involve recovering and re use of old toys; economic as it is aimed at avoiding waste; fun as it stimulates the kids’ creativity, and digital.

 

Can crowdfunding be applied to schools and other public utilities?

 

The answer is yes and we found a great example in the campaign launched by the primary school Secondo Istituto Comprensivo Francavilla Fontana in Brindisi that collected via the platform Eppela the necessary funds to create “L’Officina dei Giocattoli” (i.e. Toys’ Factory). The aim of the campaign is to literally make one of the pupils dream come true and to create a common space where they can transform old, and obsolete toys in smart ones. The project has been developed in four main phases: to recover old toys; to bring them into the Montessori Creativity Space; to re-design their hard and soft ware; and to complete them with digital features in order to give them a total new look made up of sensors, small video cameras, led lights and so on. In the kids mind this represents the concrete realization of creativity process that allows them to develop tools to control their old tractors and cars with smartphones and tablets. The campaign was launched in 2006 and collected around 150% of the original quotation. The funds have been spent for 3D printers, sensors, laser cut working table, 3D scanners, all instruments the kids need to improve the space they share as common thinking lab, team work space and for stem didactic activities. Also the project is recognized as green sustainable as it involve recovering and re use of old toys; economic as it is aimed at avoiding waste; fun as it stimulates the kids’ creativity, and digital.

Three examples of Crowdfunding for toys

“Christmas and toys, a topic that offers many examples on how to effectively use Crowdfunding to get funding for developing an interesting idea and starting a business or to get funding to allowing your dreams to come true.”. With these words, our Crowd-Fund-Port project partners from the Czech Republic started a post on Facebook yesterday, presenting two Crowdfunding-projects from their country: Lžíce na boty Achilles and Sportovci Hrdinům (Athletes For Little Heroes). Both campaigns were launched on Czech platform hithit.com during the Christmas season, both projects reached their goals and ended successfully.

Although for some projects, the time before Christmas is ideal for launching a Crowdfunding-campaign, you find many toy-projects on Crowdfunding-platforms during the whole year. Here are three examples of Crowdfunding toys from Austria:

For their first children’s book, Salzburg-based company eoVision turned to the Crowd to get additional input concerning the design and content of their magnetic playbook “one earth kids”. Shortly before and especially during their Crowdfunding-campaign, they asked their Facebook fans for support in finding the perfect subjects/motives for their magnetic buttons and also introduced the story behind the project. They launched their campaign in June 2014 and successfully finished it one month later, reaching over 10.000 Euro from 157 supporters. Production started in summer 2014 and the book was shipped in autumn, right in time for Christmas :)

Another example to be mentioned is the game INTERACTION. It is a so called “hybrid game”, developed by rudy games, a young start-up from Linz/Upper Austria. It is their second product in which the team combines a classical board game with the advantages of portable devices like iPad or Smartphones. For going into series production, they started a Crowdfunding-campaign on Kickstarter in April 2017 and finished it in May 2017, reaching a total of 20.973 Euro.

There are many reasons, why the campaign was successful in the end. One of them was the engagement of team, as they were organizing gaming nights and board game parties in different cities shortly before and during the campaign. This helped them to get direct feedback from user/players and to promote the (upcoming) campaign. Also they used the affiliate tool kickbooster, which helped them driving traffic to their campaign by offering users to be part of a referral program and the chance of a 12% reward for sharing the unique link on social media, on the website, blog etc. and bringing new supporters to the project-page on Kickstarter.

The third example dates back to 2015, when Vienna based company Robo Technologies GmbH started a Kickstarter-campaign for their project: Robo Wunderkind: A robot anyone can build. It is a robotics and coding kit for kids of all ages for building, coding, playing and creating the future. It reached 246.612 Euro from over 1.000 people that pre-purchased the LEGO-like coding-kit from Austria. Although the production and shipping almost took one year longer than planned and needed to be relocated to China, the start-up company made its first important steps with this Crowdfunding-campaign. It helped in raising additional funds by Austrian state fundingbank austria wirtschaftsservice (aws) and close an investment of 500.000 Euro from private investors. Also the company opened a subsidiary in the United States to be prepared for the international roll-out of the product.

These were only three examples of successful Crowdfunding-campaigns for toys. You can find more on platforms like
Kickstarter, Indiegogo or on your local Crowdfunding-portals. Also Amazon Launchpad lists many toys that initially used Crowdfunding for kicking-off, like the card game Exploiding Kittens or the 3Doodler.
Have fun!