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What can I offer backers on Kickstarter that fund my pickup sports app?

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Over last weekend some friends and I competed in a hackathon where we came up with a cool app. In terms of building the app we won't need a lot of money to support it. Just some for servers to support it and maybe app store fees to get the app up.

What it will need money for is advertising and getting the app to be used widely. Its one that won't work unless people use it.

So I was thinking that this might go good on Kickstarter, but I don't know what I could offer to those that fund it. Its a pickup sports app with lots of ideas attached to it.

The app homepage URL (for the incomplete app) can be found here: http://hmw.greatmindinnovations.com/

And here are the screenshots:
http://hmw.greatmindinnovations.com/images/screenshots.png

Does anything think this is good for Kickstarter? Any ideas as to what I could offer backers?

We are still hashing out some of the features of the app, but maybe they could get special in app trophies or have their system accounts start off with them being labeled the big kahuna in their neighborhood for their favorite sports? Or maybe they could have direct say in some part of the app development at the highest levels of funding.

initiated Jun 6, 2012 in Startups by Patrick Thurmond (250 points)   2 2 2
   

4 Responses

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Good question!  There's always something that you can offer, even if it's as simple as t-shirts with the logo on it (which can also help with branding).

Other things you could try to do is offer early access to the app for Kickstarter supporters -- something other campaigsns have done.

For higher dollar amounts, what about a pickup game with the creators of the app?  Now, you might not think that's worth "buying," but remember, part of the point about the offerings is helping people convince themselves that they want to support you at a certain level.  Once they've decided to support you, what they get often isn't as important as how much they want to give you.  So provide cool/wacky options, and some people might just go for it...
response added Jun 7, 2012 by Mike Masnick (23,010 points)   52 99 160
@mmasnick Thanks Mike, I like those ideas. I think that can work. Really cool.
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Hey, I really like Mike's suggestions for higher givers.

The most important thing for your situation isn't to raise a ton of money, really. It's to use the marketing leverage that you get from having a Kickstarter project to help generate a user base.

Maybe you can have access to the beta group, or call it the alpha tester group? as part of the rewards at a very low level.

Also, you might like this spreadsheet I just posted that helps manage a Kickstarter budget. I built it mostly for arts projects - films, records, etc. - so my advice about what to do with the $25 reward probably doesn't apply. It should be pretty useful for doing the math though, cause the formulas are all baked in for per unit costs, etc. - the really fun part is where you list your probable backers by name, because you're just starting out.

http://kevinclarkcomposer.com/2012/06/how-to-plan-your-kickstarter-part-1/

If you find it useful, let me know! If it's crap... let me know that, too. I want to make it better.
response added Jun 7, 2012 by Kevin Clark (1,470 points)   2 8 14
@kevinefclark Thank you Kevin, I will take a look at your article. I still have to work out what things I would need funding for, how much those things will cost, the best use of the funding, and how much funding I will need to accomplish my goals. This may be a good starting point. Especially since I have never used Kickstarter before.
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I wonder if this app isn't better suited for something like https://www.crowdtilt.com/ instead of kickstarter... because it's an app that sounds pretty narrowly focused on a particular group of people. I understand that your app doesn't have to be restricted to a single zip code, but maybe start with 1 zip code and build features that are really tailored to a specific group's needs (keeping an eye on building features that could be scalable to many other groups as well). Then once you get some actionable feedback from people who'd actually use the app, then you could open up access to a wider audience and have features that people would react to like: "wow, the public tennis court in my neighborhood could totally use that pickup tournament bracket organizer tool. that's awesome." 

But if you're sticking with Kickstarter, then I'd check out some of the apps that have previously been successfully funded there. (eg. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/464119894/your-mobile-app-for-a-lower-impact-life-reuse-and?ref=card) It looks like a lot of them offer items that possible backers might want to use, like how-to books or guides related to their apps. 

For pickup sports players (just basketball or any sport?), maybe you could include silly/humorous guides on pickup sport etiquette with your app? Team t-shirt packages, so that people don't have to go "skins"?

Hope this helps!

response added Jun 7, 2012 by Michael Ho (2,370 points)   2 14 27
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Sorry, not much of a reply from me but there's a cdbaby article (music-based obviously) with a list of suggestions and some of them may be transferrable: http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2012/06/fanfunding-tip-offer-imaginative-incentives-to-entice-more-fans/?utm_source=DIYNews&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=062112

Good luck!
response added Jun 22, 2012 by drew stephenson (3,370 points)   2 10 22

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