These Manitobans raised huge money using crowdfunding

July 25, 2016 Alyson Shane

The hottest MB projects on Kickstarter & Indiegogo.

Crowdfunding Kickstarter Indiegogo

Think you've got a bright idea that people will invest in? It could work, and it did for these Manitobans.

Crowdfunding is the hottest new way to drum up interest about your product or idea, but it takes more than just creating a page on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Often a successful crowdfunding project takes weeks or months of planning, organizing and coordination — and you'll need to manage the project during the launch and after the initial campaign ends.

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are just the beginning of the process, but they can be very fruitful. Some very savvy local entrepreneurs, creatives and artists have all thrown their hats into the crowdfunding ring and their efforts have paid off in spades.

Below, we’ll take a look at some local crowdfunding success stories from Manitoba. Do you recognize any that you’ve funded?

Indie Game: The Movie

Indie Game: The Movie from IndieGame: The Movie on Vimeo.

Indie Game: The Movie was one of the first local successes in crowdfunding to draw mainstream attention. The project, which was created by James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot of BlinkWorks, is a feature length film about the independent (or “indie”) video game industry.

The duo spent a year travelling across North America filming indie developers and compiling their stories for the film, which focuses on the struggles of indie game developers. Specifically, the film focuses on the personal lives of creators of some of the most successful independent games in the industry, including Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid; Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refene, creators of Super Meat Boy; and Renaud Bédard and Phil Fish, creators of Fez.

Their Kickstarter was wildly successful, not only exceeding its funding goals by over $8,000, but also becoming something of a cult hit among the gaming community.

Ain’t About the Money

Ain't About the Money, working title The Bluesman, is a point-of-view documentary from Konofilm Productions Inc. and MTS Stories From Home. The doc features Big Dave McLean, a Canadian blues singer/songwriter, guitarist and harmonicist, and the challenges he’s faced during his career as a musician.

We see Big Dave as he fulfills the personal goal and lifelong dream of travelling to Clarksdale, Mississippi to visit the birthplace of the blues. Dave is invited down by his friend, Watermelon Slim, whose perspectives and reflections about blues and the music industry are also included in the film.

Big Dave explores and celebrates the origins of blues music through travel, conversation, performance and a visit to this famous intersection which has inspired so many before him: at Highways 61 and 49. According to the Faustian blues myth, it was here that Robert Johnson sold his sould to the Devil on the outskirts of Clarksdale in exchange for great success.

The film, whose title was changed to Ain’t About the Money raised 106% of their original funding goal, and the movie premiered in Winnipeg in 2015. Funding went to travel costs and music rights, according to their campaign page. "..a music documentary wouldn’t be right without music! A large portion of the funds raised will go to the music rights to the songs Big Dave McLean wants to keep alive."

LUMO Interactive Projector

LUMO was developed by LUMO Interactive (formerly Po-Motion Inc.) and was crowdfunded using Indiegogo.

This turnkey gaming system projects games onto the floor of a room and allows users to interact with it using a sensor that captures motion data. Instead of your kids being parked on the couch (or wearing a virtual reality headset), they can physically interact with games by jumping, stomping, dancing and waving their arms. Pretty cool.

Originally, Meg Athavale and her team launched a Kickstarter in September of 2013, but since LUMO was a very early stage prototype and they hadn’t yet figured out how to market the campaign, it didn’t meet its funding goals.

In-between the Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, they regrouped and prepared for a second attempt by joining an incubator, hiring some engineers and taking a trip to China. Combining the experiences that they had during their initial Kickstarter and the 4-month incubator, they re-launched in 2015 using the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform.

This time around the LUMO team was successful, raising 110% of their funding goal and nearly reaching $100,000 in funding. 

TrapTap: The World's Simplest Traffic Indicator

If you’ve been in Winnipeg recently, it’s been almost impossible not to open up a newspaper and see a mention of this super-popular local crowdfunding success story.

“TrapTap is a legal and simple device that you put anywhere in your car to be warned of speed traps, school zones, & red light cameras,” says their Kickstarter description. This app, created by local entrepreneur Bryce North, taps into a handful of things that made it resonate with funders — frustration over speed traps and the desire to save as much money as possible.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that TrapTap exceeded its funding goals by $288,527 and the pre-orders have been selling like hotcakes. It’s also been featured in CTV, TechCrunch, Yahoo! News, Daily Planet and more.

Have we missed any local crowdfunding success stories? Tell us in the comments.

About the Author

Alyson Shane

Alyson is a Winnipeg writer, content marketer and social media manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric & Communications from the University of Winnipeg and runs her own business providing businesses and individuals with their copywriting, content marketing strategy and social media needs. She lives and breathes digital culture and has been nicknamed the "Queen of the Internet" by her Twitter followers. When not online she can be found gardening, riding her bike or sipping fancy coffee.

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