JP Benini

CTO & Founder, Cognitoys

JP is Co-Founder of Elemental Path, making smart toys smarter with CogniToys, shaking up the eLearning and toy markets with the world’s first cognitive toy.
Find out about his experience with crowdfunding – is it a blessing or a curse?

Concept to Campaign: How CogniToys Became an (IoT) Thing

This talk is a post-mortem of Cognitoy’s crowd funding experience – good, bad, and ugly.

After a few slow months of traditional funding, we took our smart toy idea to KickStarter and after 30 days we had built a community, garnered a ton of press, and raised $275,000 of pre-orders. But this was just the beginning of our adventure in crowd funding.

Crowd funding your project can be a blessing and a curse. You can test the waters with acceptance of your concept, find a community of early adopters, and even get through your initial round of seed funding – but it is all a big gamble. What is the right campaign duration? How much secret sauce should I expose? How do I manage expectation while keeping excitement and interest? What are some great ways to market your campaign? What to do when things go south?

We got lucky and made it out alive, not only delivering our product to our backers but also getting it out there and on retail shelves.