Funding a startup can often seem like the most tedious or intimidating part of entrepreneurship. Online crowdfunding has facilitated the process enormously, but introduced a whole host of new challenges. "The food industry is just a huge category," says Terry Romero, outreach lead for food and crafts at Kickstarter. "It's way beyond restaurants -- it's a big, big space crossing over into so many places. And it's growing." So, what makes a particular cause rise above the rest? Here are Terry's three tips on how to create and promote a standout campaign.
1. Build up social media followings.
"Take a big tip from Instagram or food bloggers on the site," says Terry. "You have to do it anyway, regardless of whether you want to do crowdfunding or not. But definitely if you're doing Kickstarter." On that note...
2. Hone your photography skills.
Terry suggests taking photos of everything from your product to your team. "Food is such a visual medium, and more than ever, beautiful food is so important." With phone cameras so sophisticated, there's no need for a fancy SLR, but we're sure it wouldn't hurt.
3. Do your homework.
"You need to really think about where you position yourself in the very busy world of food products and food startups," says Terry. "Why is your cold-brew coffee different from other cold-brew coffees? What kind of communities are going to gravitate toward your beef jerky as opposed to some other beef jerky?" Planning ahead and knowing the context of your market will help you guide your business, even outside of crowdfunding.
With our impressive innovation sector passion for food, Boston is primed to take the nation by storm. "There's definitely an appreciation for good food here," says Terry. "There's a really nice thing going on here of innovation, of ambition, of entrepreneurship, of people just wanting to make something cool."
Terry Romero hosted a crowdfunding workshop and office hours in the Branchfood space on February 9th, 2016, and was featured in Branchfood's "Funding 101: Pathways for Food and Beverage Startups" panel on March 1st, 2016. Visit http://www.meetup.com/branchfood/for more information. Interview conducted by Chloe Barran.