I received an email recently from Dorna Sports/WorldSBK.com with an offer to “pre-order” the SBK 14 Official Mobile Game. Everything about it looks like business as usual, a completed game that is coming soon, except when you click on PRE-ORDER NOW it takes you straight to a crowd funding site called FansFlock. Right now FansFlock has one project and one project only, the SBK 14 game, but possible project categories are Music, Film/TV shows, Celebrities, Video Games, Arts, Books & Literature, Sports & Recreation, Popular Brands, Fashion & Design and Schools. To be honest, I would have bet good money that you could not approach Dorna with a completely unfunded project and gotten them to send an email to thousands of people for money. So that happened.
I was also contacted by a group of college guys crowd funding a motorcycle safety project that seems to me to be what I would describe as “worthy”. It’s called the X-1, it’s on Indiegogo and it’s most compelling features might be that it turns your helmet into a full speaker system for whatever you want to listen to (phone calls, music, group riding) without blocking your situation awareness AND if it senses you fall down, it calls 911 (you have 20 seconds to override the call if you aren’t hurt). It works with any type of helmet, using your smart phone and makes the call even if you are unconscious, with your exact location. If the signal isn’t strong enough it texts instead. Entertainment that’s got your back.
So is crowd funding the future of moto cool? It’s certainly looking that way. The Museum Of Modern Art (MOMA) in NY has a Kickstarter store with great designs funded this way. One look at Kickstarter, (which stands out because personal fundraising is not allowed) and it’s clear that the people who dream large and in full color have gathered there. Past or current projects there with motorcycle appeal or tie-ins include:
- A man who built a steam powered scooter called the Whirleygig that prominently features a jello mold and needs funds to get it to the Charles River Museum’s Steampunk competition (Funded 106%)
- A photo Documentary on Guy Martin and the Isle of Man TT (Funded 109%)
- The Bunny Teeth Movement, an adventure to SE Asia on a Minsk motorcycle to take photographs of people wearing bunny teeth (to promote world peace) (Not surprisingly, Unfunded)
- A carbon fiber keyholder called KEEO with a tracking app for your smartphone (Funded at 136% with 12 days to go)
- The NUVIZ Heads Up Display Helmet (Funded 108%)
The range of proposals is staggering, from the silly to the brilliant but one thing is clear, much like eBay things presented in this manner quickly seek their own level. Appeal is everything. The real deals talk and the bs walks. (Or in this case, rides) And if you are going to be serious about getting to the funded side, it takes more than a clever video presentation. Alejamdro Ruperti, co-founder and CEO of Apex Safety Technologies Corp. which is trying to raise the funds for the X1 ironically had to sell his bike for the funds to get this far but he tells me he has had his eye on an ’09 Monster for a while and I sincerely hope he gets it because I love the way he’s thinking.
To check out some crowd funding sources or how the MOMA deal came to be: