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Moving from Reward success to Equity – An interview with Derek O’Sullivan of Thermo Tent

Moving from Reward success to Equity – An interview with Derek O’Sullivan of Thermo Tent

A few months ago we interviewed Derek O’Sullivan of Thermo Tent prior to their launch of a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. Derek promised to return and tell us how it went and what he learned.

Good to his word we caught up with Derek after a successful campaign to raise 50,000 Euro. He tells us what went well, what advantages he has found from the campaign success and he shares with us the news that they now plan to run an equity crowdfund on the Seedrs platform

Download this episode (right click and save)

Find out more about Thermo Tent at ThermoTent

The incidental music used in the podcast is
“Beach Bum” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Crowdfunding Thermo Tent on Kickstarter

Crowdfunding Thermo Tent on Kickstarter

Its not not often that you get to hear from someone whilst they are actually running a crowdfunding campaign – usually it is afterwards as they bask in the glow of success or mull a bruising failure.

But here we speak to Derek O’Sullivan in the midst of his Kickstarter campaign raising funds for Thermo Tent.

In the podcast Derek tells us why he chose crowdfunding and what he hopes to get from the campaign. He also explains the unique and innovative aspect of Thermo Tent



You can access the campaign here

The incidental music used in the podcast is
“Beach Bum” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Preparation is the key to crowdfunding success – the RunRev story

On Tuesday I was in Edinburgh to attend the RunRev crowdfunding seminar where Kevin Miller, CEO of RunRev, went through in detail the steps involved with their successful campaign to raise £493,000 in 30 days on Kickstarter.

The successful RunRev campaign is a case study in our recently published report Crowdfunding – The Scottish Perspective (a work commissioned by the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce), and it is a terrific tale of the art of the possible with crowdfunding. Not only was a significant sum raised in just 30 days – at the time the UK’s largest technology fund on Kickstarter – but it speaks directly to the transformative power of crowdfunding by empowering RunRev to develop an entirely new business model, to take their product open source, and to take so many of their passionate fans on that journey with them.

Key to their success, as with most crowdfunding campaigns, was the level of preparation and analysis that the team at RunRev did before even thinking about starting their campaign in earnest, and Kevin shared a good deal of the detail of that in his presentation.

In our workshops and client engagements we use the TAMP process to help people prepare a crowdfunding campaign.

It is a logical sequence of steps that guide you through the often complex process of considering and preparing for a crowdfunding campaign. It prompts you to address the key questions in the optimum sequence so as to have you in the best shape to run a successful campaign. And this is important. Far too many campaigns fail and too often we hear about those that don’t prepare and are surprised and desperate to resurrect a failing project that is already running. Generally it’s too late.

The old maxim that “failure to prepare is preparing for failure” has seldom been more apposite than in the context of a crowdfunding campaign.

The TAMP process is an acronym standing for Targets, Audit, Method, Plan/Preparation

In the Targets section we are considering things like the monetary targets you have and how firm accurate and realistic are they; when it needs to be available, how flexible is that timing; what is the outcome you are looking for, how does this fit in the strategic context or life stage of your firm? These things alone can throw up many interesting decision points and considerations which will radically inform later steps in the process.

Audit looks at the tangible and intangible resources that you can use for this campaign, which might include things skills, tools, social and relationship capital, time and physical assets that are available to you.

It’s only at this point that you consider making decisions on the best crowdfunding Methodology to use. So are you best suited at this time to equity, reward, loan or what? This is not just a function of personal preference it is based on the output of the previous steps. If you have a preference to one methodology but the first two steps suggest you are not suited to it then it may be possible to work backwards to develop a plan to adjust the targets or develop alternative and further assets from those identified in the audit. Of course time constraints set out in the target section might make that challenging, but that is all part of the mix. All of these things are factored in to the process before you start to pull it all together to prepare and plan.

The Planning/Preparation phase includes steps like evaluation of other similar projects, developing key messages, testing and seeking feedback, communication plans, team development, identifying key influencers, video production, finance preparation, consultation. In fact there is a very long list of steps developed from what has been learned from the earlier stages of the process.

The final execution of the campaign once it is live however is down to you!

RunRev’s experience demonstrates how great preparation and great execution can deliver tremendous results. Kevin and his team will be running a similar event in Glasgow on Tuesday the 3rd of September and if you would like to attend to hear more about their story please contact Mildred Foo to register your interest. If it’s anything like the Edinburgh event I expect a good turn out.

If you want help with preparing for your crowdfunding campaign or expert guidance through the TAMP process, or to attend one of our workshops please contact us.

Kickstarter – The First Six Months in Scotland

Kickstarter – The First Six Months in Scotland

Hard to believe but it is 6 months since Kickstarter began their UK operation. So we took the opportunity to have a look at the presence and performance of Scottish based projects on that platform during that period.

 Infographic of Scotlands first 6 months on KickstarterAt the high level, there have been 47 projects, 32 of which have been successful and 15 of which were unsuccessful. This in itself is interesting as the success rate (68%) is running higher than the Kickstarter average which typically runs around 45 % success rate. These 47 projects sought £699,836 in total funding and the successful projects actually raised £697,592. Now the astute and numerically minded will quickly establish that this would average out at £21,800 per project which is  of course arithmetically correct but it would be a little misleading and here’s why. Amongst the projects were two stand out projects that were disproportionately successful, and step well outside of a standard deviation and so distort the figures a little.  So, with that in mind, if we look at the median value for projects we arrive at a typical project value of £1,461.

 By city, Dundee is the most successful in that all 7 projects launched there were successful, but it is Edinburgh that has raised the most with some 21 successful projects from 28 raising £548,895

 Projects in 11 categories were represented with Design, Film & Video, Games and Music each having 6 projects. Design being the most successful with all 6 projects being successful raising £121,088 in total.

 Of the eye catching projects the greatest total was raised by RunRev in Edinburgh whose project to take the Livecode software open source raised £493,795 from 33442 backers. But in terms of over achieving their target the Omega Titanium Wallet project from Fireti in Aberdeen outstrips all others by starting off looking for £4800 and raising £103,899 – a 2164% success rate! Other notable over achievers include the Brew Test-Bot in Dundee who set out looking for £1,500 and managing £14,859 –  991% success.

 All in all it demonstrates what is possible and so we can only wonder at what the future might hold.

Note: Our method for including projects was that a project must have begun after October 31st 2012 and completed before May 1st 2013. Projects needed to be located in Scotland (thereby excluding projects that, for example, intended to bring a production to the Edinburgh Festival but were, in fact, US based). Where projects were denominated in US Dollars we converted to Sterling at a rate of 1.6. In terms of categories we assigned all projects to the top level category available from the Kickstarter categories


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