Free Enterprise Staff  | July 23, 2013

Crowdfunding and Its Obsession With Wearable Tech (VIDEO)

If there was one common theme among the wearable technology entrepreneurs who attended a recent dinner organized by the Free Enterprise Tour in San Francisco, it was crowdfunding. The platforms they used were different, but almost everyone around the table had experience–and success–with crowdfunding. 

Asad Iqbal, the head of partnerships at Pebble, which makes a wristwatch with smartphone features, spoke about his company’s efforts to raise nearly $10.3 million on Kickstarter

Ian Shakil’s company, Augmedix, is releasing an app for doctors that’s powered by Google Glass. Shakil used Upstart, a crowdfunding platform that lets individuals raise funds in exchange for a portion of their future personal income.

Misfit Wearables founder Sonny Vu turned to Indiegogo, another crowdfunding site, to launch his startup’s activity tracker called Shine. Misfit’s Indiegogo campaign for Shine was mostly a “consumer test,” he said. “We wanted to see if people would actually buy this.”

And buy it they did: 8,000 people pre-ordered the device on Indiegogo. Within nine hours of launching, the campaign had raised $100,000, making it the fastest campaign to reach that amount in the site’s history. 

“It gave us the confidence to go to retailers and say, yes, people want to buy this,” Vu recalled. 

Iqbal, Shakil, and Vu were on a panel of experts that joined Tour Guides Nate and Joe for dinner at the San Francisco stop of the Free Enterprise Tour. To see more of their discussion, check out the video below.