Saturday, July 28, 2012

Revolutionary watch crowdfunded in weeks after years in business finance wilderness

After spending years trying to raise venture capital for his innovative new watch project,  Eric Migicovsky  finally tried crowdfunding as a last resort. One of his friends recommended it after his own success in raising funding. He read up on the best approach to crowdfunding, decided on a list of goal amounts and related rewards and posted his project on Kickstarter, arguably the most successful crowdfunding platform to date. The result? Pebble Watch got $500,000 in funding after one day on

  Speaking in Boston at the World Congress Leadership Summit on Telemedicine at the Colonnade Hotel today, Eric Migicovsky, Founder and Lead Designer at Pebble Technology, described years of fruitlessly seeking enough investment capital to support the launch of his team’s invention, a customizable watch, only to be completely funded within weeks through crowdsourcing on In fact, on the first day on Kickstarter, his team made five times their original goal of $100,000.

The Pebble Watch is programmable, customizable, and integrates with iPhone and Android. This makes it possible to connect the watch with health apps designed to support patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Patients could program in alerts to take medication, as well as use sports and fitness apps to help them keep healthy and even lose weight.

“Apps can be prescribed to patients,” explained David Barnes, Strategic Advisor at Happtique. His company has designed a proprietary method for mobile devices, such as the Pebble Watch, to transmit health care data securely. Happtique is also developing an app certification program “Blue Ribbon Panel” that would make sure health applications using mobile devices such as the Pebble Watch meet standards such as operating reliably, having valid health information, and safeguarding data.

Does the Pebble Watch’s success on Kickstarter after its failure to obtain traditional investment, show that crowdfunding is the  new sollution for breaktrough concepts and entrepreneurial support, asks Candace Klein.

One of the key reasons for the success of crowdfunding is that smaller projects of $25,000 to $50,000 could easily be funded by crowdsourcing but would be too small for venture capitalists to consider, she points out. In addition, if a larger effort can demonstrate that it can raise some portion of its funds from crowdsourcing, investors will be encouraged that the project has popular appeal.

Following the success of the websites such as, and it will be interesting to see the level of sucess South Africa's own  will manager to achieve.

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