Kickstarter became famous in Detroit for helping to fund the (to some) infamous Robocop statue, which raised $67,000 to fund what at the time was sort of known as a hipster joke. It drew criticism at the time for raising money for basically something that nobody needs at all.  Since then, the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has grown and has helped to fund a lot of cool things around the world and in Detroit.

Two notable success stories lately are Woodward Throwbacks and Hemingwrite, which have both exceeded their goals on Kickstarter. Let’s look at Woodward Throwbacks first.

beer-carrier-woodward throwbacks

Finding Success One Six Pack Holder At A Time

Woodward Throwbacks, a company started by Kyle Dubay makes sustainable products including signs, cutting boards, and stylish reusable six pack holders from wood and materials that are found around Detroit. They’ve accumulated more than $11,800, exceeding their original $10,000 goal.  Their online store is currently closed as they are trying to fulfill the orders from their Kickstarter project, but you can find them every Saturday at Eastern Market between shed 2 and shed 3.

If people want to live in a sustainable world, companies have to make sustainable products,” said Kyle Dubay of Woodward Throwbacks.

They’re going to use the money for a variety of things to help the business including offsetting the cost of the rehabilitation of a previously derelict space on Michigan Avenue west of Corktown where they will have expanded capacity to make even more of their popular products.


Hemingwrite Is A Story Of Making Writing Simpler

Adam Leeb and Patrick Paul of Hemingwrite saw a problem in today’s digital world. For many, all of the bells and whistles of modern technology simply got in the way of great creative work. Hemingwrite is a minimalist digital typewriter that provides a distraction-free experience, which you can’t find with most modern day technology.

“Like many of you, when we tried to get down to writing, we quickly found ourselves down a YouTube rabbithole which we rationalized to ourselves as research,” said Adam Leeb of Hemingwrite.

You can create documents on the paper-white screen (think Kindle) and they sync to your favorite cloud-based service. In other words, it’s the anti-laptop, and by the response to the crowdfunding campaign it creates a solution to the problem of too many distractions (such as Facebook) while trying to write in a focused manner. They have raised more than $291,000, flying past their $250,000 Kickstarter goal with more than a month left.

Sell, Sell, Sell

Both of the ideas are great, but it also takes the right packaging to launch a successful Kickstarter campaign. You’ve got to use multimedia to convince people through the internet that your product is worth funding, and don’t be afraid to push it out there. In other words, you’ve really got to sell it.

“You need to make sure you put enough time into presenting your company or idea in the best way possible. The video is the most important aspect and you need to make sure it is top notch. Same goes for the photos. We actually deleted and reposted photos along the way that we noticed weren’t up to par. From doing so we increased the amount of pledges from those items. It’s important to remember that your idea is only as good as how well you can present it,” said Bozenka “Bo” Shepherd who is with Woodward Throwbacks.

Keep your eye on these Detroit crowdfunding projects to be proud of, or pledge your support if you’d like to see them grow even more. The projects are getting bigger, too. Word is that soon you’ll even have a chance to get in on the new Tiger Stadium development.

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