Investor Funding for New Product Development

POSTED BY , Funding, Marketing

We work with a lot of individual inventors who are new to product development and in need of funding. A common situation is for an inventor to come to us with a great idea for a new product but not enough funding to actually take it to market. Many have resources to cover the costs of initial engineering development and a few prototypes, but get stuck once it’s time to enter mass production due to the high cost of tooling. To date, inventors have solved this dilemma through a combination of credit cards, investment from friends & family, and their own savings. Over the past few years, however, a new company has emerged that presents a much more elegant solution: Kickstarter

Kickstarter Logo

Kickstarter funds new product development

Never before has there been such an effective tool for individual inventors to raise capital to fund their product development projects. This is a very real game changer for anyone who has ever had a dream of creating a new product but lacked the funds to get there. Kickstarter works by giving designers and inventors a platform on which to pitch their idea. At Kickstarter, inventors present their vision and state the amount of funding needed to bring it to fruition. Then, site visitors (who are mostly ordinary people, not sophisticated investors) pledge money towards projects they like. The inventor gets cash for his project, and those who pledge receive a gift (a t-shirt, honorable mention on the inventor’s website, or often one of the first units manufactured but at a discounted price…it’s totally up to the inventor).

All of this is contingent upon the project actually funding, however. In other words, if not enough people pledge and the stated funding amount isn’t met within a finite period of time (also decided by the inventor before pledging begins), no money (or gifts) change hands. It’s a brilliant system that protects both the inventors and those who pledge (who are referred to as “kickstarters”).

There are a few things that drastically increase an inventor’s chances of reaching his funding goal, the most important of which being a refined design and prototype of the product. In fact, Kickstarter often won’t even allow inventors to pitch their ideas without a working physical prototype to demonstrate. This is where Pipeline can help. Most folks have the resources (whether it be savings or friends & family) to scrape together enough cash to fund the design and fabrication of a prototype. At that point, we’ll help you develop your product, get prototypes made, test the product, and generally get you where you need to be to have a prime chance of getting funded on Kickstarter. We can even help you create a video to demonstrate the product (another piece of the kickstarter puzzle that is a major factor in reaching your funding goal).

Kickstarter is legitimately revolutionizing the product development industry. No longer do you need to be a large company to bring a new product to market. Give us a call or shoot us an email to discuss your project and see how we can help you get funded.

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Product Photography vs. Photorealistic 3D Product Rendering

POSTED BY , Marketing

Product photography and photorealistic 3d product renderings get right to the heart of selling a product (or even just an idea, in some situations): people want to see what it is they are buying before opening that wallet and sliding out the credit card. And the better the product looks in the image, the more likely your customers are to purchase the item. Both mediums have a rightful place in the visualization market; let’s explore the benefits of using one over the other.

Photorealistic rendering software has become so advanced these days that most people can’t tell the difference between a rendering and a photograph. Rendering a product requires building a complete 3D CAD model, which can be time consuming and expensive if the geometry is complex and the number of components is high. Once the 3D model is created and the “digital studio environment” is set up, however, making changes to things like material colors and finishes is very simple and cost effective. Additionally, you can do things in renderings that would be physically impossible with a photograph, such as making certain components transparent, creating cutaway views, floating objects in space, etc. It also becomes very easy to show comparisons (e.g. a lineup of products showcasing different possible color or texture schemes).

Product photography has the obvious benefit of not requiring the expense of creating a 3D model. If the product’s geometry is very complex and the limited amount of desired views & comparisons doesn’t warrant the time required to create a versatile 3D model, product photography can be a very cost effective means of visualizing your product. Also, while metals, plastics, and woods render very well, textiles and fabrics are often better suited to being photographed.

In summary, here are a few general rules of thumb to help guide you when deciding between product photography or 3D rendering:

A product is better suited to photorealistic rendering when your project matches these criteria:

  • Need to visualize physically impossible situations such as internal components or cutaway views
  • The product has not yet been manufactured
  • Want to include many combinations of different backgrounds, material colors, textures, scenes, etc
  • Product is metal, plastic, rubber, or wood

A product is better suited to product photography when your project matches these criteria:

  • Product geometry is very complex (lots of 3D contours, etc that would be time-intensive to model)
  • The required views, materials, colors, etc have already been defined
  • Product contains lots of fabrics or textiles
  • Product has already been manufactured
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