Innovate Through Crowdsourcing

The Lempert Report
February 19, 2015

Check out this latest food innovation that’s shaking up Kickstarter!

For today’s entrepreneurs, the playing field has shifted when it comes to getting products into the marketplace. Innovators are now accustomed to getting their projects out there by using crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo to raise money from a mass of eager consumers.  And such technology has allowed small businesses to have huge impacts, as consumers can support passionate innovators in a way they couldn’t before.  Take for example, the company Wicoz who are using kickstarter to shake up the food world…well, the baby food world. Check out the Milk Nanny - the first fully-automatic appliance to make fresh, warm baby formula milk in just 15 seconds. 

JAMES FILBIRD, COO WICOZ INC It's my partners idea. He's 33 years old now and he has a 3 yr old son. About 2 years ago, his son, you know how children need to be fed about three times a night, Cold nights and tiresome sleep got old real quick. 

So he's a maker. Makers are inventors. so he said there's got to be a better way to do this than boiling water and mixing milk and shaking it at 2 or 3 in the morning on a cold night. That's how milk nanny was born. 

Clip from Milk Nanny’s Kickstarter

Phil: As any new parent can tell you, the constant feeding and lack of sleep means an innovative tool like this would be a welcome relief. So, the team at Wicoz turned to crowdsourcing to get the $100,000 they need to begin mass production. They already have working prototypes and a completed app and just need funds to begin the tooling process. They're shooting for a delivery date of May 2015.

James: For us there's three reasons why we went crowdsourcing. Particularly Kickstarter because Kickstarter is the primary funding platform. We went there to raise money. We went there to build brand and brand awareness. We went there to get interest, the VC. Venture Capital community. And then the most important was product validation. The most difficult thing to do after building/creating a product is to get customers to actually buy your product. With Kickstarter, with crowd funding you validate that process which is very important. It makes it easier for us to go the next step and sell it into retail stores and B2B….Crowdfunding is very successful in this area.