Indiegogo and Arrow Electronics
Human resources and funding have always been the two most important obstacles in the way of developing high-flying and pioneering projects. Many new ideas have been forgotten due to the lack of sufficient initial investment. Many others may have led to unsuccessful outcomes because a professional evaluation of the idea was not available at the start.
Recently, Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform, has joined forces with Arrow Electronics which is specialized at value-added electronic components and computer products. This alliance not only will make both the funding and expertise available to support the brilliant ideas of entrepreneurs but will also expedite the crowdfund–to-market process dramatically. This is crucial especially in the electronics industry in which a timely go-to-market process can make a huge difference.
Image courtesy of Indiegogo.
Indiegogo was founded by Danae Ringelmann, Slava Rubin, and Eric Schell in 2008. It is one of the first crowdfunding websites in the world and has a monthly global audience of 15 million people. Its customers are anyone who has a new idea and needs to raise finance for their business.
On the other hand, Arrow is a one-stop-shop in the electronics field and is far more than just the human resources. It has all the design tools, prototype services, and manufacturing support in addition to the professional engineers. Arrow is a global provider of electronic components and solutions to the industrial and commercial users. The company’s sales during the last year were $23.28 billion and it is cooperating with more than 100,000 equipment manufacturers from around the world.
Supporting Developer Projects
Before the formal alliance between Indiegogo and Arrow, a large number of Indiegogo campaigns were increasingly using the Arrow services. For example, Solar Roadways and the Jibo robot were two of the Indiegogo campaigns which utilized Arrow technologies.
Solar Roadways, a successful Indiegogo campaign, raised more than $2.2 million in funding. This project aimed at replacing the asphalt surfaces with solar panels which can withstand the heavy vehicles. With the Arrow’s technical support, Solar Roadways has paved its way to real life in Idaho.
Jibo, a friendly home robot, raised more than $3 million in funding on Indiegogo and now is going to be available in homes around the globe.
The Jibo robot: built with Arrow Electronics support. Image courtesy of Jibo.
According to Indiegogo, the increasing tendency of their campaigns to use the Arrow services was the reason for seeking for a formal alliance between the two companies.
As a resourceful and experienced company, Arrow can successfully assess the quality and feasibility of a new idea in the field of electronics. Those Indiegogo campaigns which are supported by Arrow will be marked with an Arrow badge. Such projects will have Arrow’s design tools and software, prototype services, manufacturing and the technical support of its experienced engineers.
In addition to the mentioned package of benefits, which is worth more than $500,000, Arrow is offering discounts on the cost of materials and the required design software for the approved ideas.
Arrow's badges and subsequent support will be given according to a tier system:
- Bronze: These badges are given to any technology campaign that would like to opt into the program. Support afforded with this badge includes discounts on components and a customized Arrow Design Assessment to provide feedback on each project's goals and potential. It also includes subscription access to the Silicon Expert database, which offers a deluge of information on components, parts sourcing, and industry intel.
- Silver: Next tier badges will receive all of the bronze-level perks, but also marketing support, certain free materials, and access to cutting-edge tools via Arrow's TestDrive program.
- Gold: The most advanced level of support. These badges will be awarded to the projects with the highest feasibility of successful distribution. Its additional perks include supply-chain financing, warehousing resources, and distribution support.
Changing the Crowdfunding Landscape
From another point of view, considering the Arrow’s experience in collaboration with several huge technology brands of the world, crowdfunding will quite possibly be much more successful in the projects marked with the Arrow's badge. Indiegogo's audience will be more willing to take part because the feasibility, manufacturability, and the market of the project is guaranteed by a trusted partner. It is yet to be seen whether projects lacking the Arrow Electronics gold- or silver- level vote of confidence will comparatively gather less support.
A "Funded with Indiegogo" badge. Image courtesy of Indiegogo.
According to the Arrow’s chief digital officer, Matt Anderson, this cooperation introduces a new model of innovation, social funding, and production. Now that the border between crowdfunding and technological support has shrunk, it is no surprise to see companies that grow quickly even before their product comes to the market.
Indiegogo sees this alliance as the consequence of their commitment to developing new ways of supporting entrepreneurs beyond just funding. Help through every step of the entrepreneur’s journey is one of the main reasons for the tremendous growth of tech and IoT projects on Indiegogo.
This is Indiegogo's first corporate partnership geared specifically towards supporting tech developers. Other partnerships include their cooperation with Pfizer for health-related projects and their serial collaborations with GE subsidiary FirstBuild. The partnership with Arrow also represents the most thorough support system offered through Indiegogo's platform.
For those developers who have always been dreaming about their ideas but have been intimidated by how to raise finance and how to turn innovation into a commercial product, now they have as much professional assistance on their project as possible. What you really need is a brilliant idea— and, if you're lucky, the rest of story may move exceptionally quickly.