TOTSUP raised £6,162 in 29 days to help fund the TOTSUP Big Red Bus reward chart and iOS app. Read our interview with Founder and Creator Sally Marks to find out more about their crowdfunding journey.
Tell us about your project in five words…
The Reward Chart Tots Love Lots
Why did you want to crowdfund?
To accelerate the rate at which I could bring my product to life…and to market. As well as securing pre-orders of the product by offering it as a reward.
How has crowdfunding helped you?
As well as raising valuable funds to develop an app and the packaging for the product, the 28 days of the campaign provided some great press and radio coverage, social media exposure, enquires from potential stockists and pre-orders.
It has helped us to gain market validation for the concept and the TotsUp brand in one month, that would otherwise have taken considerably longer.
How did you encourage pledges?
I held a launch lunch the weekend before my Crowdfunder campaign began and ‘unveiled’ my film to friends and family. They all became great supporters of the project and helped me get off to a great start.
I don’t think I had a conversation, sent an email or text in the run up to and throughout my project that didn’t mention it!
I shared extensively on social media and sent emails prior to and throughout the project. I also approached family and friends by phone and in person prior to launching, to tell them about it.
Will your project create jobs?
Yes, I envisage recruiting in 12-18 months.
How will the project improve the lives of people?
I have worked extensively with parents, Early Years Educators and an Educational Psychologist to create a product which, in trials, has had a significant and very positive effect on the behaviour of children aged 2-6, at home and in school.
What’s the best bit about crowdfunding? Has it spurred you to do other things?
It’s incredibly exciting! Keeping momentum going, particularly on days when there are few or no pledges is challenging and you need to be prepared to keep coming up with ways to refresh the campaign throughout.
Reaching my target felt like a huge achievement and it has certainly helped me towards launching sooner than I could have done otherwise.
How has crowdfunding helped your project access other funds, through match funding etc?
Having been selected as one of the inaugural GAIN20 businesses I was incredibly fortunate to receive £2,500 in match funding from GAIN.
Where do you want to be in five years?
I would like to see TotsUp as a well-known, established and trusted brand housing a range of innovative children’s products.
Check out the TOTSUP project page to find out more.