In the lead up to our Technicity event about crowdfunding, we are looking at the experiences Canadian businesses have had with the crowdfunding platforms currently available. In this Q&A, we hear from Vancouver’s Jamie Kasza.
Stact is a modular wine rack that you hang on your wall. It’s available in a number of different colours and textures, and the panels can be adapted to any space. What’s important to know is that you can fit more wine into a smaller space.
Vancouver native Jamie Kasza was inspired to create a wine display that would fit into any decor and collabored with designer Eric Pfeiffer to create Stact. “I love wine, but I hate wine racks,” he explains in his Kickstarter video.
When it came time to raise money to get his product underway, he set a goal of collecting $20,000 on Kickstarter – but ended up with more than $100,000 in the bank. We asked him to share his crowdfunding success story.
Brian Jackson: Tell us your story, what is your project and why did you turn to crowdfunding?
Jamie Kasza: As a wine enthusiast, I saw a need for a better way to store and display wine – the present solutions offered to consumers, put simply, are hideous. With a global online wine industry expected to grow by 63 per cent, overtaking even the music downloads space, I knew that the wine rack would need to be optimized for the online sales channel. I commissioned ICFF award-winning designer Eric Pfeiffer of San Francisco to design the revolutionary STACT modular wine wall system.
I turned to crowdfunding to finance expenses involved with manufacturing the product, which include tooling and material costs.
BJ: How successful was the model of crowdfunding vs. your expectations of it?
JK: My experience with crowdfunding via Kickstarter well exceeded my expectations. Generating over $100,000 in funding provided the capital needed to cover startup costs, patent applications, and initial production run. Beyond the capital, it provided the platform that helped garner international press from leading news outlets, magazines, blogs, as well as an overwhelming response from global distributors.
BJ: Equity-based crowdfunding; is this something you’d want to participate in? Do you think it would be better than the crowdfunding style you took part in, or not? Why?
Absolutely. STACT was born as the most crowdfunded business within the wine space, which helped us get off the ground. However, achieving our ultimate vision–to disrupt the wine industry through ‘good design’–will likely require additional capital. I believe by turning to ‘the crowd’ for our first round of equity investment we can meet our capital requirements while yielding a higher valuation vis-à-vis the traditional investment community.