Behind the scenes of a Hyperloop kickstarter campaign

Waterloop has successfully funded our first two phases in the SpaceX Hyperloop competition, but building one of the world’s first Hyperloop prototypes isn’t just exciting, fun, and incredibly hard, it also will cost us around $36,000.

We launched our Kickstarter campaign to help us reach our goal.

The process

It took many rounds of edits. We started with a mock up of the site and pulled text from our Team Vision document. From there, drafts were created that tailored the campaign to be Kickstarter specific.

After the original draft, finalizing the rewards became a team wide brainstorm. Great ideas like a meet and greet with GOOSE I and naming a subsystem came out of this.


A few days before launching, we submitted the campaign to Kickstarter to review, where we were noticed by the integrity team. They passed us onto a Kickstarter employee who took a special interest in our cause. She was extremely helpful in creating a strategy for our page. With her advice, we altered content so the eye catching images were at the top and text heavy sections were pushed lower. Key to our success on Kickstarter is our video, which had over 17 000 views in the first 7 days of our campaign.

While we were hoping for the most successful launch possible, I don’t think anyone on the team expected to be 15 per cent funded in the first 12 hours, let alone over 50 per cent funded in 48 hours after launch and fully funded within a week! Reaching this goal so quickly is proof that the transportation industry is ready for a change in the way people travel, and investing in technology is what will make that change happen.

The momentum of the Kickstarter campaign has incited the passion of our team and the brilliant, wide ranging, and cohesive graphic set speak to the amount of detail that has been put into every stage of the design process. Team Waterloop has been working on this campaign with all of their free time, while also being full time co-op employees or full time students. The campaign has been a really wonderful collaboration between those on the marketing side and those involved in designing the technology. The cross-pollination of ideas between faculties has created an increased common knowledge through the whole team. As I have learned how much effort goes into designing a subsystem, our engineers are learning what it takes to sell an idea.waterloopteamphoto

The results

On Oct. 24, we surpassed our goal of $20,000 at 212 backers. Thank you to all those that supported and donated to help our team succeed. Due to the overwhelming success, our team is introducing stretch goals for future enhancements of our pod for the second competition, to help send as much of the team to California as we can, and connect with supporters and sponsors through more events. We ask for your continued support on Kickstarter, through donating or sharing our campaign.

Next steps

We will be hosting a Levitation Unveil Event on Nov. 1. The event is geared towards sharing our project with attendees ranging from the local Waterloo tech talent to various media outlets. The event will include keynote speakers, local KW startups, and a live test of our levitation system. Our first official keynote speaker is Tim Jackson, President and CEO of SHAD.

RSVP to our Facebook event to keep up with more announcements and details to come.

Kelsey Dawson, Kickstarter Director of Team Waterloop

Waterloop is a student engineering team competing in the Hyperloop Pod competition hosted by SpaceX. Our team is made up of ambitious and determined first to fourth year students that believe this project can change the future of transportation. After placing in the top 22 teams at Texas A&M University in February, Waterloop has advanced to the final round of the competition. Each advancing team will build their pod and test it in Hawthorne, California this upcoming summer. This final round is composed of 31 teams out of 1200+ that had first entered the competition.

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