Record-breaking Aussie beekeeper entrepreneurs return to Indiegogo as production begins in Queensland
Friday, May 22, 2015/
The Australian father and son duo that raised more than $15 million in funding in a month on Indiegogo have returned to the crowdfunding platform to continue to pre-sell their popular invention.
Flow is an invention that allows beekeepers to effectively turn on a tap in order to retrieve honey from a beehive.
Its founders, Byron Bay duo Stuart and Cedar Anderson, initially asked for $US70,000 in funding from backers but ended up becoming the most funded project on Indiegogo of all time.
The pair’s initial target was far exceeded, with the entrepreneurs raking in $US12.2 million ($15.43 million) by the time that first crowdfunding campaign came to an end.
Speaking to SmartCompany this morning, Stuart Anderson said the Indiegogo campaign will be a little different this time around because it is “not exactly” crowdfunding.
“Indiegogo has the ability to turn a successful campaign into what is called ‘in demand’ and it becomes more like a shopfront for you,” Anderson says.
“So we’ve done both – opened up our own website for sales and we’re staying on with Indiegogo with that program.”
“There’s advantages to staying with Indiegogo – a lot of traffic is directed there and people are familiar with going there to find us. And they are willing to keep advertising and promoting us off their own bat. It’s been a good working relationship so it’s nice to keep it alive.”
While both sites have only been accepting orders for around a week, Anderson says the number of sales has been “similar” to the response during the crowdfunding campaign, which saw he and his son’s invention spring into a fully-fledged business.
Production for the Flow product begins today in Queensland. Stuart says he and Cedar decided to go with an Australian manufacturer partly because it matched with the philosophy behind the business but also for more practical reasons.
“We’ve found the prices in Brisbane have been competitive with anywhere else in the world,” he says.
“An overriding factor for us was its proximity – it happens to be only two hours’ drive away from where we live and in the beginnings of large scale production we need to be there a lot.”
“So Cedar and I might have moved otherwise as you have to be there so often as the engineers in the factory get used to exactly what’s needed in the product.”
As for his advice to other entrepreneurs looking for the right manufacturer, Anderson says the key is to find a team you “click” with and that respects you as the founder.
“This team of engineers and the company owners and so on have a can-do attitude,” he says.
“But I also found them very respectful of us as inventors.”
“Sadly that wasn’t the case with every company we dealt with. Some engineers or people have felt that once we started consulting about the product they wanted to take over and say it’s in the experts’ hands. But of course, Cedar and I have spent 10 years deeply engrossed in this product and just because we don’t have engineering skills doesn’t mean we’re not competent… we know [the product] inside out.”