Whitman Voices


Dylan Kim Finds Kickstarter Success

Dylan Kim Finds Kickstarter Success

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform through which entrepreneurs can raise capital for their ideas. This new form of funding has given young entrepreneurs more access to capital. Dylan Kim, senior psychology major and marketing minor at Syracuse University, used Kickstarter to fund his entrepreneur endeavor: Brevitē Design, a company creating what is known as the Brevi camera backpack.

Below, Kim shares how he achieved a successful Kickstarter campaign:

Used social media to raise brand awareness

Brevitē Design had close to 2,500 followers on Instagram before the launch of its Kickstarter campaign. There was a similar product on Kickstarter during Brevitē’s campaign, but this competitor backed out because awareness of its product could not match that of Brevitē’s, especially due to its social media presence.

Kim also utilized his friends’ social media reach via Thunderclap, a crowd-speaking platform, to spread the word about his campaign. This platform asks supporters to sign up their social media accounts for a one-time blast out post. Kim asked his friends to sign up and projected that about $1,300 was raised via one person’s social post.

Connected with influencers in the industry

As a college student, Kim’s network was limited. However, this did not stop him from reaching out to close to 400 blogs. Through his persistent efforts, Kim connected with two influencers: @nikon_photography_ and @canon_photos. Brevitē gave the two accounts a backpack in return for Brevite-branded posts. This exchange led to 3,000 new followers on Brevitē’s Instagram. He also attended the Photo Plus Expo, which exposed him to new business relationships.

Take it day by day

Kickstarter is a 30-day campaign, during which you must reach your goal in order to receive any funding at all. At the start of his campaign, Kim received thousands in funding. However, as the campaign progressed, funding decreased and on some days, there were even no backers. “The emotional toll of Kickstarter is overlooked. A lot of people think of it as numbers but the stress puts a strain on you,” said Kim. He credits his sanity to his brothers: “It helps to have a great team. We kept each other going.”

Kim’s motto is: “It’s not about where you are, it’s about where you are going.” By persisting and looking forward, Kim was able to reach his goal of $30,000 before the end of the 30 days. He even surpassed his stretch goal of $35,000 and raised a total of $38,131 with 238 backers.

Karen Kim