Singapore-based telco StarHub’s rewards-based crowdfunding site Crowdtivate has been curating and evaluating applications since it was first announced in April this year, officially opening projects for public backing yesterday.
Crowdtivate’s first batch of 12 projects have been chosen from a total of 400 applicants. To aid in the evaluation of projects, it has partnered with different companies that offer their expertise, which include hardware firms and research institutions. Among Crowdtivate’s partners are NUS Design Incubation Centre, National Book Development Council of Singapore, and Home-Fix DIY store.
Noted Stephen Lee, Head of StarHub’s i3 incubation arm, “Since the beta launch of Crowdtivate in April 2014, we’ve received hundreds of proposals for crowdfunding. These past three months were spent with the entrepreneurs developing a strong marketing and promotional campaign that we believe will inspire the crowdfunding community.”
The projects hosted on Crowdtivate are sorted in a variety of categories ranging from mobile apps and tech hardware to social enterprises and books/music. Here are a few of Crowdtivate’s first batch of projects:
WaryBee WaryBee is a smart emergency device that lets its wearer alert his or her loved ones in case of emergency. Small and designed to fit into jewellery, WaryBee was designed by a concerned father seeking to protect his family.
Ruby Chen – Life’s Precious Hailing from Singapore, Ruby Chen is a fledgling musician looking to establish her place in the local music scene. Specialising in pop and easy listening music, Chen is looking to Crowdtivate to help fund her new Mandarin album.
Ambi Climate Delegates as well as followers of Echelon 2014 will be familiar with Ambi Climate. A product of Hong Kong-based Ambi Labs, Ambi Climate is a smart remote control that aims to improve indoor climate comfort and energy efficiency of air conditioners.
In addition, StarHub has released that Crowdtivate is also partnering with Indonesian telco Indosat to offer campaign proposals. With telco backing, can Crowdtivate hope to take on the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo as Asia’s premier crowdfunding site? The answer depends on what will win over consumers, uniqueness and novelty or product quality.
As the recent news of the potato salad Kickstarter campaign shows, crowdfunding campaign backers can be and are enticed by novel, even ridiculous, projects. With a rigorous selection process in place, StarHub can be seen to be targeting the mainstream consumers, as compared to novelty-seeking individuals who seem to make up most crowdfunding backers today. If Crowdtivate succeeds in gaining traction, Asia could potentially be the hub for “serious” crowdfunding efforts by credible companies with solid products in place.