- by Alyson Shane
Guillaume Rolland is an 18-year old entrepreneur from Paris, France. He is the creator of SensorWake, an olfactory-based alarm clock which wakes you up through the power of smell. He used Kickstarter to successfully fund his project.
Can you briefly talk about SensorWake?
SensorWake is an olfactory alarm-clock. It can wake you up only thanks your favourite scent (hot croissant, peppermint, coffee and even the smell of a dollar!)
Why did you feel that the crowdfunding model was the best way to promote the product?
It’s the perfect worldwide showcase to promote your device or idea.
Why and how did you choose Kickstarter over other crowdfunding options available?
Kickstarter is developing the most powerful community; it is multicultural, curious, and respectful about your project.
How big was your budget before you launched your crowdfunding campaign?
We have to create a great video and great images of our product. We don’t communicate about it but we started with less than 10.000€
How far along was your project before you felt ready to launch a crowdfunding campaign? In hindsight, would you have preferred to be farther along, or to have crowdfunded earlier?
You have to begin the preparation about 4-5 months before.
Can you explain how you prepared for and managed your campaign?
We built a strong team and made sure everyone had strong, unique, and different qualities to be ready for all the challenges we expected.
What tools did you use to market your campaign? Do you feel like you did so successfully, and if not, what could you have done differently?
Facebook Ads are a really great key to market the campaign when it’s live. You also have to showcase your product at a real event. For example we attended the Hello Tomorrow Start-Up Village in June; it’s just the perfect way to demonstrate the real qualities of your product, and to meet your very first backers.
In retrospect what were your best assets for running this successful campaign? On the other hand, what would you do differently?
One of our best assets was that we had a strong community before the launch. We more than 7,500 fans on Facebook before the campaign launch, who were our very first ambassadors who promoted our project.
What was your biggest challenge during your campaign?
Our best challenge is to keep in touch with our backers, we have to be close with them but not spend too much time responding to every email or comment.
What’s the most valuable advice you could share with aspiring crowdfunders?
Take your time before launching, develop a strong community and create the perfect crowdfunding page, do not forget that video is 50% of your campaign success.
This post is part of the Crowdfunding Crash Course series. You can find the full list of interviews and summaries here.