Product Funder uses crowdsourcing to help develop new consumer products

2013-06-01T00:00:00Z Product Funder uses crowdsourcing to help develop new consumer productsBy TOM HOWARD The Billings Gazette
June 01, 2013 12:00 am  • 

BOZEMAN — Product Funder, a new effort that’s designed to spur consumer product development through crowdsourcing, has been launched in Bozeman.

Co-founders Stephen Sanford, David Yakos, and Dr. Joe Stanislao have launched the website, www.productfunder.com, to help inventors take an idea from inception to retail shelves.

“With the rise of crowdfunding, this is a step to let inventors take control,” Sanford said. “A lot of inventors get to a certain point but can’t afford the last step such as tooling costs or prototyping.”

Product Funder offers an automated system that guides inventors through the multiple steps required to bring a product to market.

An accepted project proposal gains a user access to Product Funder’s Trusted Partner Network, which is a vetted group of industry contacts that help with every step of product design, development and manufacturing.

Without a central resource like Product Funder, inventors face a time consuming process of seeking out multiple entities for services like securing intellectual property rights and developing a functional prototype.

Sanford and Yakos are principals of Salient Technologies Inc., a product design firm based in Bozeman.

Stanislao is an adjunct professor in mechanical engineering at Montana State University.

“Crowdfunding is such a valuable tool for showcasing an idea and raising capital — but none of the existing platforms know consumer products like we do. So, we applied our knowledge of the industry and product development process to the crowdfunding model and came up with Product Funder,” Sanford said.

Product Funder can also be called “accountable crowd funding.”

With consumer products, there are more steps to the process than other traditionally crowdfunded projects, such as artistic

works or music.

Given the increased level of involvement, Product Funder has introduced the Medals System that allows each step in the process to be rated and evaluated.

During a brief video pitch uploaded to the site, inventors have the opportunity to prove that they have completed the various steps they claim on the path to having a final product ready for pre-sales.

It is also possible to have a third-party audit their project and review their medals. Inventors and small businesses who make use of the Product Funder platform will also inherently benefit from the founders’ combined 80 years of experience in product development and engineering.

“We are kicking off the launch of Product Funder with the release of the Folf Club, the ultimate disc golf launcher. The Folf Club is already well on its way to being funded and into production.” Yakos said.

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More from the Gazette

Absarokee-based bank appoints new president

Absarokee-based bank appoints new president

January 27, 2015 7:30 pm Related Loading…
Highlands mine could mean primary, secondary jobs for Butte

Highlands mine could mean primary, secondary jobs for Butte

January 25, 2015 12:00 pm Photos

Photos

Loading…
Bakken wives worry over job losses

Bakken wives worry over job losses

January 25, 2015 10:58 am Photos

Photos

Loading…
Dickinson refinery costing more than expected due to delays

Dickinson refinery costing more than expected due to delays

January 20, 2015 11:00 am Photos

Photos

Loading…
Freight booming at Billings airport

Freight booming at Billings airport

January 16, 2015 4:42 pmLoading…

Williston to shut down man camps for new fire sprinkler systems

January 15, 2015 9:40 amLoading…

Company owner dies at Bakken oil well site

January 15, 2015 9:26 amLoading…
1 dead, 1 injured in Bakken oilfield accident

1 dead, 1 injured in Bakken oilfield accident

January 14, 2015 4:58 pmLoading…
Noodles & Company opening in Bozeman, Missoula

Noodles & Company opening in Bozeman, Missoula

January 11, 2015 3:30 pmLoading…
Senate panel approves Keystone bill despite veto threat

Senate panel approves Keystone bill despite veto threat

January 08, 2015 11:17 amLoading…
‘Do not rent’: Bakken hotels try to curb human trafficking

‘Do not rent’: Bakken hotels try to curb human trafficking

January 04, 2015 2:19 pm Photos

Photos

Loading…
Business, labor groups preparing for legislative session

Business, labor groups preparing for legislative session

January 04, 2015 6:00 am Photos

Photos

Loading…
Car wash eying MetraPark-area expansion

Car wash eying MetraPark-area expansion

December 29, 2014 6:40 pmLoading…
Get weekly ads via e-mail

Featured Businesses