Category Archives: Podcasts

CFN099 – ChairVisor: An Easy Way To Keep The Sun Off Your Face


The crowdfunding space is full of success stories. Where else can someone come up with an idea, get it down on paper, build a prototype and open it up to public consumption on a large scale?

Today’s episode features David Acosta, a firefighter from Chula Vista, CA, who identified a solution to a very common issue in sunny climates – how do you protect your face from too much exposure to the sun? He saw people using towels, hats, and even bathing suit bottoms to cover their faces in an attempt to shield themselves from the sun while laying out by the pool.  He designed and patented a sun visor, called ChairVisor, that clips on to your lounge chair, and provides an excellent adjustable shade that is also more civilized than using parts of your swimsuit! Follow-on versions include a solar charger and tablet holder.

Listen in as he describes his sometimes difficult path, and the sacrifices he’s made to bring his invention to market, including a product test at the Hilton Palm Springs, utilizing marketing analytics from San Diego State students, and organizing a launch-day party to boost the Indiegogo launch on March 19, 2016.

**Note – The ChairVisor campaign goes live on Indiegogo on March 19, 2016, which is after this episode is posted.**


CFN098 – Müll: Handmade Goods From Recycled Plastic Bags


Leave it to the crowdfunding community to create a way to recycle plastic bags in to useful products – and not only can you pledge to receive them – you’ll also receive instructions on how to recycle these bags at home, to keep the recycling going forward!

This innovative technique and approach was conceived by my guest on today’s episode, Carter Zufelt, a recent graduate of Brigham Young University, where he was inspired to take action to help rid our natural environment of waste created when people discard these plastic bags (consumption is estimated at more than 1 trillion bags worldwide each year).

Carter developed a line of products called Müll, which include rings, dice, blocks and organizers that are created 100% from recycled bags. These colorful products are created through indirect heat and pressure, and can be recycled themselves.

Listen in as Carter explains what inspired him to create a sustainable recycling model, and how he brought it to market through Kickstarter.


CFN097 – Top Son: It’s About Time For A Tom Cruise Mockumentary


Tom Cruise. The world’s most famous actor. You know the characters and one-liners like the lyrics to any Beatles song. He’s become a cultural icon.

Leave it to a group of midwestern filmmakers to put together what may be the first Tom Cruise “mockumentary” short, featuring the best Tom Cruise impersonator in the world, Evan Ferrante (full-disclosure, Evan is a longtime friend and client).

Listen in as I talk with Evan and writer/producer/director Joe Puleo about how the film, “Top Son,” came to fruition and what they’re planning for the funds raised during their Indiegogo campaign. You’ll hear a little about how the film festival circuit works, and how they plan to get the word out and promote the film across the country. You might even catch some of the best Not Tom Cruise one-liners you’ve ever feasted your ears on…

CFN096 – The Pagaré NFC Payment Smartstrap: Pay With Your Pebble!


Partnering with existing brands and manufacturers is a very smart path to success for anyone contemplating entering the hardware business. We’re starting to see more of this across various crowdfunding campaigns, because it can place the “heavy-lifting” part of hardware development on the shoulders of proven partners who have both the processes and costs under control – two factors which have quickly sunk many a product development team.

On today’s show, I speak with Michael Orlando (CEO) and Steve Kurtz (Head of Product) of Fit Pay, a payment platform company, that has shrewdly partnered with renown smartwatch company Pebble, to make NFC payments possible with the Pebble watch.

Their Pagaré Smartstrap allows users to make NFC payments at millions of retail establishments with just a swipe of your wrist. All of the technology is contained in the watchband, and it even includes an innovative USB charging jack, built into the end of the strap. The Pagaré automatically goes into password-protection mode overtime the watch comes off your wrist for seamless security.

Listen in as Michael and Steve describe how they came to work with Pebble and how their partnership may lead to a potential brand integration in the future.


CFN095 – TradeMade: Trade What You Have For What You Need


Why buy when you can trade? That’s the premise behind the new crowdfunded app called TradeMade.

Founded by two NYU students (and built by NYU’s MessApps), with the bright idea to save the planet and get people bartering instead of buying, as a way to eliminate waste and go cashless (there’s no carbon footprint, if new products aren’t created).

In this episode, I speak with Royal Sayewitz and Jake Madoff, who just successfully funded their Kickstarter campaign for TradeMade.

Listen in as they describe how they came up with the unique idea to rid themselves of their unneeded things with a mobile app, while at the same time, being very environmentally conscious.

CFN094 – The KP Duffle: The Ferrari of Travel Bags


It’s really pretty amazing to have designers attacking the travel bag market. No more boring barrel bags or ubiquitous ballistic nylon bricks that display a zero aesthetic!

Crowdfunding has inspired designers to take creative risks and to create carry-ons with character – and loads of utility as well.

On today’s episode, I’m speaking with Bryan Kinney, who is the marketing director for Keep Pursuing – the folks behind the KP Duffle, which was designed with an eye to the fine automobiles of Ferrari. Even though it’s not quite as fast, this bag definitely seems to evoke the clean lines, and stylish flair of the venerable Italian automaker’s work.

Listen in as Bryan relates how he was able to re-engage backers from their pervious project  (the KP Sling) onto this campaign, and work with crowdfunding marketers BackerClub (featured in Episode 010) and Funded.Today (featured in Episode 009) to build a six-figure raise from four-figure backers. Bryan was gracious enough to offer our listeners a coupon code good for 10% off the KP Duffle – just enter NEW2016 at checkout!


CFN093 – Orison: The First Plug & Play Home Battery


The phrase “off-the-grid” used to evoke visions of rustic cabins out in the wilderness somewhere. No more. As more and more people install home solar systems, they are starting to realize their ability to generate enough power to handle most, if not all of their electricity needs.

The main issue with solar has been power usage at night. When the sun goes down, your solar panels produce nothing. The solution is, of course, a battery system. With big-minds like Elon Musk entering the field, there’s little doubt this is the solution. But until now, complicated  installations, expensive electrical contractors, and permit requirements have kept this option either too expensive or too complex for most homeowners.

Enter the Orison – the first home battery system that’s truly plug & play. You just plug it into your outlet, and it charges itself. If there’s an outage, or you want to pop off the grid, it sends power back through your system to meet your power needs. What could be easier?

Listen in as I speak with Orison creator Eric Clifton about the development of his new battery, and how he partnered with Melanie Venter at Venter PR, to bring it to life on Kickstarter.


CFN092 – The Freedom Journal: John Lee Dumas Ignites Kickstarter!


You know crowdfunding has hit its stride when one of the most successful online marketing entrepreneurs in the world launches a Kickstarter campaign.

Joining me on the show today is John Lee Dumas, who is the man behind Entrepreneur On Fire, which has been ranked one of the top podcasts on iTunes, and is also a very successful online entrepreneurial business platform that has created a global media empire.

John’s Kickstarter project is called The Freedom Journal, and is focused on getting you to focus on your #1 goal, and inspiring you to get it accomplished in 100 days.

Listen in as John tells us what inspired him to launch a Kickstarter campaign, and how he’s  already exceeded more than 16 times his initial funding goal. He’s also involving Pencils Of Promise on the charitable side, and utilizing Prouduct for assistance on the manufacturer sourcing side.

CFN091 – Microscape: Your Little (3D Printed) Piece Of The City


Architects view the world through a different perspective than most of us. They constantly consider space, form, light and flow, in things that many take for granted. So, when two of them got together to share a passion project, the results were amazing.

In today’s episode, I speak with Will Ngo and Alan Silverman, two New York city architects who have put their efforts into creating something that is all at once beautiful and substantive. They call it Microscape, and it’s a true-scale 1:5000 replica of an urban landscape, complete with terrain and structures – and in Manhattan, that means every building, street and park.

While models are commonplace in their business, rarely are these forms made available to the general public. Their Kickstarter campaign has even garnered a pledge from Kickstarter itself!

Listen in as Will and Alan describe the painstaking process they use to aerially map and then manually enhance each block of Gotham.


CFN090 – JS Shoe: The World’s First 3D Knitted Shoe!


It had to happen. Sooner or later, the ability to create wearable clothing from a computer will change the world. That day is here!

In this episode, I speak with Xiaoxi Shi, who is the founder of JS Shoe, the creator of the world’s first 3D knitted shoe. The Kickstarter campaign is taking off, and has already exceeded it’s initial funding goal from more than 600 backers, with more than a month left to go.

Much like 3D printing, 3D knitting is computer driven, and can produce customized shoes, one at a time – you can actually order 2 different sized or colored shoes as a pair. There is no waste, as there are no rolls of fabric to cut from – each shoe is knitted directly from the 3D knitting machine.

Listen in as Xiaoxi describes the unique manufacturing process and how he’s used Los Angeles-based PR company Productivity PR to help him garner press on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox TV, as well as many other online and print outlets.