What’s Kickstarter and Why Should I Care?

Beacon Enabled Self-Guided Tours Funded Through Kickstarter.

We’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the efforts of a local public garden. Elizabeth Park in Hartford, CT is the oldest rose garden in the US. It sits on 106 acres and has 12 feature gardens, plus over 450 rose beds. It gets thousands of visitors in season. Many love what they see, but a common refrain is “What is it and where can I get it”.

We created an Elizabeth Park mobile app. One of the features of the app is that it will work with the latest beacon technology. Using Apple’s iBeacon technology we can deploy beacons (out of sight under foliage,  or placed above out of reach) that will trigger information to load on the user’s smart phone. This information will answer the “What kind of plant is this?” However, their is a greater opportunity…

Ok. so you’re asking what does that mean to me? Why Kickstarter?

What I am attempting to do is provide a road map for any interested nursery or garden center to follow to present in their local community in order to expand the scope of their business. Here’s how…

When (and if) we hit our Kickstarter goal, we’ll install those 100 beacons in the gardens at Elizabeth Park. They had a budget for an app and website, but not the purchase of 100 beacons and the content necessary for each beacon. So, enter Kickstarter. When someone funds the campaign they’ll get some expressed benefit. In the Elizabeth Park campaign the benefits range from your name as sponsor of a beacon to your name as sponsor of a garden (larger usage). That means a local garden center can “sponsor” a beacon and get the benefit on an advertising message on the phone of a potential customer who is clearly interested in plants and gardens.

Which is good.

What’s great is that any garden center on our (epunched.com) app platform can have the same (Elizabeth Park App) beacon settings added to their app. That means XYZ garden center can tell its users to experience Elizabeth Park with the XYZ Garden Center app. Each beacon can have a unique action based on the app that engages it, so a beacon situated in a rose bed of ‘Knock Out Roses’ could load that plant information as well as a ‘Buy This Plant’ link that leads the user to a shopping cart. They buy the plant and pick it up at the garden center.

That answers both the “What is this plant and where can I buy it”.

So now you understand why this is such a HUGE (Sorry Donald) opportunity. If it works we’ll share everything we learn with the industry. If it doesn’t then we’ll figure out why and fix it. It is just too big an opportunity to walk away from.

You should consider a crowdfunding website such as Kickstarter to fund a similar project for anything from a nature trail to a local garden or arboretum.  Using Kickstarter means you’ll activate your local community in the process. Promotion through Facebook, websites and email marketing will help you leverage the power of social media. This also limits your expense and can be presented to the local community as an outreach program. Win, Win, Win.

Click this link to visit the Kickstarter page for this project. Give $5. It’s a great cause.