They say that ideas never die, but unless a great concept turns into a great product, it really never lives up to its true potential. We’ve always believed ‘crowdfunding’ to be one of the most powerful design movements to emerge from the birth of the internet. Thousands of people rallying from around the world to support a great idea for a useful (or fun) product? What’s more beautiful than that?! Financial constraints become less of a problem for budding creators when people across the globe rally around their efforts, allowing young designers and small teams to still make a large impact without the millions of dollars that large companies channel into product development. Nothing encourages innovation more than fresh ideas getting support directly from the masses. It’s like casting your vote for the kind of designs you believe in, and we absolutely love that! So do the folks at The Crowdfunding Formula, who have helped hundreds of creators bring their designs and visions to life. Dubbed the world’s largest crowdfunding agency, The Crowdfunding Formula set a benchmark this year with as many as 5 of their projects hitting the million-dollar crowdfunding mark in just the past 6 months! For creators, that can be the difference between a concept and a product that’s changing the world, so we sat down with The Crowdfunding Formula to look at some of their most successful projects this year. Who knows, next year it could be your design too! If you’re sitting on an incredible idea but you just need the right catalyst to help turn it into a great product, let this be your inspiration. Here’s a ‘Yanko Design and The Crowdfunding Formula review’ of some of their most noteworthy projects of the year 2023.
01. GoChess: Most Powerful Chess Board Ever Invented
With over $2.6 million gathered from nearly 7,000 fans across the world, GoChess proves that old classics never die – they just need to be reinvented a little bit! This AI-powered chess-board isn’t like anything you’ve seen before. It houses magnets under the board’s surface that move the pieces so you can physically play against an AI opponent. Oh, did we mention, it has a built-in AI that can either play against you or teach you how to play the game. The board is design with back-lighting and squares illuminate to help guide your chess pieces to victory, teaching you valuable gameplay strategies. When you’re experienced enough to play on your own, either challenge GoChess’ AI bot, or play a virtual game against an online opponent anywhere in the world and the board moves their pieces for them! TCF utilized this to help build excitement within the massive chess community, helping raise $600k in just 24 hours. It’s no wonder that GoChess holds the title of the world’s most-funded chess game, and why it’s such a fascinating part of this TCF review.
02. FUELL Flluid: World’s Longest Range E-bike
Boasting a range of 225 miles or 350 kilometers, the Flluid grabbed eyeballs for being the e-bike with the world’s longest range. Keen readers may recognize the name FUELL, Eril Buell’s electric two-wheeler startup that’s been making waves for its electric motorcycles and bicycles. The Flluid debuted on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, garnering support from nearly 600 enthusiasts who helped raise over $1.5 million for the e-bike, earning a solid spot in this TCF review. Erik Buell formed a core part of TCF’s outreach strategy, relying on his decades of expertise in the domain of running his motorcycle company Buell which he relinquished after selling the company to Harley-Davidson in 2003. Aside from that staggering 225-mile range (which can basically get you through a week’s worth of use), the FUELL Flluid also has a 28mph top speed thanks to a 750W motor, a 7-speed gearbox that automatically shifts gears for you, and smart connectivity that lets you check ride statistics as well as monitor your e-bike against theft.
03. FUELL Fllow: 150+ Mile Range and 30 Min Fast-Charging
Set your eyes on the Fllow and you’ll get flashbacks of the good-old Buell days. Designed to forward the legacy of Erik’s legendary cafe racers, the FUELL Fllow is an urban motorcycle with a new electric beating heart that gives it a 150+ mile range, a top speed of 85 mph, and a 0 to 60 mph acceleration of just 3.5 seconds… but all powered by clean energy in the form of a 35kW motor and a 10kWh battery. The Fllow’s design aesthetic indicated its future-forward vision too, with a broad aerodynamic fairing sporting a black and shiny silver colorway with just a hint of green to tell viewers that this wasn’t your average fuel-guzzling motorcycle. Designed by Erik Buell and Frédéric Vasseur, a Formula 1 Alfa Romeo principal engineer, the e-bike gathered a staggering $2 million in funding in just the first 24 hours, hitting a $4 million mark in just 3 weeks.
04. Duovox Ultra: Military-Grade Night Vision Monocular
Now tell me, who in their right mind would pass up an opportunity to crowdfund literal military-grade night-vision goggles?! Equipped with a Starvis CMOS sensor, a 7-piece lens, an IR illuminator, and a 10-hour battery, the Duovox Ultra offers full-color vision up to 1650 feet (500 meters) even in pitch darkness. It’s compact, weighing only 280 grams, and can be handheld or tripod-mounted and used alongside your smartphone which doubles as a viewfinder. With military-grade specs, including 5x optical and 10x digital zoom, 128GB storage, and hands-free smartphone operation, the Duovox Ultra was promoted as a great hobbyist tool, but more importantly, a valuable addition to your camping or survival gear, even providing vision in emergency scenarios and power outages… which explained why nearly 6,900 backers helped over $1.1 million to own this dream spy gadget, and why we just couldn’t resist including this in the YD x TCF review!
05. Oculis Lodge: Special Lodging Experience In Nature
This is a statistical rarity, but did you know architecture has a place in the crowdfunding world too?? Well, just like products, buildings require immense amounts of capital to create so for the folks behind the Oculis Lodge, it made absolute sense to rely on crowdfunding to help build their glamping lodge, partnering with The Crowdfunding Formula to raise more awareness and funding from enthusiastic travelers. Unlike with products where backers receive a final unit of the design, backers for the Oculis Lodge could pledge money and redeem it as a 1, 2, or even a 7-night stay at the property. The lodge, surrounded by 7 acres of pristine nature on the slopes of Mount Baker, was home to multiple domed rooms that could house up to 6 people inside. Each dome had its own skylight, a private patio, and was equipped with smart-home tech, while the lodge itself had every amenity one could ask for, from private saunas and jacuzzis to firepits and yoga spaces… and obviously a stunning view of the mountains set against the clearest skies the state of Washington could offer. Enticed by those spectacular views, more than 1,700 backers pledged $1.2 million to help bring the Oculis Lodge to life.