It's the final 40 hours for our IndieGoGo campaign and we have learned a few surprises about the process. As a for-profit company, there are a always questions about what role a crowdfunding site like IndieGoGo plays. As most of you noticed- we aren't terribly close to our goal of $45k, though I still have hope, I will not be upset if we don't fully reach our monetary goal.
As of right now, we have nearly 100 supporters for our campaign- a huge victory in itself. The IndieGoGo campaign brought us a much larger reach- having doctors from many more Sub-Saharan African countries contact us about the Hemafuse and our other portfolio devices. Even Jim Harbaugh, University of Michigan's new football coach, came out to donate. He never gave a full response when we asked why he donated, but we are almost completely sure it was him....
Practical jokes aside- we've enjoyed the response. The money that we currently have (about $6.5k) is enough for us to pay for our flights, in-country housing and travel as well as some of the required equipment for the simulation workshop. Asking anyone who travels internationally, this may sound asininely low, but we've never been ashamed to do/live on the cheap.
The invitation from doctors in Zimbabwe is a huge opportunity for us that came out of the blue and was not able to funded by our grant or other allocated funding (the downside to money with strings or most money available to startups). We knew that we had many people who wanted to know how they could help. The IndieGoGo campaign was a way to bring our supportive, international community together. Even though we haven't outright produced a product with this money, nor could we safely give that product (a surgical device) to any random person who found us online, the support exhibited in this campaign demonstrates that many feel we are doing something right. And when you run on limited funds, survive on advice from all different sides and your gut intuition, it's good to know that many feel that an international medical device social venture is worth pursuing.