Crowdfunding has several pros and cons. While it provides a platform for startups to validate their ideas and gauge market interest before investing significant resources, it can have potential drawbacks. We found this to be especially true regarding products with a focus on personal protection.
After developing functioning prototypes of PAKSHIELD, we quickly realized that a significant amount of work was required before we could bring the product to the market. Initially, the first PAKs were crafted entirely by hand in a prototyping environment. However, considering the uncertainty surrounding the number of PAKs needed, we initiated extensive research.
Our primary objective was to find a solution to scale up PAKSHIELD production to meet the demand. The approach to achieving this goal varied greatly depending on the number of PAKs needed. For instance, if the demand called for tens of thousands of PAKs, we would have to invest in costly machinery. That's when the concept of crowdfunding came into play. Platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo would not only allow us to assess the level of interest in our product but also provide the upfront funding necessary to manufacture PAKs in large quantities.
With this in mind, we began strategizing and planning our Kickstarter Campaign.
After thoroughly reviewing Kickstarter's terms and conditions, we invested considerable effort into crafting our Kickstarter Page. We curated a diverse range of nearly twelve rewards, accompanied by visually captivating graphics and a video that we believed perfectly captured the essence of PAKSHIELD. However, our excitement was short-lived, as we were disheartened to receive a rejection notice within three days of submitting the campaign for approval. Kickstarter had deemed PAKSHIELD too risky to be featured on their platform.
Pivoting to an Indiegogo Launch
After facing rejection from Kickstarter, we experienced a setback, but our determination remained unwavering. From the early stages of our planning, we had already considered Indiegogo as an alternative platform due to its advanced page design tool, prelaunch campaign options, and the higher level of confidence in product approval it offered. In fact, Indiegogo's "What Can I Offer as Perks" page explicitly stated that ballistic panels and safety gear were permitted, making it a more suitable choice for our project.
With the decision to pivot to Indiegogo, we swiftly transferred as many usable assets as possible to the new platform. Our team worked tirelessly day and night, enabling us to be ready for prelaunch in less than two weeks following our rejection from Kickstarter. We even proactively sought pre-approval from Indiegogo's Trust and Safety Team to ensure our prelaunch page adhered to their guidelines. Based on our correspondence, we were confident that, with a few minor adjustments, we would be well on our way to making PAKSHIELD available to everyone.
Indiegogo Troubles Arise
As we gained momentum and secured backers on Indiegogo, our progress took an unexpected turn. Out of the blue, we received an email from Indiegogo's Trust and Safety Team notifying us that PAKSHIELD was no longer allowed on their platform and that our campaign would be shut down within 48 hours. To our astonishment, the email categorized PAKSHIELD as "Weapons, Ammunition, and Related Accessories," a classification that caught us off guard considering Indiegogo's explicit acceptance of "Safety enhancing perks such as bulletproof vests and riot gear" at the time.
Naturally, we promptly responded to the Trust and Safety Team, drawing their attention to their own rules that clearly permitted our product. However, despite our efforts, the Indiegogo campaign for PAKSHIELD was forced to come to an abrupt end.
Despite encountering setbacks with Kickstarter and Indiegogo, our resolve to make PAKSHIELD accessible to everyone has grown stronger. Our primary goal is to provide additional safety and peace of mind to anyone in need. We firmly believe that our product is highly effective and the most affordable and environmentally-friendly backpack insert available in the market. To adapt to these challenges, we have decided to change our approach and sell directly from our website, pakshield.com.
Despite these new obstacles, we maintain full confidence in our ability to fulfill all preorders before the start of the 2023 school year. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the backers who supported us on Indiegogo. Rest assured, we remain committed to honoring our promises to our backers.
ABOUT PAKSHIELD LLC
PAKSHIELD LLC is a manufacturer of a high-quality personal protective device with ballistic stopping power designed to be used in the event of an active shooter occurrence. It can be easily and discreetly inserted into a backpack or other bag.
At PAKSHIELD LLC, we believe that everyone has the right to feel safe and secure, and we are proud to offer a device that can help provide that peace of mind. The PAKSHIELD personal protection device is just one example of our commitment to innovation, quality and customer satisfaction.
To learn more about the PAKSHIELD device, please visit pakshield.com or contact us directly. We look forward to helping you protect what matters most.