Bodoki is a sustainable cutting board solution to keeping your counter tops clean and avoiding cross contamination of meats and veggies. It also happened to be a very successful Kickstarter project that raised six times more then their team set out to fund. The Bodoki team set out to raise a mere $5,000. Surprisingly, within one day they reached this goal and went on to raising $31,179 with the help of 570 backers. We caught up with Bodoki’s founder, Anna Pacheco, to get the low down on the Bodoki and gather some tips that hopefully you can lean from.
The number one most important aspect about raising money from the “crowd” is to offer a great product. The Bodoki is a cutting board with some neat features – such as a beveled edge to keep juices inside and a reversible board to diffuse cross contamination. The idea originated from a rather simple problem, Anna hated that watermelon juices everywhere while she was cutting her beloved fruit. She turned to fellow friends and coworkers to brainstorm a way to upgrade the cutting board to keep juices in their place. That’s where the Bodoki was born.
Can you tell our readers a little about your background?
I started in video games 9 years ago and I make movies with my friend Jared, a childhood friend. I’ve known him since I was 5. Jared told me one day “Hey I have this company and I want you to come work for me.” So I moved over and started making movies for him. With Bodoki we are hoping to turn the kitchen world on its head with awesome new products. I’m a huge watermelon fan and I’m always covered in gross juice afterwards. I was hanging out with Jared and Daniel, eating watermelon and I was like “Dude this sucks! Can’t you come up with something?” And Daniel was like – “Why yes I can!” He recommended that we raise the platform, bevel the platform and then the juices will stay in. So we went to Home Depot and let’s try it and see what happens. Surprisingly, it worked. It all stemmed from me being annoyed with cutting watermelon.
Have you seen any similar cutting boards on the market?
There are some cutting boards with a little bit of bevel around the edge, but watermelons are their own beast. So this just came from messing around and wanting to take a rift on an old classic. We did see a couple other products, which were similar. One guy had a cutting board with holes in it but was much smaller. We judged that we were different enough and there is a big enough market to support more than one type of cutting board out there.
What are some additional benefits of the Bodoki?
Well the double benefit of the Bodoki is the fact that it’s on a raised platform, it means that you can have a completely new cutting board. Basically two cutting boards in one. Many people are worried about cross contamination, especially with their meats and veggies. With the Bodoki you are able to cut your veggies on one side, flip it over and have your meat cut on the other. Keeps everything kosher! Also you don’t have to worry about rinsing and cleaning it until the end.
Why did you decide to go onto Kickstarter?
I love Kickstarter! I’m an uber fan and have been following it since the beginning. I think that it’s a great place where you can go to test the market on your idea. This was actually my second crowdfunding campaign. The first Kickstarter I did was for the AquaChef Clarity. Initially, I had no idea what I was doing and I thought that Kickstarter was a place where yo u put up your awesome idea and all of a sudden you have all this money. However, it doesn’t actually work that way. I did not do the amount of preparation that I needed to do in order to hit the ground running. We began getting press and excitement midway through our campaign, which was a little too late. It was a great learning experience. I don’t consider it a failure by any means because you are just learning and you have no idea if your product is going to connect with other people.
So after we decided to cancel the first project we had a post-mortem analysis to see what was good, what was bad, what can we improve on. Something that we could definitely improve on was making sure we had a PR and marketing plan ready to go from the very beginning. We needed to have people excited before we hit that launch button. It was as simple as having all your family and friends ready to post about it on Facebook and Twitter on launch day. Unfortunately, I didn’t do that with the Clarity. This time around we had press releases ready to go, we had all our viral campaigns ready to go, and we knew we had to build a little bit more excitement about it.
What helped the most for getting your campaign exposure?
The PR coverage really helped a lot. Having a PR team hitting the pavement everyday. Additionally, having the press kits ready for people to get others excited about it. Get on as many blogs as you can and ping as many people as you can.
Can you walk us through how long it took you to create the actual Kickstarter campaign page?
For both projects it took about a month. From making the video and taking all the pictures, writing all the text and copy. You want to make sure you really invest a lot of time into it. It’s not something you just want to throw together. You get what you put into it. I think the most challenging part is the video. How do I get peoples’ attention for a certain amount of time and make it fun? It’s just a cutting board, so I really had to think hard about what would make people excited. We decided to focus on the main selling points – sustainable, Eco-friendly, high quality, no cross-contamination, and no watermelon juices! You really want to make sure to keep it short and sweet because no one has much attention span these days.
Pledge level pricing, strategy and rewards are so important in driving customer conversion. What was your most popular pledge level?
Definitely just the Early Bird special – $39. We only had two early bird levels because we wanted to keep it simple. I got a little carried away with the AquaChef Clarity. We had too many pledge levels and thought it may have been a little too confusing. We took a step back to make it simple. We just really wanted people to buy the cutting board. So we had the cutting board and a book “Art of the Knife” available.
So wrapping up here, do you have any advice or tips for entrepreneurs going out there and pursing their passion?
I would say if you’re really passionate about something, you need to go after it 110%. Kickstarter is the perfect forum for that. You can’t just think about it. Draw it on a piece of paper, and work out the details. Next, go to a friend and ask, “Is this something we can build?” Invest the appropriate amount of time, and money into building a proper prototype. You need to try and make your product a reality, whether it’s just one prototype or one mold or whatever it is you are passionate about. Just make it! Be prepared to take criticism and change some things around. Don’t just love your idea, change some things if you need to. Try different approaches and see what happens because that’s how your small idea will grow into an awesome product. Be passionate and execute! Don’t do something sloppy, and don’t present yourself in such a way that makes you look unprofessional. At the end of the day it is a business.