Editor’s note: You can contribute directly, buy a perk or share the story of OWL Adventure Lab by clicking here.

I Just Launched an IndieGoGO Crowdfunding Campaign! …┬áNow What?

By Ryan Woldt

Okay. Take a breath.

On Friday I launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo for the OWL Adventure Lab. Short description is that it is a kick-ass bus that we build out to be a mobile office and adventure touring vehicle. We (me & my business partner Tim) want to offer it as a co-work space, take companies on outdoor team-building events and create a series of creative retreats to get people out of their cubicles. Get outside and get inspired.

OWL Adventure Lab poster showing the bus outside in Colorado

But now what. The crowdfunding campaign is live. What do I do? I have lots of questions…

  • What if no one contributes?
  • What if we don’t make our goal?
  • How do I ask people to contribute or to purchase a “perk” without feeling some sort of millennial guilt?
  • I shouldn’t need this help right? Would my Dad, Mom or Grandpa started a business this way?
  • What if I look fat in the video we produced?
  • What if our idea is dumb? (It’s not. No, seriously).

For over a year Tim and I have been meeting at the beach to have coffee, talk about our entrepreneurial ideas, and generally, talk about our desire to spend more time outdoors. In October, I proposed the idea of the Adventure Lab. Before I even finished my concept pitch Tim said he was in. Our first meeting he showed up with some work on spreadsheets, and I had some sketches on napkins I had done in a coffee shop. We would be a good partnership.

Coffee At the Beach for OWL Adventure Lab meeting IndieGoGo Campaign
Beach Meetings!

For six months we’ve crafted this idea, grown with it and put the concept out to family and friends. The response has been overwhelming, and it brought us to this point where need to figure out how to turn that good will and positive response into actual contributions so we can build the Adventure Lab. And build it well.

For as popular as it is “crowdfunding” a business is still new. How do you explain to people who don’t understand it that you are hoping to start a business with lots of little bits of help as opposed to just going to a bank or working another job for several years until you’ve saved enough?

The answer…I don’t know. I know that a few years from now this idea will be old news, and if we wait we’ll get left behind. Right now we’re the first, but I have no doubt someone else is working on it too. Or seeing this and has a head start financially. I know that we’ve invested our time, the money we have into this and if we make it to the finish line we’re not letting anyone down. I know that you can’t be afraid of new challenges if you plan on being an entrepreneur or small business owner.

OWL Adventure Lab IndieGoGO Perk Patagonia Wool Stocking CapAnd I know that we made a commitment not to half-ass anything. If someone buys one of our “Perks” instead of contributing they are going to get a quality product. Something we use, and can be proud to have the OWL logo on.

I know that for the next 30ish days I have to talk to people about an idea & business I’m passionate about, but then ask for help which I’m not as good at. That “help” being money makes it that much more uncomfortable, but I will.

So the “Now what?” question….Now we go back to work. Check back for Journal Part 2 soon. The “Making Of A Crowdfunding Video”. Complete with epic outtakes.

We’re on day 5. So far 38 people have contribute to our campaign for a total more than $3000. Wow. Overwhelming. Thank you all. Now that we’re past the fear of no contributions we have a long way to go to reach our goal, and those contributors have just spurned us on. The Adventure Lab is happening. No matter what.

Please check out our OWL Adventure Lab crowdfunding page. You can contribute directly, buy a perk or find answers to questions about the Adventure Lab. There is a gallery of photos here.

OWL Adventure Lab IndieGoGo Campaign Page screenshot of contributions