TwistRate: A Crowdfunder for the Outdoors
Daniel Xu 07.14.14
Thanks to the internet, it’s now easier than ever for modern inventors to share their ideas with the world, but finding the right platform can be tricky. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The premise is simple: put your idea on a pedestal and see how the world reacts. If you have something of merit, than you’ll likely see money pour in from thousands of eager funders who want nothing more than to see you succeed—and possibly a more material reward.
TwistRate is the latest company to throw their hat into this arena, but as you can probably guess by their name, TwistRate is a little bit different than the giants currently dominating the field. This new start-up is focused on innovations from hunters, anglers, outdoor enthusiasts, and the tactically-minded. As a whole, TwistRate CEO and co-founder Evan Hafer says the sporting industry has long been given a cold shoulder by other crowdfunders.
This is due to the fact that many crowdfunders do not host projects that involve outdoors tools of the trade like bows, knives, firearms, and their attendant accessories. Evan says that some crowdfunding sites will even rule out things that are seemingly innocuous.
“They are literally just tools to make your life easier in the outdoors, but they have been interpreted differently. One, for instance, [was] a multi-tool that you can attach to your iPhone, but because it had a blade on it, it was rejected from both Kickstarter and Indiegogo,” Evan says. “And that’s just one, there are at least a dozen or more instances where I’ve talked to people and they told me that got rejected for things made in a ‘police’ capacity, like a flashlight holder, or a magnetized device [that you could use to] do one-handed reloads for your pistol.”
That is why Evan founded TwistRate with longtime friend Jeff Kirkham. Both veterans, Evan and Jeff created the company so that America’s service members, gunsmiths, hunters, and master fishermen will have their own fundraising platform, and where their ideas are welcomed instead of rejected.
Want to see an example of a TwistRate campaign? Watch the intro video for the CampMaid below:
“You realize really fast that there’s a big market here, a big hole not covered by other crowdfunding sites,” Evan shares. “Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are servicing very specific market needs and reaching a very specific demographic. We recognize there is a need for a platform where people in our industry can build on and drive innovation in this field.”
Unlike other crowdfunding giants, Evan said that TwistRate aims to be much more involved with creators on a day-to-day basis. The former Green Beret says that the first step anybody should take with TwistRate is beginning a dialogue and sharing their vision of what their product should be.
“We can help in every step of the way,” Evan states.
What does that include? As Evan describes it, TwistRate will help creators from day one, whether it be producing a prototype, writing copy, creating campaign videos, or assisting with copyright and legal issues. At the conclusion of a successful campaign. TwistRate can even help creators interact directly with retailers. As opposed to other crowdfunders, which require you to do much of the work on your own, TwistRate prefers a much more hands-on approach.
“But if you want to just quickly create a campaign, then you can just click the button on the site and get going that way,” Evan adds.
TwistRate is also open to non-outdoors projects, but Evan stresses that it offers a unique platform for inventors who sometimes cannot take their ideas elsewhere. TwistRate provides a receptive atmosphere where those ideas are welcome and supported, as well as an audience eager to not only fund projects that speak to their needs, but those specifically in the outdoors field.
“What we’re trying to do is to take the initiative and build something for sportsmen, outdoors enthusiasts, veterans, and law enforcement. We want to take it to the garage innovator and see what they have. We want to interface with the guys who are building the prototype in real time,” Evan concludes. “A lot of people say they have this great idea and they built it in their garage, but how do they develop it beyond that? I can’t tell you how, but I can tell you we have a platform which you can utilize to reach your target, and that audience will tell you whether or not what you have is a good product. That is what this is about.”
Want more details on how the TwistRate process works? Watch the below video to find out: