How to succeed at Kickstarter: no ‘magic sauce’ but some factors help

CBC News | August 14, 2017

andre - How to succeed at Kickstarter: no 'magic sauce' but some factors help

From the Pebble smartwatch to Cards Against Humanity and Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Kickstarter — and crowdfunding sites like it — have changed the way small, independent businesses raise capital to get their ideas off the ground.

New stats collected by a recently-graduated Wilfrid Laurier University student and assistant professor Kevin McDermott outline why some Kickstarter Campaigns are a runaway success, and others can't seem to get any momentum.

Looking at two years of Kickstarter campaign data, Andre Fischbacher compared fundraising results from 30,000 projects and after crunching the numbers, some patterns leading to success became evident.

"We developed a machine-learning algorithm and had it perform a statistical analysis on the data," he explained, "with over 60 million data points ... we began to see trends."

Results not guaranteed 

Fishbacher warned that just because someone follows a best practice list, doesn't guarantee a successful campaign. Other factors such as the overall economic environment, or timing of the launch into the marketplace — such as if the product is seasonal in nature — can have a significant impact on the campaign's success.


Even though the research studied 30,000 cases, "there are still a lot of things that need to be looked at," he said, "but based on our research and what our testing has shown, we are able to predict the future success of a new campaign that the machine-learning algorithm has never seen before with up to 80 per cent accuracy."

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at