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Smart Parka breaks Canadian KickStarter record, earning $3M

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CBC News | March 29, 2016

Smart Parka North Aware 300x188 - Smart Parka breaks Canadian KickStarter record, earning $3MJamil Khan capitalized on Canada's frigid winters and his mad software skills to shatter this country's Kickstarter record by earning more than $3.25 million in online fundraising to create the perfect parka.

"My vision was clear," he told Metro Morning on Tuesday. "I really knew what I wanted."

That's because as orders for the jacket — which features built-in gloves and a scarf, a pocket for a hat, and pouches for a phone and a tablet — started rolling in, the tech entrepreneur created an analytics program to track who was responding to the fundraising campaign.

That meant that Khan, the CEO for start-up North Aware, and his team could then target that demographic with their advertising, something that he credits for the project's success as much as the parka's cool factor.

"It went to $2 million and then $3 million so quickly, we were in disbelief, but we barely had the time to get surprised," he said of the crowdfunding response.

Ignoring the naysayers

Khan said his former colleagues tried to talk him out of leaving his tech job, but he said he knew he had a great design idea — and that he could really market it.

See:  Glowforge delays shipments again after $28M crowdfunding campaign for 3D laser printer

"I think we presented our idea very clearly through the video and pitched it right," he said. "That was the key difference."

The team spent six months testing out designs before settling on leather gloves thin enough to zip into the parka's sleeves without creating any bulk, but warm enough to handle winter's fury, according to the campaign.

"I was just pissed that I had to always shove my gloves into my jacket and then go out looking like a puffy mess," he said.

Khan said the coat also has a removable inner layer so that people can make changes depending on the temperature.

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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 1300+ 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 About Us or visit



share save 171 16 - Smart Parka breaks Canadian KickStarter record, earning $3M

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