Stephen Walden raises his $60,000 Kickstarter goal in 40 days to fund manufacturing of ergonomic construction/lawn & garden tools designed to reduce worksite injuries with one simple innovation – a fully rotational center handle.
(Los Angeles) October 22, 2013 – Only 42% of Kickstarter projects launched meet their crowd-funding goals, and only 5% of funded projects bring in more than $20,000. A 24-year-old California entrepreneur’s line of ergonomic shovels has just joined that elite group, bringing in over $60,200 from 436 supporters in the first forty days of his 42-day Kickstarter campaign. Stephen Walden will use the funds for the first production run of ergonomically designed flat head, spade and snow shovels manufactured by his new company, Bosse Tools. Walden says reviews of the tools have been quite positive. “People are excited to get these shovels. Folks using them say they have a hard time going back to traditional tools, and I believe it’s simply because we redesigned one of the world’s oldest devices. Nobody’s ever done this before,” Walden adds.
“Crowdfunding is an amazing way to launch a business idea – it sure beats walking from door to door asking for pledges,” says Walden. “Kickstarter has a great atmosphere that fosters entrepreneurship and lets you run with an idea…the support from family and friends has been amazing over the past month, and I am excited to see so many people supporting the idea of ergonomics in the workplace.” With just under 2 days left in the campaign, Walden is anxious to see if the last few hours in the campaign will be as exciting as the first few. “When we launched a month ago, we raised $15,000 in the first 3 days, maybe we will see another spike like that here at the end,” Walden proclaims. To see his campaign in its final hours – click here.
Walden, a 2012 graduate of Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, California, has been working on the ergonomic shovel concept for over a year. While pursuing his Masters in Business Administration in Finance at LMU, Walden was one of the first students to participate in the university’s Business Incubator Lab, an entrepreneurship program led by Professor David Choi. “The incubator is a new program at LMU and Dr. Choi encourages us to get a product in the hands of the people,” Walden explains.
Walden previously took his shovel idea to the 2013 LeanModel Competition at San Diego State University, where he won the “Pitch the Investor” competition, the “Tiger Tank” competition (akin to television’s “Shark Tank”) and the Overall LeanModel Competition Award. He and his team went on to win several titles and around $25,000 in prize money at a number of collegiate business competitions, including the International Business Model Competition at Harvard University in May.
“Most of my fellow MBA majors were busy looking for jobs as graduation approached last spring,” says Walden. “I was busy looking for manufacturers and putting together a business plan for my own company. Some people thought I was crazy to throw myself into this full time instead of looking for a job. I’ve been working full-time, seven days a week on nothing else but Bosse Tools for the past five months to get to this point,” says Walden. “Running a Kickstarter absolutely feels like a full-time job, it demands a lot of time, energy, and finesse. I have been stressed, nervous and anxious, even lost quite a bit of sleep during my campaign, but the hard work has paid off and I am excited to move to the next step.”