Introducing the Kickstarter Thought Leaders

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We at Kickstarter love sharing what we know about how Kickstarter works, but there are only so many of us, and we can't be everywhere. So we've recruited some great creators to help us, and we're calling them Kickstarter Thought Leaders.

Kickstarter Thought Leaders are an international group of creators from the Kickstarter community who are celebrated as leaders in their fields, and for their creative successes and community influence. Among them, they’ve won numerous awards, had work collected by major institutions, published several books, and teach at a handful of prestigious universities. To date, they’ve raised $3,010,897 from 35,437 backers across their 26 combined Kickstarter projects.

We’ve selected them for their wisdom, experience, and standout contributions to creative culture at large.

How will Thought Leaders be supporting the Kickstarter community?

Thought Leaders will:

  • independently lead talks at events and conferences, and share their experiences on using Kickstarter to launch new creative ideas, build a community around your work, and take your creative career to the next level;
  • host community events in their cities alongside our staff;
  • contribute to Kickstarter’s educational resources and share knowledge on Campus.

Meet the Kickstarter Thought Leaders

Craighton Berman (Chicago, USA) is a designer, illustrator, educator, and founder/creative director of Manual, a design studio that creates products for celebrating slow food and drink. Craighton has design work in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, was the first-ever designer to use Kickstarter to launch a product, and teaches the "Entrepreneurial Product Development" class at the University of Illinois at Chicago—where students conceive of and launch a product design project on Kickstarter.

Oscar Lhermitte (London, UK) is a multi-disciplinary designer who considers diversity as a driving force. His work ranges from industrial design to photography, video, exhibition curation, set design, art direction, and consulting. Oscar is the co-founder and director of Sidekick Creatives, a collective of creative people helping others launch their projects on Kickstarter, and is a tutor in the M.A. Design Product course at the Royal College of Art where he uses Kickstarter as a teaching tool.

Daniel Mascarenhas (Berlin, DE) is a PR strategist, storyteller, and creative director. He worked on the development of a number of products and experiences for large companies, and has also created award-winning work for small brands and self-initiated projects. Daniel is the Co-Founder of Flyte juggling his time between Germany and Sweden.

Simon Morris (Stockholm, SE / NYC, USA) is an art-scientist who plays with sound, matter, and energy and their relationships with gravity. He is the inventor of three Kickstarter-funded products: Flyte, Lyfe, and Story. Flyte has won numerous design awards and is featured in the MoMA Design Store.

Hope Nicholson (Winnipeg, CA) is the owner of the publishing company Bedside Press which focuses on reprinting lost archival comics and new genre and comic projects.

C. Spike Trotman (Chicago, USA) is a cartoonist based in Chicago, Illinois. She owns and operates Iron Circus Comics, the region's largest alternative comics publisher, and is responsible for titles such as Poorcraft and Smut Peddler. Spike is also the author of Let’s Kickstart a Comic, and the creator of the anthology comic bonus model, a crowdfunding-based publishing strategy that prioritizes artists’ pay. It’s since completely reshaped the comics small press, jump-starting a renaissance of alt-comics anthologies.

Martin Willers (Stockholm, SE) co-founded People People, Scandinavia’s leading design consultancy for connected consumer hardware. Martin also runs Transparent Speaker, a crowdfunded spinoff from the studio that makes smart home products. He is an expert in human-centered design, sustainability, and entrepreneurship.

Pro tip: The names above link to their Kickstarter creator profiles. When you visit, hit that Follow button and be notified when they launch their next project.