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Collectible trading cards spotlighting unicorn startups.
Collectible trading cards spotlighting unicorn startups.
33 backers pledged $1,411 to help bring this project to life.

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Trading cards for startup culture. Do you know what company is killing it in Drone Tech? Why Snapchat is valued at several billion, even though it's annual revenue is under a hundred million? Have you worked at a hot startup, or at another company aiming for unicorn status from day one? Yeah? Or, do you know someone who would answer yes to some of those questions?

These cards are a tribute to the startup scene, and a slice of history from the turbulent avant garde of industry. Each card delivers the full readout on one company, covering its founding, competitive edge, funding, and more. We've double checked our facts to make the cards encyclopedic, focused on the most successful companies at the start of 1st Quarter 2016, and packed it all in a slick, thin design format. 

Recent draft deck.
Recent draft deck.

We've already put together a set of 20 cards. We need your support to launch our first big print run. We'd like to print cards for every recognized unicorn — a list of over 100 companies. (A unicorn is a privately held company valued over $1B.) Each individual pack contains 20 different cards. 

To make the cards, we: pick up data; combine, clean and sort out the best information; develop templates and graphics; push data into the design; print cards, package them, and ship the sterling little majesties.

The cards are the perfect souvenir—from your time in silicon valley, for those who want to remember these heady days right, and for those on the outside looking to break in.

A recent design draft. Lots of the details here will change, but overall style we plan to keep.
A recent design draft. Lots of the details here will change, but overall style we plan to keep.

Ok, let's talk design details: the front of the card shows simply the company logo, name, city, and categories, along with a card number. In this case, Uber is based in San Francisco and provides a vehicle service, a mobile service, and a marketplace of buyers and sellers; also it's a unicorn. (Actually, it's more like king of the unicorns!)

The back shows more details, including founding info, most recent valuation for the period, summary, and detailed info on funding rounds. We want to list investors for funding rounds because this is quite important in the startup world, however full lists are not publicly available, so these lists draw on official filings and news releases. At the bottom we've got requisite legal blurbs that Uber owns their trademark and we own the cards, etc.

We're printing the cards on 300 gsm (gram per square meter) stock at 63x88mm. This is the standard for Poker, Magic, and Pandemic. After trying some other materials, we settled on these specs because the cards feel smooth, crisp, and familiar. 

We're pretty excited to make these cards a reality. Here we are carding around on a grey day in SOMA.

The team! With a teapot!
The team! With a teapot!

Risks and challenges

Actually, this launch was postponed by several weeks in order to get all the backend working. The system that takes a database and produces cards is finished for the frontside of the cards (though the back has to be done). The data collection for start of Q1 2016 is done, and is all sitting there in JSON format, but needs some more time in the dressing room to look en flique.

Potentially, we may face legal challenges early on. Precedent is clearly on our side, as public discussion of companies and presentation of the information we include has already been done in many other formats. We see legal challenges as a potential asset, to the extent that they bring attention to the project and grow the universe of collectors. It is unlikely these issues will block the kickstarter, being more likely to matter at a later stage. Honestly, though, any potential litigant should see this as a marketing opportunity and join forces! We're not trashing anyone's business, we're presenting the sweet facts as they are!

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

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    A pack of cards: 20 different cards, tradeable, collectible, shiny, yours.
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    Three packs of cards. Stack the odds in your favor.
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    Collector's edition! Full set of all cards we're printing in custom printed box!
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Add a company to the list. Know an interesting privately owned company that's not valued at $1B right now? Let's make a card for them!
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Funding period

- (28 days)