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A photo project of successful entrepreneurs from the Bay Area and beyond who have used Kickstarter to launch their idea.

Kickstarter. The site that taught what crowdfunding is all about and fostered a healthy addiction to it. Whether we back a great product design, a music album, an original film, or other creative matter, we not only want to be a part of that creative byproduct, we genuinely find a connection to that individual or group of creators.

You Kickstarted Me. My project focuses on those creators--the entrepreneurs, inventors, and go-getters--who used Kickstarter to make their ideas a reality. This is a collection of portraits I photographed and interviews I conducted to learn more about their successes, experiences, and the wisdom they acquired from crowdfunding.

So here’s why I need you to kickstart me: I’ve traveled hundreds of miles already from Daly City, a city that’s minutes away from San Francisco, to many folks in the area whose stories I wanted to include. So far this includes The Oona, Desktop Jellyfish Tank, Coffee Joulies, Capture Camera Clip System, and many more from the Bay Area.

My project won’t be complete until I meet as many people as I can who have been wildly successful with crowdfunding. To date, the folks of Kammok and Cineskates in Texas and Pen Type-A and Glif in New York have accepted to be part of this. These are just a few of the many from out-of-state who have been funded over $100k that should be a part of my project. But in order for me to include them in this collection, I need your help.

Here’s [the equipment] what it takes to make the portraits and interviews come true. Now imagine all of this being shipped with me to make it happen. When I don’t have my good friend Apol [Perea] helping out, it’s just me hauling all of this. Your help will not only cover the costs of travel but also the necessary costs to properly ship all this equipment for the ride.

In return for your help, I will offer only the best portraits I can in a beautifully produced book. Molly [Covert] of Rabbit Foot Fern will design the book, pairing the portraits with highlights from the interviews. My good friend Cressanne [Credo] will edit the interviews so you too can join the conversation I started with the subjects of these success stories.

What will the layout of the book look like?

The above is a sample layout drafted by my graphic designer, Molly Covert of Rabbit Foot Fern.

Some of the portraits that are prepped for the postcard mailers:

Alex Andon of Jellyfish Art:

Peter Dering of Capture Camera Clip:

Dave Jackson of Coffee Joulies:

Danny Fukuba and Brad Leong of The Oona:

Grace Hawthorne of Paper Punk:

WIth your help, You Kickstarted Me will be complete as I'll be able to photograph and interview the following Kickstarters below who have already accepted to be part of this:

I will say this in advance: Thank you for Kickstarting me.

- JJ Casas, You Kicktarted Me Creator

For a list of all successful Kickstarters who have been profiled in You Kickstarted Me, please check out The Kickstarted section on the site.

FAQ

  • The postcards are 4x5.5" and will include an envelope for every postcard just in case if you want to include an additional note to your special recipient.

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  • SOFTCOVER copies of YKM will be printed with a 4-color printed cover with 100lb cover stock paper.

    Limited Edition HARDCOVER copies of YKM will be printed with a nice acid-free linen cover with hot foil stamping for the title.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    7 backers

    THE MAILER: A 5-count postcard pack sent to you featuring a random set of portraits from the YKM project with a notable quote from his/her interview for inspiration!

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    11 backers

    THE E-XPERIENCE: Digital copy of the YKM book viewable on the iDevice/computer via PDF.

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    11 backers

    THE ARCHIVE: Softcover copy of the YKM book + digital copy via PDF to view instantly PLUS a digital HD copy of the full-length featurette. International orders add $7 for shipping.

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    7 backers

    THE KICKSTARTER: Limited Edition Kickstarter hardcover copy of the YKM book + digital copy to view instantly AND DVD containing HD featurette + digital copy. International orders add $7 for shipping.

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    1 backer

    THE ENTREPRENEUR: Everything from “The Kickstarter” level PLUS the raw/uncut footage of all interviews and full transcripts so you learn directly from the Kickstarter’s successes! International orders add $7 for shipping.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    3 backers

    THE SPONSOR: Everything from “The Entrepreneur" level PLUS your name in the book under "The Sponsors" page! AND an ADDITIONAL SOFTCOVER copy to give to a friend.

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    0 backers

    THE BACKER: You really admire the entrepreneurs of Kickstarter and their story but I admire YOU even more! Because of that, you’ll receive EVERYTHING: 1 Limited Edition signed copy, 1 signed soft cover copy, digital copy via PDF, DVD and digital HD file of full-length featurette, raw/uncut footage of all interviews, interview transcripts, 5-count YKM postcards PLUS your name listed as “The Backer”. BONUS: You will receive a YKM: San Francisco Design Pack consisting a Custom SLR C-Loop, The Oona, WINGStand, a Paper Punk, and a PlateTopper. International orders add $10 for shipping.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    THE PHOTOSHOOT: Everything from "The Backer" level but with your name in the book under "The Funder" PLUS your very own PHOTOSHOOT of you, or you and your family, or you and your company! Must take place in San Francisco/Bay Area or travel must be compensated if beyond area. Includes consultation on concept, location, delivery of digital images for personal and/or business use, and signed 16x20" framed print with personal delivery.

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  • Pledge $600 or more
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    THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Everything from "The Backer" level but with your name in the book under "The Funder" PLUS a PRIVATE FULL-DAY (6 hour) PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP for you and up to 5 friends! We can start from the fundamentals or all the way up to advance portraiture techniques as used for the YKM portraits. Must take place in San Francisco/Bay Area or travel must be compensated if beyond area.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    PHOTOGRAPH AND BE PHOTOGRAPHED: Everything from "The Backer" level but with your name in the book under "The Funder" PLUS the PHOTOSHOOT and WORKSHOP as detailed above. Great for small companies/startups wanting to learn photography and have updated photos!

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Funding period

- (44 days)