Dr. Towanna Freeman recently interviewed Dwight Peters, inventor and creator of “BackersHub,” an online platform dedicated to Kickstarter campaign creators and their backers. Members of BackersHub receive exclusive deals on Kickstarter-funded products. Kickstarter, one of the most popular and effective crowdfunding platforms, allows individuals with ideas to fundraise online. BackersHub works with creators who have successfully brought products to life through Kickstarter campaigns, obtaining exclusive discounts on those products for members. It also acts as lead generation for campaign creators, offering a ready-made audience of BackersHub members to whom they can promote their campaigns.
Dwight Peters was born in the Bronx, New York. Attending high school in Jamaica drove home an understanding of real poverty and gave him a drive to succeed, to ensure his own family would not remain trapped in a cycle of poverty. He was determined not to take for granted the opportunity he had in being able to live, get an education, and work in America. Before being “bitten by the entrepreneurial bug,” Dwight was interested in politics. As president of his student government in college, he led rallies and political protests. He became interested in business when he began to see how he could effect more positive change by helping to creating businesses that would then create jobs and prosperity in the African American community.
Peters began his entrepreneurial efforts in 2012, launching his own Kickstarter campaign in an attempt to bring his invention of a unique iPad case to reality. This was his first encounter with fundraising, marketing, and translating an idea into a business. The Kickstarter campaign was a success, but ultimately his idea – and a number of others following it — did not flourish into profits. Mr. Peters did not see these experiences as failures; he knew he was learning from his mistakes and would eventually create something of value.
Peters and his business partner, a cousin in Jamaica, began BackersHub as an effort to assist Kickstarter campaigns in creating and fulfilling backer “rewards.” In the process of developing relationships with campaign creators, and by utilizing a process called “idea mining,” it became evident that the real need was in finding backers to fund ideas. BackersHub came into being in September of 2013, and on October 16, 2013, Peters had made his first sale. Since that time, in only 10 months, the business has grown to bringing in over 5 figures a month.
Peters wants other entrepreneurs to understand that some of the things they have heard about getting a project off the ground are falsehoods. He wants to demythologize the process, letting others know that the idea that “you have to have money to make money” is not always true. BackersHub was started with zero capital, utilizing a free website platform and help from friends who had graphic design experience, and launched quickly without trying to make everything perfect first. He also wants others to understand that you do not need to be a genius or have any special skill sets or talents to have a successful online business. The internet is truly a level playing field – it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, as long as you offer others something that is going to benefit them. You merely need to find a niche, identify a need and a solution to that need, and then be the first to put in the time and effort required to provide that solution to others.
The ultimate aim of the BackersHub membership community is to create a “mastermind group” of “creatives,” who can share their successful processes and accumulated knowledge and experience with peers. Dwight Peters hopes that with this kind of information sharing, success can become contagious within the community. BackersHub is not limited to a U.S. membership, but is a worldwide international community of entrepreneurs, with over 7,500 members receiving the weekly newsletter, and over 3,000 members of the BackersHub private Facebook group from around the world. With the international growth of Kickstarter, the international membership of BackersHub will continue to grow as well.
BackersHub will soon launch an online tutorial series for prospective Kickstarter project developers. Mining the experience of successful campaign creators, the course series, entitled “From Zero to Funded,” will coach entrepreneurs through every stage of the crowdfunding process, with an emphasis on the “lean startup.” The series will not only provide knowledge regarding successful funding, but will continue coaching new entrepreneurs through such topics as pre-selling an idea, marketing, copy writing, manufacturing, and developing and maintaining a customer base.
Anyone interested in becoming a member of BackersHub and having access to the special deals and tutorial offerings provided on the platform can sign up at signup.backershub.com. A membership can be purchased for a $35-per-month fee for just 12 months, which provides lifetime access to the community and its benefits.