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The Story of the RoboSoccer Kickstarter

The Story of the RoboSoccer Kickstarter

Kickstarter

Adrianna Szymanska

Adrianna Szymanska

Head of Growth

RoboSoccer

RoboSoccer delivers a high-quality product at competitive prices for the growing population of technology hobbyists, robotic geeks, and gamers. Our goal is to create a new way of tabletop games that meets the gaming challenges of the 21st Century. The objective was to transform human-size robots for pocked sized players so the game can be adopted at home. 

🇵🇱 Warsaw, Poland

📅 Founded November 2016

🏆 1 Founders

💵 Passed $20,000 Kickstarter Goal!

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Intro

Who are you and what business did you start?

We are a young team of 10 people who are passionate and excited about the possibility of taking RoboSoccer to the next stage. We enjoy being creative with our product and bringing fun to people. Based on our robotics experience in 2017, we started to prototype RoboSoccer. 

We made the first table soccer game accompanied by pocket sized robots. Our goal was to create a robot which is handy and easy to carry. When designing RoboSoccer, we wanted it to be available for everyone. Robots are still very expensive. RoboSoccer is unique because of its formula and uniqueness. This is the first such game on the market, with the presence of robots and tabletop features. This is why it is unique. 

Behind the RoboSoccer success stands Cervi Robotics – a holding company for the project. Cervi Robotics is a company providing consulting, prototyping and solutions implementation services focused on robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles, and Internet of Things. The scope of work includes rapid prototyping and Research & Development outsourcing for clients. Cervi is listed in the TOP10 UAV companies worth following and TOP30 World Startups according to InfoShare. They are the laureate of numerous competitions, including Imagine Cup and Dragon’s Den. 

One of Cervi’s projects, apart from RoboSoccer, is Dronhub Innovations – the system of autonomous drones docking station excluding human involvement in drone servicing operations. The system is capable of maintaining any maintenance issue and providing advanced data processing software. This advanced drone solution was made together with the European Space Agency and now is implemented by a few polish companies with the need to improve monitoring, data processing, and surveillance.

Product

Tell us about the process of creating your product.

When designing RoboSoccer one of our biggest challenges was the robot size and pitch. The main goal was to transform human size robots for the for pocket size players, without decreasing any functionalities or battery capacity impacting number of hours to play. The initial pitch was made with over a dozen of elements, taking too much time to assemble it. 

The final pitch consists of two parts ready to install it immediately and without wasting the time for assembling. The design process was based on tests, prototypes iterations and striving into the final product design. We have tested and checked few solutions, make brainstorming and confront our ideas to see what work best. 

We didn’t work with manufacturers so far as all samples made till now are made ourselves. Anyway we already have spoken with manufacturers to start with mass production as soon as we’ll finish our Kickstarter campaign.

Marketing Strategy

Walk us through your pre-launch marketing...

We launched the Kickstarter campaign on October 2019 but started the preparation one year in advance. The first thing we have created was our website, its design and copy. It took us about three months to implement everything and create the website with all necessary information about RoboSoccer. 

Preparing all the materials for Kickstarter is a hard work, especially when the team is small and you have to do everything from scratch. There is lots of things to do: main video and others ( unboxing, use cases etc.), graphics, copywriting, gifs, photos etc. People are not aware of the work put into  kickstarter pitches, but this is the most important thing to help this project get exposure.

Before the Kickstarter campaign we started to make a buzz on our social media and collect email addresses of people interested in preorder. During Kickstarter we started to post the information on Kickstarter related forums, Reddit, Producthunt and other platforms with tech news. Also Facebook groups are a great places where you can put the information about the product. 

We got the support from our friends and family. Basically our super early bird option was dedicated to them, as a “thank you” for their support, commitment and engagement. They help us to spread the information about RoboSoccer globally.

Did you do any advertising for your Kickstarter?

Yes, we hired a digital agency, Performance Labs,  responsible for our website optimization, Facebook lead ads and Kickstarter design. The average conversion rate we have is 5%. To boost our marketing activities we have been using Google Ads and Facebook Leads ads. From our perspective the most effective ads are those including short video (on Facebook). The best results we had on Facebook where we have collected almost 3k email addresses and we also got feedback from people interested in RoboSoccer. 

There was one problem we ran into. Once upon a time Facebook decided to block our ads because of the violations of the Facebook’s Terms and Conditions. In fact we didn’t violate any conditions but it had been blocked by mistake. Finally we have to create the ad again so the price we have set up from few days increase rapidly. Overall on paid advertising, we have spend around 40k PLN ($10k USD). 

We have been featured on magazines like New Atlas, Innoboot, China Gadgets Review, Trendhunter and Polish magazines and newspapers. We have used Backerland platform to promote our project. 

In my opinion, the most effective way of acquiring customers is a constant presence on social media and places where potential backers can be present. It’s good to combine a few tools to increase visibility on Internet.

Final Thoughts

Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs about Kickstarter?

Well, by its name crowdfunding is the place where projects are supported by people, by crowd. Make  contact with them, from the beginning of your project’s existence. From our perspective this is the key thing to make a successful campaign. Try to spread the information about your project as soon as you can. Find a group of people interested in your project as they will be your first supporters. Prepare a plan to do everything smoothly, make teamwork and encourage people to believe in your product.

But comparing brands is always a big trap for me, so I try not to get sucked into other company’s successes, since it can seem very unattainable and demoralizing when you’re not measuring up. I use Instagram a lot to engage with the community, but I try not to spend too much time worrying about what other people are doing. It’s not something I can control

How are things today and what are your plans for the future?

We have already achieved our goal on Kickstarter. The next step is to start mass production and send RoboSoccer to our first backers/supporters.  The majority of our sale comes from Kickstarter and Facebook leads ads. For now we are not launching any new products.

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