Spreading shogi around the wrold! An enthusiastic Czech effort (Interview) - EU・ジャパンフェスト日本委員会

Spreading shogi around the wrold! An enthusiastic Czech effort (Interview)

Filip Marek|Founder of the Czech Association of Shogi

What motivated you to try crowdfunding?
We make our own original version of shogi in Europe to make Shogi more accessible. To have a reasonable price for customers, we needed to make a big amount of shogi sets – but this needs a lot of money, which we did not have as we are not a big company.

Why you chose to use the platform in Denmark, not in your homeland.
Kickstarter has some rules for their campaigns like you need to be a permanent resident in some country, where they have their branch. But there is any in the Czech Republic, fortunately we have a relative living in Denmark, who is trustworthy. It is important to have 100% trust in this person because he will receive the money and then he has to resend them to your account.

How did you like it? Was it successful?
Yes, we were successful, we got over 100% of our goal and had 158 backers! That was amazing, so many people were interested in shogi. But we worked hard, it is needed to not underestimate anything. But not everything is easy as it seems – you have to calculate not only your products, shipping is also included in your goal.
Shogi is still not much known out of Japan, but thanks to crowdfunding, we could see if there is any interest in it and many people discovered this great game because of our Kickstarter campaign. So it was good advertising for us as well.

Any advice or tips for people who are considering to try crowdfunding?
Yes, look at similar campaigns to yours, learn from them. Get all the information and materials together, prepare a list of people, who might be interested in it. Make the video short, but clear.
The first 48 hours are the most important – you need to be fully active and it is good to inform people before the campaign starts. There are every day hundreds of new projects, so yours will quickly fall down from the first pages on Kickstarter.
Share it everywhere quickly, answer immediately all questions from people and backers. Be active on many social networks, not only Facebook, but inform people everywhere around the internet, you can also ask some bloggers, look for forums about Kickstarter, find your customers/supporters.

※ This interview is done via e-mail in February 2017.