Kickstarter crowdfunding site now live in Canada

Kickstarter Canada is now live, and one of first projects up for backing could be described as the ultimate Canadian endeavour: a group of young men are seeking funds to build a better hockey stick.

Kickstarter announced its intentions to expand here in early August and the first wave of projects are now open to backers. The company is the world’s most popular crowdfunding site, with some 4.8 million people having pledged more than $778 million for more than 48,000 projects, including much-publicized successes like the upcoming Veronica Mars film and the Pebble smartwatch.

There are more than 50 Canadian projects at launch, including comic books, apps, a flying robot and much more, but Colt Hockey is attempting to use nanotechnology and materials to create a stick that will not break under regular game play conditions in ice or ball hockey.

“Crowdfunding seems to be a new way to give power to the people, so we thought it would be a great time to grow with Kickstarter developing in Canada and get our project off the ground,” says Daniel Lucchesi, 22, the face of Colt Hockey’s campaign and one of the company’s six founders.

In a video on their campaign page, Lucchesi says they had been looking for a way to create stronger sticks that could compete with the current elite level composite sticks.

“It’s like a warrior with their sword, there’s an attachment to it, and one of the most heartbreaking things is when your precious stick shatters on you mid-game play,” he says. “The only way to do that is to make it so it wouldn’t wear down or break on you. You couldn’t do that with composite or fibreglass and all the previous materials, so we began the journey to find the right material and process that would let us hold onto our sticks as long as possible and fully cash in on the investments we make in our sticks.”

In searching, they found Toronto-based Integran, a leader in the material sciences field, which has a process to coat objects with a high-performance nano-material. Lucchesi says they were convinced that it was the right way to go when they saw that a ping pong ball that underwent the process was able to withstand 200 lbs. of pressure.

The eventual asking price of the Colt sticks will be around $300 — which is competitive with elite-level composite sticks — but early backers will get one for a pledge of $150 or $200.

Colt Hockey is seeking $75,000 to expand production.

“We have our prototypes and we can make these sticks on an individual and small quantity basis, so what Kickstarter will help us do is differentiate our prototype models and activate our curve choices, and also to get these sticks into a larger quantity of productions. That’s what we are trying to achieve through Kickstarter,” Lucchesi says.

Technically, projects from anywhere, including Canada, could always use Kickstarter, but it has traditionally used Amazon payments to process transactions. Now, Canadian users can enter their own banking information to pledge money to projects.

In addition, all Canadian projects will be listed in Canadian dollars on the site.

SOURCE: The Star