Crowdfunding site, Dragon Investment, Helps Hardware Startups

Dulcie Madden has spent two years developing a monitor attached to a onesie that tracks an infant’s breathing and temperature and beams the data to a parent’s smartphone. Her five-person Boston startup, Rest Devices, raised $600,000 from angel investors to build a prototype. To secure the funds she needs to manufacture her monitor, Madden bypassed better-known crowdfunding websites and turned to Dragon Innovation, a new site run by a consulting company of the same name. On Kickstarter and Indiegogo, entrepreneurs solicit donations and promise a product in return. Yet for many, raising money turns out to be the easy part. Ethan Mollick, an assistant professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who authored a paper on crowdfunding, found that in a sample of 48,500 projects, more than 75 percent didn’t ship on time. “A lot of these people are extremely overconfident,” he says. “Most people do deliver in the end. It just takes a long time.” Dragon founder Scott Miller, who led the team that developed the Roomba vacuum at IRobot, started the company four years ago to help entrepreneurs mass-produce their inventions. Dragon’s staff of 20 is divided between Lexington, Mass., and China. Miller decided to create […]

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