KICK-ER is a guidance service for SMEs, start-ups, research labs and public institutions locally based which would carry out a crowdfunding campaign.
KICK-ER was created to respond to a need more and more clearly perceived by startups and SMEs but also research labs and public institutions: from one hand, how to launch an innovative product or service on the market, from the other, how to engage a community, to foster accountability, to enable citizens to get closer to innovation and to policy making, to make scientific research closer to people.
To do business, innovate and give shape to your idea, it is necessary, on one hand, to collect the funds needed to make the initial investments and, on the other, to plan an effective marketing strategy: improve your idea, experiment with the working team, test the market and identify its positioning, expand the stakeholders’ network, explore the willingness to pay of potential customers and much more.
KICK-ER was set up 3 years ago in order to help those targets in creating, managing and carrying out a successful crowdfunding campaign.
The main activities developed by KICK-ER staff to pursue these objectives are:
- help desk service: business plan analysis and support for crowdfunding campaign in terms of guidance for strategy, implementation, promotional support and post-campaign analysis
- training activities: workshop across the region to disseminate the culture of crowdfunding.
KICK-ER is complementary integrated with ASTER services dedicated to support for business creation & finance for innovation. It deals with reward, equity & civic crowdfunding.

Resources needed

This practice is composed by desk activity, in-depth meeting and report and training organization and delivery. It implies an effort of at least 20hrs/week of one person well trained to develop both the activities (guidance service and training sessions/events).

Evidence of success

115 requests
60 one-to-one meetings
40 in-depth calls
29 reports
27 customized checklist
15 campaigns with guidance and promotional support by ASTER (100% success rate)
387.800€ Total amount collected through CF campaigns
10 workshop organized across the regional territory
18 participation to Italian events
8 participations to International initiatives
Active member since Jan2018 of the ECN working group on investigating match-funding models which imply crowdfunding and ESI Funds.

Difficulties encountered

Main barriers encountered: “crowd-what?” attitude, mistakes on the right purpose of crowdfunding, not high-road attention from the institutional side at the beginning of the process. We did solve them through: dissemination & communication, specific training with experts dedicated to our targets.

Potential for learning or transfer

This service was developed within this Region because we had a set of players involved able to work together with the same aims: foster the innovation of the local ecosystem, give a toolkit to explore new ways to raise fund and realize a communication & marketing strategy, not only for startups but also for research labs, wannabe entrepreneurs from civil society, public institutions. Players:
- the innovation agency of the region (ASTER): it is in charge of managing the networks of startups, incubators and research labs of the regional and can reach the targeted audience of the service (spread contents and disseminate info);
- crowdfunding experts: can co-design the service and be involved in the guidance activity in order to transfer the know-how;
- startup training and consulting staff: helping to analyze startups business plans;
- regional government: to enable the networking among all the players and to address policies towards a more integrated development of crowdfunding.

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Main institution
ART-ER S. cons. p. a.
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
November 2015
End Date


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