Over the years I’ve formed 5 or 6 companies — some by myself, some with others. All the companies required a business plan, and part of that plan is an estimate of costs and revenue. Creating spreadsheets that show these costs and revenue are quite involved and quite boring. You start with a basic goal — what you need to keep the company going, and quickly get to a stretch goals — how much money you would make if one billion people bought your product in the first year. It’s always fun to plug huge numbers into your stretch goals, and rack up the zeros.
One Billion Dollars…
In contemplating funding options the idea of creating a Kickstarter campaign came up. But Kickstarter is not the right platform for this type of project. There is no product produced that is given to the backers. Our program is more like the local PBS TV station, you’ll get a T-shirt thanking you for your donation, but the money goes to creating new programs, or keeping existing ones running. Based on that, IndieGoGo seemed to be the best option, and you will probably see a campaign there soon.
As mentioned on our Equipment List page, the minimum amount to successfully create the STEAMworx program is around $32,000. But what if we collected more? What would we do with $100,000 or $1,000,000? I’m glad you asked!
$50,000 – Take Flight
After purchasing all the equipment, our next need will be to store and transport the equipment. We will purchase flight cases for all the equipment to ensure that it stays well protected (and look super cool). The exact amount this will cost is still up in the air, as some of the cases will have to be customized, but the next item on the purchase list will be a vinyl-wrapped trailer to haul around the equipment and advertise the program.
$100,000 – We need backup!
Our next goal is to purchase a second complete set of equipment, cases, and trailer. This purchase will serve several purposes: First, given a willing volunteer, we will be able to run two separate courses at the same time, without concern for overlapping equipment needs. Second, we will have on-hand backups of all equipment, in case something breaks. Most importantly though, we’ll be able to create a double-sized festival for schools with large outdoor areas or large student populations.
$400,0000 – The EDM50 – Urban Dance Vehicle
I have two words for you. Tour Bus. Transporting your equipment around in a truck or trailer? That’s small time. The Pro have a tour bus… Or multiple buses… and semi trailers… with their logo on the side… Ok, let’s not get too far ahead. In all seriousness though, the next step is to buy a custom RV with enough storage room for a complete set of equipment, and a fold-out deck. The goal here is to optimize the setup time at schools for the lesson (when they can be had outside) and for the festival. The deck quickly become the DJ booth, the lights and speakers can be permanent mounted, the Generator in the RV will provide power if necessary. And I mean come on how cool is a mobile-dance-party-bus gonna be?
$1,000,000 – And Beyond…
One million dollars. That’s my personal goal. At this point, I quit my day job, travel the U.S. in the EDM50, and target as many schools as I can. Nine months of the year I’ll bring excitement about science and the arts to students in after-school programs. During the summer, I’ll offer cities the option of running the course as a summer program. Beyond $1M? More equipment, more RVs, a fleet of RVs, programs in every major city, a TV program, a private island!
OK, OK, back to reality.