On Tuesday, the winners of the Crowd2Shelf contest were made available for purchase on Staples.com. The contest was a collaboration between Staples and Fundable – a business crowdfunding platform that is part of the Startups.co suite of products. In a nutshell, the Crowd2Shelf contest – which launched in August of 2014 – was a nationwide search for innovative products. The contest was an open format, with anyone being able to submit their product or idea. Once the thousands of products were submitted, they were put to a popular vote, with the top 25 moving on to the next round. The top 25 products were then put into Fundable crowdfunding campaigns. And finally, the winners were selected through several different methods: a panel of judges selected their favorites; the most funded was selected; the most voted for product was selected. In total, five products made the cut, and are now, as of Tuesday, available for purchase.1
Contestants demonstrated demand for their innovative products by gathering votes and crowdfunding pledges. A panel of innovation experts, including Fundable and Staples representatives, chose the winners based on votes, success of crowdfunding campaigns, and each judges’ understanding of what it takes for a startup to be successful.2
Here is a quick look at the Crowd2Shelf winners.
The EVA light bulb – designed by LEDified – is an incredibly unique product. It s described by some as a smart light bulb, but it is really more dynamic than smart. The EVA was the result of LEDified taking a long, hard look at the lighting market. They found that while there are a ton of different choices in the market, there was nothing dynamic enough to handle any and all lighting needs:
Every day, multiple times of the day, the lighting needs of the average homeowner change! Whether you need to set the mood with a different color, or change the function of your space with a different brightness, your current lighting is simply not meeting your needs.3
The EVE system contains two parts: the bulb itself, and a remote control. The control allows users to adjust the brightness and warmth of the EVE light bulb. The strength of this product is in its simplicity. The EVE system is available on Staples.com from $42.95.
Like the EVE light bulb, Journo is quite simple. “Jorno is the folding Bluetooth keyboard that fits in your pocket and allows you to type with ease anytime, anywhere. It works with iPhone, iPad and Android devices.”4
You can see a trend developing here. The nHand, again, is quite simple. “nHand is the first accessory to make your tablet a truly handheld device. Made out of high-grade billet aluminum, nHand securely attaches to any tablet or laptop via the powerful 3M DuraLock re-closable fastening system. nHand also functions as a 3-way stand, and includes a built-in hook so you can hang it on the wall.”5
“Plug it directly into the socket and you’re ready to stream music from your phone, listen to your favorite FM radio station, charge your phone, or even use the speakerphone for hands-free communication (making it perfect for the kitchen). Plus, the plug radio comes with a silicone stand so you can use it outdoors, and the long-lasting battery will let you keep on jamming for up to 10 hours.”6
“Plum makes lighting and appliance control easy and affordable. Our Wi-Fi enabled lightpad is the first product of its kind. Competitively priced and easy to install, it provides the incredible convenience of controlling your lights from your smart phone from anywhere in the world.”7
While there has been no official word, at least any that we could find, it seems that the 2014 Crowd2Shelf contest is just the first of many.