Betabeat was checking up Remee, the lucid-dreaming sleep mask we profiled earlier this month, when we happened on an intriguing contest. On Friday, Bitbanger Labs, the Brooklyn-based duo behind Remee, closed out their Kickstarter campaign–raising an impressive $572,891 on their goal of a mere $35,000. That’s when we noticed the project page also featured a link to a competition sponsored by Buckyballs and Brookstone, the retailer mostly commonly associated with a free chair massage while you’re waiting for your mom in a mall.
The companies launched something called The William McShane Fund–named after the first customer to ever buy a set of Buckyballs, the magnetic desk toy and friend to fidgety office workers everywhere. “Because of Will, Buckyballs found its way,” says the press release. Cringe-inducing copy aside, the contest is awarding one Kickstarter project $25,000. But more compelling than the modest cash prize is a chance to launch the product in Brookstone stores nationwide.
After all financing your project may be crowd-funded, but distribution is still every entrepreneur for herself.
Twelve Kickstarter projects have been nominated for the contest. Anyone can vote on the winner and this Wednesday, May 23, six projects will be eliminated depending on the votes. After that, voting will open up again, with a winner chosen June, 1st.
Of the 12 projects, half are based in New York City. Besides Remee, there is also:
- JuiceTank: an iPhone case and charge in one
- Amplifiear: a speaker that offers better sound for the iPad and iPad 2
- Hickies: rubber and plastic doohickies that turn your kicks into slip-ons. (We maintain this is just begging for an investment from a certain local Sneakerhead VC.)
- Day Maker: the iPhone charging dock set up like a toaster.
- MirrorCase: a case for the iPhone 4/4S that makes it easier to take photos/shoot video at a natural angle
Someone should really let Apple know that the five boroughs have somehow morphed into an unofficial testing ground for Apple accessories.