Nick NM Yap, the CEO of ROCKI, serial entrepreneur and a veteran of two successful Kickstarter projects (for ROCKI and the Omate Smartwatch) recounts his CSWGlobal14 experiences. Nick simply is a rockstar. Follow him @addlikefollow.

Crowdsourcing Week Global, when I first heard it I wasn’t too sure what it was. Pardon my ignorance then. I had just spent 6 months totally engaged 20 hours a day, sleeping with my laptop and waking up to to continue with messages even before coffee. Just emerging from a couple of back-to-back Kickstarter campaigns, which turned out pretty successful, I was invited to speak. Always a firm believer in “paying it forward” I said yes without hesitation, never mind that it would be my first public speaking engagement. In the worst case, I could draw on the podium experiences with the handful of speeches and presentations during school days and national service (Yes, in Singapore we have that and still do). What’s reassuring was that it was to be about sharing my first hand experience in building up a crowdfunding project with everyone, rather than “lecturing to an audience”. Can’t go wrong with simply sharing.

Weeks before the the event, I realized that the agenda was filling up with some of the most prominent experts in crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and open innovation. That notion was absolutely reinforced immediately at the conference, starting from Day#1 of the event. The speeches were both informative and inspirational, I found myself busy taking notes. It’s amazing how speakers from all over world, different corners and different sectors, are miraculously speaking the same crowd language, singing the same tune – #crowdpower

Jeremiah Owyang’s, “The Economy goes Collaborative”, Bryan Kramer’s, “#H2H Human to Human messaging”, Jenn Gustetic’s,“Crowd rocketing NASA”, Paul Niederer’s, “Equity Crowdfunding The Aussie Way forward”, Brendan Goh’s, “No hiding from the Crowd”, Mark Philpott’s, “The Homeless Man”, Epi Ludvik Nekaj “The man who brought everyone together”, Priti Ambani’s “Building Crowdsourcing Week in a crowd way, working globally and remotely” … the list goes on and on.

Finally, it was my turn to speak, the last speaker of the conference program. A few hiccups here and there (including a false start – yes, I went on before my turn haha), but I survived. My talk – “How to Raise A Million Dollars on Kickstarter”and the key takeaways were –

  • Don’t think about the Million.
  • Build from ground up,
  • Do all your fundamentals,
  • Give your best, be transparent,
  • Build a great product,
  • Let everyone know about it and engage.

The rest is up to the crowd. Based on the reactions that followed, I guess I didn’t fare too badly. Questions flowed after the session as some from the audience approached to follow-up on the points raised.

The same interest continued at the next day’s crowdfunding workshop at INSEAD – lots of interaction and engagement during and after the presentations, that provided the audience with very hand on tools ideas to move forward with their plans to crowdfund for their startups.

Since that week, I’ve accepted 1 advisory position and 3 mentor position for prestigious and interesting projects where I can contribute with my experience – all through networking and contacts I made at the conference. Personally I find it very rewarding to help people thinking of Kickstarter/ crowdfunding. So I’m at it again at Crowdsourcing Week Summit Brussels June 5-6, 2014. This time my talk will focus on crowd-led innovation, the collaborative economy, and the benefits of crowdfunding that is whole lot more than just financing.

Kudos to the Crowdsourcing Week team for creating such a platform for sharing and learning – a big step forward for the collaborative economy. Crowdsourcing Week changed my life, changed the course for many others too – it was very visible. To the lady running the soup kitchen (sorry I didn’t get your name) : keep doing what you do. It’s very heart-warming to see how you came to the crowdfunding workshop with a lot of concerns and reservations, and how at the end of the day you walked away talking to everyone with a big smile on your face and most importantly that glow of openness. I’m sure you’ll go on to build crowdfunding and/or crowdsourcing successfully into your life and those around you.

About Nick

Nick NM Yap, Global Singaporean with over 20 years experience in the IT/CE industry. Based in The Netherlands since 1997, he has actively expanded his living and working scope in the last five years to also include Europe, USA and China, and now spends his time shared across the three. Graduated with a Computer Engineering degree, Nick has a solid foundation in both hard- and software. Using this foundation, he has developed his career in creating products and marketing them, engaging the entire supply chain from product conception to consumer appreciation. Always ready to engage new phenomenon, he dived into the crowd community in early 2013 to develop and launch his newest baby – ROCKI. ROCKI is a wifi music streaming system (hardware + software + ecosystem) that promises to revolutionise home music for everyone, born entirely out of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. With two successful back-to-back crowdfunding campaign raising more than $1.2m, Nick is dedicated to “paying it forward” by sharing his first-hand crowd experience with everyone.