How a great idea can only go so far: The struggle of how to fund our project

Nov 04 2014

Up until last week, my teammates and I thought we were all on the same page. We all agreed that TourSync would be an application that capitalized on its inaudible location-based technology to enhance the tour experience.

What we did not agree on was how it would be marketed to museums.

We finally decided to split our project into two packages: one for museums with an existing smartphone application and another specialized version for museums that do not.

Now that we were all on the same page, I was sure that my teammates and I were on our way up to really honing in on how our project was going to be implemented. But then we ran into a problem, the big problem: money.

App development and maintenance is expensive, more expensive than we anticipated. And after discussions with developers our technology for museums cost was even more expensive. While my teammates took this news lightly, it hit me hard.

We’ve been working on this project for almost 10 weeks now. We’ve researched and conducted user testing. We’ve imagined what features we would include. We even picked out which museums to sell it to. Then came the reality that maybe museums won’t be able to fund the cost of our technology.

Though it threw me for a loop, it was not a surprise that maybe we could not sell this crazy, laid-out invention.

What would surprise me is if a project went through this process at Reese News Lab and did not have a moment like this. Certainly, my teammates and I have encountered many bumps along the road throughout our research. But that doesn’t mean our project cannot still be implemented and installed into museums.

In fact, it means that we have overcome these challenged to better refine the project. In this more specific case, it just means we have to be creative in how museums will be able to fund our project. We’re now considering the possibility of working with a philanthropic organization or applying for grants.

With three weeks left, there’s still research to be done to find alternative solutions to our cost problem before pitch day. Let the countdown begin.

Previously on Tour Sync:

How the startup curve is a real life roller coaster

How talking to strangers can be fun

The countdown has begun: Five weeks into Reese News Lab

Dear tourism professionals: A value proposition

My personal thank you to IRB

How might we make museums more interesting?

New user testing at the Old Well


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