Unfortunately for most who want to help us with investments, we are only taking single investments of $1000 or more until our prototype is developed. However, we're working in phases, and so we'll be looking for mutliple investment resources of our own.
Our phases of invement capitalization will be as follow:
And although most would think we want all of the funding immediately, the truth is we need to manage the growth of the company or we run the risk of running things inefficiently. And so while the temptation is there, prior to Phase 1 (we are currently in Phase 0, still working on the original prototype) we will not seek more than $100k. So even if we receive that amount, our aim is to correctly manage our growth, and so we will return anything above that amount until such time that we are able to correctly manage the growth.
We are currently at Phase 0.
At this phase, we are still trying to get the original prototype together and spending a lot of money out-of-pocket. We are putting ourselves into personal debt to get this together, with the belief that our passion is well-placed and that the market for this exists.
Our maximum funding for this phase is $100k, and we're actively looking for about $30-40k from investors who can afford to place $10,000 into a high-risk/low-yield situation, with a high (33%) risk of failure. Given the failure rate of other companies who have tried what we're trying, we consider this an acceptable risk, as we have ways of managing the causes of failure that others in the past have lacked. However, most of these are only discussable with those who have signed a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) with us.
At Phase 1, we're trying to get a full production demo model of the prototype, with the full flashiness and slick finish of a completed market prototoype. We will also be seeking seed funding through Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sources, since we'll have at least a functioning prototype at that stage.
Phase 2 - 4
Specific planning for each phase will need to be completed at the time comes. Currently, we have very little planning of anything beyond Phase 1, other than the broad strokes of a financial plan. We feel this is best for now, since the financial landscape is changing drastically and we don't feel that it's realistic to make anything more than the most vague plan.
However, before proceeding, we will have a highly-specific plan which we can show investors who will then be able to advise us on what is likely to be the most lucrative options available, and we will proceed according to our best estimates at that time.
While we do have to address profitability, we should not lose sight of our chief aims to be of service to the community.
A Note on Profitability
When we're talking about gamers, we have to take the psychology into account. Unlike many industries, the laser tag industry suffers dramatically when there is a perception of greed on the part of the company (as such a perception means that we have "sold out" to the larger mindset and no longer have the ability to connect to a market largely based around generosity). As such, we have to take care to avoid the appearance that we're only in this for the money, especially since our aims have community health as the top priority.
The money is required in order to be a business; the other aims must take priority over profitability (while not pushing us away from profitability, since that's what keeps us able to continue with the business). This tricky undertaking is one of the real reasons the laser tag industry hasn't grown significantly in over 30 years.