When Gut Check first spoke with Michael Swaleh last month, he and his brother, Shaun, had an ambitious goal: to raise $60,000, through the crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter, toward the purchase of a food truck for their Tikka Tikka Taco concept.
Swaleh told us then that he gave himself only a "20% chance" of meeting that goal. As it happened, the project raised $9,438 from 122 backers. Because the Swalehs missed their goal, per the policies of Kickstarter, they received none of the money that those backers had pledged.
Undaunted, the Swalehs are trying again.
The Swalehs have moved the Tikka Tikka Taco crowd-sourcing campaign to Indiegogo, where their new goal is to raise $15,000 toward the down payment on a food truck.
This new campaign has two key differences from the Kickstarter effort. First, the fundraising period is longer: two months. Second, even if the Swalehs don't reach their $15,000 target, they will be able to keep whatever money they do raise; they will also fulfill the commitments that they have made to backers.
As of the afternoon Monday, November 19, the new campaign has raised $5,680 of its goal, with 50 days remaining.
"I'd say at this point, [there's] a forty percent chance of making the goal," Michael Swaleh tells Gut Check.
Swaleh believes the key to success -- i.e., what didn't happen with the Kickstarter campaign -- will be to expand the pool of backers beyond their own network.
With Kickstarter, he says, "It was really somehow, some way, of getting on the [site's] front page."
With a presence on the front page of Indiegogo's site -- or, at the very least, on the site's St. Louis landing page -- Tikka Tikka Taco can attract the attention of someone who doesn't know the Swalehs.
Without that attention, Swaleh says, "I don't think we'll hit our goal."
(Swaleh also hopes everyone who pledged to the Kickstarter effort will come over to Indiegogo; so far, he reports, 70 backers have.)
Meanwhile, Tikka Tikka Taco won't need a truck to make its public debut at the Northern Lights Holiday Celebration in Ferguson this Sunday, November 25, from 2-7 p.m.
"The City of Ferguson reached out to us," Swaleh says. "So we get our first crack at large-scale production."