Crowd-pleasers from Distree

Crowd-pleasers from Distree


February has been one busy month, and it seems to be continuing with a slew of events. From Mobile World Congress to Distree, tech events have started off the year with a bang!

During last week’s Distree, we had the chance to animate a couple of panels (international brand building & crowdfunding), where one of the main topics that we addressed was how crowdfunding is affecting the traditional retail model. Today, Indiegogo is providing a new platform within retailers to give a voice to small business innovations, where they may grow their ideas into actual products that are eventually retail ready.

Alongside this model, the distributor framework fluctuates, as brands are now able to sell directly to retailers, eliminating middleman fees and excess product resources. That being said, tell me why we still have distributors?

Check out what we discussed here with Trackr, inCharge, & UPRIGHT: Distree Crowdfunding Panel.

Outside of the panels, I met some startups that made an impression on me, which include the 3 above.

Waka Waka


The increased brand recognition that was generated from Waka Waka’s nine crowdfunding rounds, led to the spread of their idea not only to people who found the product interesting, but also to people whose survival and development depended upon it.

Harnessing the power of the sun, Waka Waka is bringing light to people around the developed and developing world. There are millions of people in the developed world who constantly deal with power outages, and others from the developing world who study under kerosene lights. Yes, even today… says Camille Van Gestel-Walinga, CEO. Basic lighting is an everyday need, and if there are environmentally friendly substitutions why shouldn’t we “empower people to light their world.” Similar to the campaign for Tom’s shoes, Waka Waka is donating a light for every product purchased. #SharetheSun



Remember all those times you were slouching in your office chair, and you never understood why your back hurt at the end of your day? Knowing that I do this on a daily basis, I wanted to share with you this new product that will help you keep your spine in-line. In one simple vibration, you are reminded to sit up straight, just like a parent giving you a dirty look for slouching.



Last year, I had the opportunity to meet the President of Trackr at OrangeFab Days here in Paris, and then received a second opportunity at Distree. It is the product to keep track of your most important items. If you are anything like me, with the occasional rogue keys and/or wallet, then you should check this out. Trackr Bravo includes a new GPS service that helps you locate your misplaced items from anywhere in your house using a simple ping. Think of it… your kid takes your keys, and puts them behind the couch in order to miss school… “No more getting out of school, because of lost keys.”

STM Bags



STM Bags is the one non-tech company that I met during my Brand Building panel at Distree, and I was pretty fascinated by their CEO, Ethan Nyholm, and his explanation of their product development and brand expansion. The highlight was their newest technology, the Haven pack. In our ever-increasingly connected world, wouldn’t you want a backpack that never lets you miss a beat? Whether traveling in the mountains or a quick run to Starbucks, this bag is decked out with built-in ports and cable management that will keep you organized, charged, and tech-chic.