The REAL Cost of a Kickstarter

The REAL Cost of a Kickstarter

Elias Bakken, CTO of Intelligent Agent, launched a Kickstarter for the product, Manga Screen. The Manga Screen is a small LCD screen with capacitive touch. It uses standard interfaces (USB and HDMI), for showing the picture and grabbing data from the touch panel, making it compatible with just about every single board computer available on the market.

To give us a clearer picture of the REAL cost of a kickstarter, Elias breaks down the costs of Manga Screen.

Project: Manga Screen Kickstarter

Through Kickstarter, Manga Screen received 585 backers, as a cost of $99 each. This pushed the project forward to develop 1,000 large screen devices and 500 small-screen devices. It also included a partnership with Elmatica.

Component Cost Breakdown 

Component Costs

1. They utilized different companies for production of different parts. 
2. All components of the PCB assembly, except two, were machine placeable. 
3. The touch panel bonding was actually too expensive and will be looking for a new option going forward.

Additional Costs Associated with Manga Screen Production

  • FedEx - $20,000. This involved shipping costs to and from China during prototype stage.
  • Mistakes - $20,000. Although unavoidable, fixing parts and correcting functionality are part of the process.
  • Prototypes - $50,000. Manga Screen took several iterations of assembly and PCB ordering to get right.
  • Trip to China - $10,000. Looked at the factories and updated Kickstarter backers during the process.

Overall Costs

Total Cost Breakdown

Total Raised through Kickstarter:  $600,000


Results Breakdown and Other Thoughts

  • Without including time, salary, rent, accounting (business essentials), the project ran a deficit, but they were left with an inventory of 800 units that can now be later sold at the regular price (not the “sales” Kickstarter price).
  • This left them with a nice bragging page on Kickstarter that will impress future customers and investors.
  • From the time of the Kickstarter to production – estimated 7 months, longer than originally thought.
  • Throughout the Kickstarter, continue to seek funding for your project – don’t stand still!


Remember, when doing a Kickstarter, you are selling a story. Some backers are just there for the product, but others are investing in your story. They believe in you and want to be part of the success.

Check out photos of the event HERE!

About The Speaker

Elias Bakken

Elias Bakken

CTO, Intelligent Agent

Share Article:

Sign up to the Hardware Massive newsletter

Related Videos