Caveat Backer

When Kickstarter Goes Wrong: Were 419 Backers Almost Taken for a $27,637 Ride?

tech sync power

About a month ago, there was a $2,000 Kickstarter project called the Tech Sync Power System, a system for controlling home lights from mobile devices over a wifi connection. The project creator, registered as Steven Washington from Chesapeake, VA, said he was working on a team of six people and promised to ship mobile apps and hardware to backers who contributed as little as $20.

The project was popular, racking up $27,637, ten times the amount asked. But almost immediately, there was skepticism. “Tech Sync Power System, Too Good To Be True? Most Likely a Scam,” wrote one blogger and Kickstarter user who claimed to have put together a more rudimentary version of the system, but for $50 per unit. Backers asked for images, video, anything that would verify a working prototype. Mr. Washington declined, citing the patent process: “Due to the pending copyright, and patent process, we don’t have screen shots of our software, or more photos of our prototypes available yet, also we are working to finish off the UI in our software. Once that has completed, we will be sure to post more photos, videos and screen shots.”

Betabeat found no pending patent applications in Mr. Washington’s name. Read More