TwistRate – A Cool, Effective Way to Get Concepts to Market
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I’d like to thank the crew at Leverage PR for helping me learn more about Twist Rate – an innovative way to fund ideas, prototypes, production, marketing and more. I need to tell you – if you haven’t heard of “crowdsourcing”- you soon will. It’s an innovative way for entrepeneurs to get that boost they are looking for, to get their ideas to market. I’d like to thank Evan Hafer, the CEO of TwistRate, for taking the time to answer some questions. ~DesertRat

1. Desert Rat Outdoors: For those unfamiliar with crowdsourcing and similar programs, just how effective can it be?

Evan Hafer: If someone can raise $51,000 in a matter of days to make a batch of potato salad, I’d say crowdfunding is working very well. Crowdfunding is in its infancy, however, donor-reward crowdfunding projects are expected to grow to $93 billion by 2025 – that’s a lot of potato salad. What’s happening in the market is that new platforms are launching to serve the needs of different groups of people. TwistRate, for example saw a huge need for a place where the projects and passions of hunters, military, law enforcement and outdoor enthusiasts could get funded. While we just launched over the Fourth of July weekend, we’re already seeing a very positive response from the community.

2. DRO: What is the advantage of TwistRate over similar funding sites?

EH: Most crowdfunding platforms will not allow products and services produced by our community on their site. A techie from San Francisco can fund a new smart watch, but a former Special Forces veteran can’t bring a life-saving Kevlar vest to market or a new flashlight holder for police belts. The main advantage of TwistRate is the fact that we exist to fund all America’s innovators. We think new life-saving products and technologies that make hunting, fishing and outdoor play better are just as worthy of dollars as potato salad. There are other differences as well. We don’t just help inventors get funded. We also have services designed to take new products from idea to prototype to patenting, funding and retail sales and distribution. TwistRate is an end-to-end solution for those looking to turn their ideas into reality.

3. DRO: How has the reception been?

EH: Pretty amazing so far! The calls and emails have been pouring in from our community, and our campaigners are having great success. The number one crowdfunding platform in the world, Kickstarter, receives $127 per contributor, based on their last quarter. Our average contribution per donor is $160, and we are just starting to get noticed. This illustrates the enthusiasm investors have shown for a place where they can turn their ideas into action.

4. DRO: What has been the most successful campaign to date?

EH: The BallSkinz campaign, Vi Diamond’s invention, has raised 30 percent of its $5,000 goal in just nine days. He’s just starting, but he’s already determined that there’s a real market for his product. Twistrate allowed him to validate his idea without a lot of risk or time. It’s great that he could do a trial run and get market feedback in his spare time, while being a full-time employee and a father to two kids.

Vi broke his back during a Navy SEAL training mission. After he saw what exercise did for his rehabilitation, he became a CrossFit trainer and now owns several CrossFit gyms. BallSkinz came from his frustrations over not being able to bring all his exercise gear on the road. So he came up with a medicine ball, actually a medicine ball cover that you can fill with popcorn, BBs, ball bearings, etc., to get the weight you want. It’s one of those “why-didn’t-I-think-of-that?” devices. Check out his video here.

5. DRO: What prompted you to create it?

EH: TwistRate was launched after my partner, Jeff, a life-long inventor, was rejected from a major crowdfunding platform for his Touniquet belt, which will save lives in the field. We thought it was messed up that some kid could raise tens of thousands for potato salad, but veterans, police and other inventors in our industry were not allowed to list products. There was nowhere that our community could go to get its projects and passions funded, so we created TwistRate to serve every day Americans, not just the tech community.

I’ve been an inventor, investor and entrepreneur for a good part of my adult life. While simultaneously serving in the military and other government organizations, I have always mentored my fellow veteranpreneurs. I’ve commercialized government and defense projects, and I’ve invested in the projects of my fellow inventors. I have seen a great need for a place where inventors who create products for our market can turn their vision into a reality.

Just because you don’t live in New York or San Francisco doesn’t mean you don’t have good ideas. We believe there are good ideas to be found in all parts of America. The man who builds a new Kevlar vest or a magnetized device that a police officer can wear on his hip, so he can reload with one hand, has as much a right as a software developer to raise capital for their inventions.

6. DRO: Evan, you’re a hunter – what is your favorite thing to hunt?

EH: I love pheasant hunting with my dog Karl – an award winning bird dog. However, I love elk hunting, too, because it’s so challenging. It’s an individual endeavor that requires a significant amount of strategy to track and out-maneuver these beasts. The whole environmental spectrum comes in to play. What you wear, how you move, your scent, the wind, the sun and the rain all play a part. And the run-up to elk season is a year-long commitment. My whole family goes up in the mountains every chance we get to gather intelligence, collect horns, track and note the movement of the herd.

7. DRO: What fishing trip tops your wish list?

EH: I’d love to fly fish for salmon in Siberia.

Want to start your own fundraising campaign? Go here: Start a Campaign

Learn more about the Company? Go here: Company Info

Management Team info: TwistRate Management Team

Twist Rate Frequently Asked Questions

Product Review – AV1 Glasses from Dual Eyewear
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A big “Thank You” to Jane Chung from Echos PR for reaching out to me about Dual Eyewear and getting a pair to me to review.

From their website:

Dual is an uncompromising line of eyewear designed to enhance your outdoors experience. Our sports oriented power sunglasses complement your active lifestyle by improving your vision of hard-to-read products such as cycle computers and cell phones by way of a discreet magnification area molded into the lower portion of the lenses.

Dual eyewear offers the functionality you demand and the aesthetics you crave. Technology wrapped in irresistible styling…

Dual. Buy them for sports – Use them for everyday life!

I tried out the AV1 style, shown above. From the site:

The AV1 features a highly polished stainless steel frame with thin (1/32″) and flexible satin-finish stainless steel temples and an adjustable nose bridge, which provide maximum comfort for prolonged use. Weighing in at a mere 1 oz. (30 grams), you’ll forget you have them on.

Higher quality than polycarbonate lenses, the AV1′s non-polarized Nylon lenses are more resistant to scratches and offer higher definition at a lighter weight. These lenses feature an interior anti-reflective coating to reduce eyestrain.

Features:
Fit: Medium/Large
8 base lens curvature for optimum wrap-around fit
Stainless Steel frames
Shatterproof and scratch-resistant Nylon lenses with interior anti-reflective coating
Nylon lenses offer 100% UVA, UVB, UVC Protection
Optimized Magnification Zone (OMZ) reduces distortion and fatigue
Available in +1.5, +2.0, or +2.5 spot diopters
Retro-style protective case included
Weight: 1 oz (30 grams)

I love these glasses. As I get older, I find I need cheaters (readers) to read almost everything. Books, computer scree, phone – you name it. As you might imagine, sunglasses are a “must” in Arizona and you are constantly wearing them, whether driving or partaking in outdoor activities. It really is a pain in the butt constantly switching back and forth between sunglasses and reading glasses. These awesome sunglasses make that inconvenience go away. The reading lenses are built into the main lenses and tinted the same shade as the sunglasses. The glasses are stylish and practical but best of all, they work perfectly! They are tough, too. Mine have fallen under the seat of my truck, on the pavement, and on the desert floor where I tend to tramp around a bit. I am really tough on glasses and these have taken everything I’ve thrown at them so far.No scratches, no dings, no bent arms.

Best of all, I can read my phone now. I can read my GPS. I can see my watch. I can read printed directions on products. These glasses are a lifesaver. Skeptical? Read more testimonials here: TESTIMONIALS

You can purchase these at the Dual Eyewear website, or locally here:

Javelina Cycles
4802 East Ray Road #5, Phoenix, Arizona, United States, 85346
(480) 598-3373

http://www.javelinacycles.com

Ditch the Spray, Non-Toxic Wristbands Keep Mosquitos Away for Days
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I’d like to thank Tessa Kay from Asylum PR for reaching out to me about a great new product – Wrist Bands and Mosquito Repelling Dots from Mosquitno.

From the Release:

Forget coating your self in messy, toxic bug sprays, Mosquitno Bands create long-lasting personal repellent zone that will not wash off or wear off throughout the day

After a long winter the draw of the great outdoors is irresistible, until the whir of tiny wings announces the arrival of a swarm of mosquitos. Ugly red bumps and constant itching are usually accepted as a cost of enjoying warm weather activities outdoors, but avoiding bites from mosquitos, flies and no-see-um bugs will be much easier with Mosquitno. Mosquitno has created a simple and all-natural way for children and adults to stay bug-bite free without the use of sprays that can contain chemicals and leave residues on skin and clothes.

Mosquitno Bands are all-natural, non-toxic wristbands made of silicone rubber infused with 100% citronella oil. Each Mosquitno Bands contains enough citronella to effectively repel bugs for up to 150 hours of exposure (or six days), and each comes in a re-sealable pouch to preserve effectiveness between uses. Mosquitno Bands are available in eight solid colors, camouflage, tie-dye and glow-in-the-dark in sizes for adults and children.

The pleasant-smelling citronella oil infused into Mosquitno Bands works by masking human scents – carbon dioxide and sweat – that attract bugs. Mosquitno Bands are more effective than citronella candles because they are worn on the body and the citronella scent is not dissipated by the wind.

Mosquitno Bands retail for $3.99. All Mosquitno products are non-toxic, chemical-free and DEET-free. Used Mosquitno Bands can be mailed back to the company for recycling in return for two new, free Mosquitno Bands (for every 10 returned).

I wanted to do a review on these but with no trips to mosquito country pending at press time, I turned to my dear friend Amy. Amy and her kids Katie and Lucas are bug-magnets. They go family camping fairly frequently with their Dad/Husband Patrick so I asked Amy to do a review.

Amy came back raving about the mosquitno products. She loved the smell, of both the wristband and the dots. The dots were especially easy to use and worked well getting stuck onto the kids. Amy said she even washed the dots by mistake and they still worked! She loved the fact that the products were non-toxic and safe for her kids. Amy said the weekend near Flagstaff was a success – everyone had fun, and they came home without the plethora of insect bites that they are usually sporting, on the return trip. Amy liked the simplicity and effectiveness of the product and would certainly recommend them!

Mosquitno Bands are available at retailers nationwide or online at www.mosquitnoband.com.

About Mosquitno

Mosquitno was created by health-conscious nature-lovers to help people young and old enjoy what they love to do outdoors while keeping bugs away with fun, safe and easy repellent products. Mosquitno contributes to UNICEF to help children worldwide affected by Malaria, Dengue Fever, West Nile and other mosquito-borne illnesses. Mosquitno also supports instilling a love of outdoor activities and outdoor education programs with donations to several camps including Camp Ogichi Daa Kwe and Camp Kooch-i-ching in Minnesota. For more information visit www.mosquitnoband.com.

Bertucci® Commando Camo™ Watch
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Looks like an awesome watch for any outdoorsman or woman. I’m working with the good folks at Blink PR in regards to getting the word out- keep an eye out for a possible review in the future ~DesertRat

PROFILE: READY FOR DUTY – AUTHENTIC MILITARY, HIGH PERFORMANCE AND VALUE…

The Bertucci® Commando Camo™ Series features two authentic U.S. Military specification, made in USA, high performance camo webbing patterns. Additionally, Commando Camo™ Series is loaded with premium features such as a reliable all metal quartz movement, Swiss super luminous hands and markers, a rugged U.S. patented DX3® case and band, and a hardened mineral glass crystal. A watch ready for duty regardless of the whether it’s work, play, the field or military endeavors.

FEATURES:
• Durable U.S. patented DX3® matte finish poly-resin A-2R case
• Solid stainless steel crown, case back, buckle and dual keepers
• Scratch resistant hardened mineral glass crystal
• Precision and reliable all-metal Japan made quartz analog movement
• Classic military style dial with 12 and 24 hour markings
• The Active Comfort™ one-piece design is equipped with the Fold and Tuck™ excess band retention feature
• One size fits all
• Lightweight at only 1.5 oz.
• 3 year battery
• 3 year warranty

About Bertucci® Watches

Bertucci® Watches is the market leader in titanium field watches, offering dependable, high performance timepieces in its “Classic Field,” “Vintage,” and “Sport” lines. Founded in 2004, the company is independently owned. For more information about Bertucci® Watches, please visit www.bertucciwatches.com

Essential Relief Muscle Oil- A Review
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My wife has recently become a distributor for essential oils so I am gradually becoming convinced in regards to just how effective they are. As I get older I seem to have a lot more aches and pains so when Andrea from Intuitive Vision reached out to me and asked me if I would consider reviewing Essential Relief from Baseline Nutritionals, I said “Sure!”

The maker of Essential Relief, Baseline Nutritionals describes the product this way:

Essential Relief consists of the following ingredients

• St John’s Wort: for relief of nerve- related pain such as sciatica, neuralgia, arthritis, and rheumatic pains
Arnica: used for centuries for bruises and sprains
Calendula: relieves pain, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic
Cayenne: stimulates circulation, alters temperature regulation, and desensitizes nerve endings
Menthol (from peppermint): increases blood circulation and cools the afflicted area
Ginger: a selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) – thus reducing inflammation
MSM: also called “organic sulfur.” It is widely used around the world for relief of pain from arthritis, back pain or muscle pain.

The transporter system contains a proprietary blend of
DMSO: MSM’s big brother, it works as a universal solvent
pH Balanced Limonene: because of its dense electromagnetic field, it is one of nature’s most potent natural solvents — and pain relievers.
Wintergreen Oil: Probably the most recognized scent in pain relief balms, wintergreen not only helps carry the other herbs through the skin, it is also effective in relieving arthritis pain, joint stiffness, muscle spasms, and inflammation.
Emu Oil: a natural emollient used by Aboriginal Australians for thousands of years for its remarkable healing and anti inflammatory properties

Note: Because you use so little for each application, the formula is remarkably economical. A single one-oz. bottle is good for anywhere from 100-300 applications.

The product arrived at a perfect time. Awhile back I had pinched my sciatic nerve and during the time I was getting that fixed, I really aggravated my hip somehow. My sciatic was fixed, but my hip was still giving me issues. That hip was diagnosed with arthritis previously, but now it was really messed up.

Essential Relief smells OK, and is easy to apply. I can tell you that the results are nearly immediate. They are long-lasting, and above all – they are effective. Make no mistake – this oil gives you some deep, intense heat. It is not “quite” uncomfortable, but you will know it’s there! For sure, keep it away from sensitive areas and wash your hands before you touch your mouth or eyes.

My wife has really been educating me to the benefits of essential oils. Essential Relief works awesome! I have also used it on a sore neck and a bum shoulder, with equal effectiveness. I absolutely recommend this product for your muscle aches and pains.