Rochester Rising Episode 7: How to Run a Kickstarter Campaign with Adam Ferrari

This week we got to speak with local community design consultant and architect Adam Ferrari about crowdfunding. Adam launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 to fund Charette Happens, a mobile design studio that would serve as a grassroots method to allow people to plan and actively engage in community design.


  • Crowdfunding is a way to raise capital online through family, friends, or anyone that stumbles across the campaign to launch a business or a new portion of a business.
  • Adam chose the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform because it is all or nothing. If his idea did not resonate with the community, then it was not worth doing.
  • Adam believes that a strong Kickstarter campaign has a compelling story, offers something new or different, is scalable, and would not happen organically.
  • The biggest thing he did right with Kickstarter was just giving it a chance to fund his idea.
  • His biggest failure was not engaging with the campaign backers and not fully understanding how much work it would take to sustain the Charette Happens truck.


“I think a big key is going into [Kickstarter] with the idea that it’s ok if it fails or if it falls on its face. That even if you do get funded, it doesn’t mean it’s a success. That means that you’re given the opportunity for it to succeed.”