2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

I Ran an Extremely Successful Crowdfunding Scam

#sxsw #FundSmart

On August 20th, 2012 a product called “Instacube” was nothing more than a rendering. By the evening of August 21st, Instacube had raised over $100,000 in it's first day on Kickstarter and earned over 3,000 media hits.
Savannah Peterson, the head of Marketing for a Silicon Valley product design firm engineered the campaign. That evening, Instacube had graced the front pages of Mashable, TechCrunch, Engadget, CNET, and virtually every influential tech publication. After one week Instacube had exceeded their goal of $250,000. After one month they had raised over $620,000. Savannah and her team were excited about the future of their product.
A year later, zero units have shipped. Not one backer (including Savannah) has received their Instacube. Savannah severed ties with the company and now lives in New York where she pretends that Instacube never happened... until her phone rings with another angry call from a backer looking for an Instacube.
Savannah is ready to tell her story.



Savannah Peterson

Shop Owner Coach & Social Media Mgr

Shapeways Inc

Savannah Peterson is the Shop Owner Coach and Social Media Manger at Shapeways, the leading consumer brand in 3D Printing. She mentors the designers and Shop Owners of the Shapeways community in best practices for marketing, curating and promoting their 3D Printed Designs. The best part of her job is engaging the incredibly Shapeways community and helping them achieve their dreams. Savannah has taught social media strategy and crowdfunding at the Stanford d.school, NYU and SUNY Oswego. Before taking the plunge and moving to the big apple to join Shapeways, Savannah was the head of Marketing, PR, Social and Business Development for D2M | Design to Matter, a veteran product design firm in the Silicon Valley. While at D2M, she raised over $600,000 on Kickstarter for crowdfunding overnight success. Prior to working in high tech, Savannah ran her own guerrilla marketing and social media consulting business in Seattle. An avid sports fan, she got her start in media at Fox Sports Net.


Tom Miale



Tom is a seasoned digital media professional who has worked in all aspects of the industry from strategist to product development. He's been involved in start-ups, seeing one through to an exit, and has worked in large corporate environments. He is passionate about social media and communications.

Tom began his digital experience at MediaOnDemand, a leading webcasting and multimedia company, in 1995 where was responsible for all aspects of technological implementation of webcast and multimedia solutions. He oversaw projects for many different organizations, including Microsoft, The American Stock Exchange, UBS, and Intel Corporation. During his 7 years at MediaOnDemand, Tom took on many different roles, and was a integral part of growing the overall business until it's acquisition in 2002.

From 2006-2012, Tom was with MultiVu, a PR Newswire company. There he continued to be an innovator in implementing social media components in to traditional webcast and broadcast products. He was responsible for developing the Blogger Media Tour product, which allows brands to reach targeted social audiences with their messages.

In 2012, Tom founded Funnler.tv a SocialTV start-up that is currently in stealth mode.

Tom is a multimedia evangelist. He's organized and moderated panels at South by Southwest, and speaks at conferences on how best to navigate the converging world of broadcast, multimedia and social.

For fun, Tom created and writes a food blog called http://www.notafoodie.com . The blog has a steady readership and been featured in traditional publications such as The NY Daily News.

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