Staples Wants You to Crowdfund Your Way Onto Its Shelves

Staples and crowdfunding site Fundable have teamed up to launch a contest for entrepreneurs.

learn more about Catherine Clifford

By Catherine Clifford

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

For many product makers, getting onto the shelves of a big-box store is a pipe dream. But a contest launched today by office-supply store Staples and crowdfunding platform Fundable is making it possible for one lucky entrepreneur to do just that.

The winner of the "Crowd2Shelf Contest" will get to pitch his or her product to the Staples merchandising team for the chance to have it sold both in the Staples stores and online at Staples.com.

For one lucky little inventor, that's a big break.

Related: A Device to Help You Sleep Better Raises Almost $500K in Two Days on Kickstarter

To win, contestants have to prove their crowdfunding chops. A select panel will pick the top 25 contestants based on a combination of the amount of money raised through crowdfunding, the number of votes received, and the recommendation from a panel of judges.

Interested entrepreneurs need to get their application submitted by Aug. 31. The 25 finalists will be announced Oct. 5 and the winner on Dec. 10, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

In the last couple of years, the popularity of crowdfunding has surged as a way to raise startup capital. It's also become a way for businesses to market test their ideas and get feedback from potential future customers, speeding up the process of improving product design.

Related: This Hard Rock Hotel Just Raised $1.5 Million Through Crowdfunding

Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

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