Things aren't so peachy for 3-D printer company the Peachy Printer.

Creators of the 3-D printer promised to deliver it for $100 (Canadian dollars) to Kickstarter backers by March 2014. The Peachy Printer raised $651,091 (Canadian) on Kickstarter. Backers never received their 3-D printers, and funds haven't been returned to them.

The reason, says Rylan Grayston, one of the creators of the 3-D printer and the CEO of the Peachy Printer, is that his fellow co-founder David Boe allegedly stole $324,716 (Canadian) to build himself a house.

How did things go so horribly wrong? Let's back up to the beginning to figure it out. Boe and Grayston launched a Kickstarter campaign on September 20, 2013, for the Peachy Printer which they billed as "the world's first $100 3-D printer." The campaign raised $651,091 (Canadian) from 4,420 backers in 30 days. On Nov. 6, 2013, the duo established Peachy Printer, Inc. By then, the Kickstarter campaign had ended. Both Boe and Grayston held equal shares in the company at the time of incorporation.

Because the Kickstarter campaign ended before the incorporation of Peachy Printer, a corporate bank account did not exist. So, Boe's personal bank account received the Kickstarter funds, and he promised to hold them until the creation of a company account. At the advice of their bank manager, Boe "moved the money in smaller chunks to avoid having our funds tied up if something were to go wrong with the transfer," as Grayston details on the company's website.

Boe initially transferred $200,000 (Canadian) "to cover initial operating expenses." Boe was to transfer the remainder of the funds from his personal account to the corporate account, but it never happened. By March 5, 2014, "He had spent every penny," Grayston said. 

Grayston soon became suspicious of Boe, according to his account on the company's website. He asked his lawyers to draw up an agreement that included Boe admitting to misappropriating funds, agreeing to repay back the funds in full, and distributing his shares back to the company. Boe signed the agreement, which is posted on Peachy Printer's website.

Boe even filmed a video where he "took responsibility for his actions and apologized to our backers," Grayston said. The videos are posted on Kickstarter, in Grayston's letter to backers. In that letter, Grayston appeals to backers to contact the police in the Saskatoon area where he lives. "The police would like to hear from you," the letter states.  "They have asked me if there are any backers that they can talk to."

So, where do things now stand? Grayston admits in the letter that the company is "broke," and wasn't able to "pay rent at the house/headquarters this month." He details all that he has done to "reduce costs" since finding out Boe stole the funds, and that includes taking an "immediate pay cut" and laying off all employees except his brother, who also took a pay cut. He also moved Peachy's headquarters from a commercial space into his own house. His brother covered thousands of dollars of "company-related expenses" from his personal savings account "without reimbursement," Grayston said. 

The Peachy Printer is not the only crowdfunding project that has failed to deliver the promised product to backers. Last year, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took legal action against Erik Chevalier who asked people to back his board game, The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, through a Kickstarter campaign. He failed to provide backers with the promised board game and never returned their funds. The FTC settled its case against him, and as part of the settlement Chevalier is prohibited from "making misrepresentations about any crowdfunding campaign and from failing to honor stated refund policies." However, the $111,793 judgment imposed on Chevalier is suspended because he is unable to pay. In other words, his Kickstarter campaign backers are left without refunds.

Only 9 percent of all Kickstarter campaigns fail to deliver the promised rewards, a University of Pennsylvania study found. The study also found that 8 percent of dollars pledged went to failed projects, and 7 percent of backers failed to receive their chosen reward. Still, campaigns that fail to deliver what they promise can make some people nervous about supporting any crowdfunding campaigns.

There are several ways that consumers can protect themselves, as Consumer Reports suggests. One way is to take a look at a campaign creator's business background. See if they have have successfully launched other projects and have an online profile with information about their expertise in the area for which they are seeking funds. See also if they have attempted to fund the same project on multiple crowdfunding sites. As Consumer Reports says, "That could show an attempt to raise as much money from as many as people as possible."

Image credit: Kickstarter

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According to the statement, the product will allow clients to create a personal savings goal, save at their own pace, and track the progress with the aid of Advance Mobibank or at any branch.

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Related:6 Principles for Overcoming Entrepreneurial Adversity

The reality is that startups can be alienating, harshly visceral --and downright depressing. In fact, a study conducted by Dr. Michael Freeman, Clinical Professor at UCSF, foundthat of 240 entrepreneurs surveyed, 49 percent admitted to having a mental health condition as a result of their entrepreneurial pursuits, with depression being the number-one reported condition.

It turns out that one really is the loneliest number.

One entrepreneur who knows well the challenges of starting a company alone is Chris Taylor, founder and CEO of Square Root, a software as a service (SaaS) company that leverages data science and development to build enterprise-class technology solutions. When starting SquareRoot in 2006, Taylor was on his own and often found his effortsdevolving into a mental circus act -- with him as the head circus master. Keeping his head above water proved to be the first and most importantchallenge he had to tackle.

To better navigate the startup chaos and avoid personal and professional burnout, Taylor suggests entrepreneurs follow this bootstrapping mantra.

1. Get started with the three Fs of entrepreneurship.
  • Founding:Entrepreneurs often get far too caught up in finding the right timeto start a business. The truth is that there will never be a perfect time,so instead of getting caught up in the endless cycle of procrastination and planning, just get started.
  • Frugality:When a business is bootstrapping, spending money wisely should be the top priority. It is, however, important to remember that it is ok to spend money, especially when it is an investment in yourself and your team.Also, being frugal goes beyondfinances. In addition to money, time is a precious commodity for entrepreneurs, yet many new entrepreneurs waste time taking on too much too fast. Learn to outsource those areas of your business that are not part of your core competenciesand hire people to fill your knowledge and experience gaps.
  • Focus:To early-stage companies, especially those without the guidance of a board of advisors or investors, everything can seem like an opportunity. Unfortunately, a lack of focus is often coupled with a poor quality of work and wasted resources. Learn to say no to things early and often. Remember also that if you do not identify your companys focus and mission early, others may attempt to forge it for you.

Related:Dont Lose That All-Important Sense of Urgency. Do It -- Now!

2. Useresources that cost nothing.

Since capital is often a major concern for startup entrepreneurs, finding ways to get started without the expense is critical. Taylor suggests three simple things that every entrepreneur can do to ease the burden of getting started --all of which cost nothing.

  • Start warming up your professional network by reconnecting with anybody that could serve as an advisor or provide connections tonew customers, vendors and other resources.
  • Manage your personal finances closely, so that you have enough personal savings available to alleviate any pressure or incentive to take much needed resources out of the business.
  • Plan ahead for worse-case scenarios, so that you will spend your limitedtime and resources correcting issues rather than reacting tothem.
3. Do notgo at it alone.

Entrepreneurship is a deeply personal journey, one that can take you emotionally to the brink and back. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs find they are unable able to talk about the experience with friends or family, who without the shared perspective often cannot relate. It ends up making you feel alone and incredibly isolated.

According to Taylor, I cannot stress enough that you need to talk through this stuff. Finding a co-founder or partner is not enough -- after all, who will you talk about the issues you have with them?

Taylor suggests developing a strong and trusted network of fellow entrepreneurs with whom you can share and talk about your experience. Groups like the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) can match up non-competitive business owners to confidentially talk through the entrepreneurial problems, which at times just means validating the personal and professional experiences.

Taylor has worked diligently to overcome the challenges of being a solo entrepreneur since founding SquareRoot. The work has paid off -- in 2015, Square Root was recognized as the number-two best small workplace in America by Fortune.

Related:Good Times, Bad Times, You Know Ive Had My Share. Learn From Your Highs and Lows.

According to Taylor, The real key to navigating the startup ship is to always keep things in perspective. Much like life, your entrepreneurial journey will no doubt bring both good times and bad, but while problems may seem insurmountable, remember that all eventually will pass. And when things get really difficult, remembering your personal why will serve as the best motivation for continuing along the road less traveled.

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