Tech Startups in Arkansas Look to Web For Funding

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 12:00 am  

Like QU-BD, the Retrocade project already has several elements in place. For example, Solis and South won’t need to buy games: Their warehouse in Sherwood is already full of more than 100 classic game cabinets. About 10 of them — including mainstays like Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede, Asteroids and Missile Command — are fully restored. Solis said the space could feature about 50 games once they are restored.

The audience is there as well. Each month, the Classic Gaming Association meets at the warehouse to play. (Two members are actually competing for the state record on Donkey Kong.)

Essentially, Solis and South want to have a space where gamers can play the games whenever they want. Unlike regular arcades, visitors wouldn’t need to bring a stack of quarters to the Retrocade. They would pay a flat fee and all of the games would be available in “free-play” mode.

The two men have a business plan that basically needs the Retrocade to break even.

“Money’s been tight, though, so we started the IndieGogo campaign,” Solis said.

He said IndieGogo was selected over Kickstarter because the former allows the funding to go toward the project even if it doesn’t reach its goal.

As of this writing, the Retrocade campaign had about $800 raised of its $45,000 goal. The biggest problem, Solis said, is that the project isn’t able to obtain out-of-state support, since the rewards of investing are useful only to locals.

“There was no sense in giving away trinkets like tokens,” Solis said. “It had to be local.”

To that end, they have been publicizing their ideas at local conventions and hobby stores.

Solis noted that even if the project doesn’t reach its IndieGogo goal, it won’t be off the table. The pair is determined to make the Retrocade a reality.

“It will work,” Solis said.



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