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Does A Winter Coat Idea Worth Millions On Kickstarter?
[Image: 161202082744-smart-parka-07-780x439.jpg]

Take software developer Jamil Khan, for example. He got so tired of freezing his way through Toronto's harsh winter, he decided to do something about it.
So in January 2015 he quit his job as to pursue a somewhat crazy dream: to create the "best winter coat in the world." He wondered, since technology was constantly transforming our lives, why weren't coat makers innovating?
His Smart Parka -- or Smarka -- started as a Kickstarter project and became one of the most successful campaigns in Kickstarter history.
Khan saw a gap in the outerwear market. He designed the Smarka with a dozen features that would make winter commutes warm and hassle-free: The parka includes built-in gloves, a detachable hood, a sewn-in scarf, electronic device pockets and removable lining -- extending the wear of the coat into the in-between seasons.
[Image: 161012110246-smart-parka-03-780x439.jpg]
Despite his lack of experience as a clothing designer, more than 8,800 people backed his campaign -- pledging more than $2.4 million.
His company, North Aware, has now received 11,000 online orders from all over the world -- including cold winter cities like New York, Chicago and London, but also warmer climates such as Singapore.
"The idea of adding gloves, a scarf and a removable extension to a winter coat was so obviously a winner," said Khan. "I had no problem quitting my job and taking a risk."
[Image: 161012105745-smart-parka-02-780x439.jpg]
Still, he tried and tested 15 different versions of the coat before he was happy with his final designs -- three styles for men, four for women, which can currently be pre-ordered from $349.

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