Meet the Members of Kickstarter’s Community Advisory Council

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Meet the Members of Kickstarter’s Community Advisory Council
Kickstarter’s Community Advisory Council: Allison O'Toole, Patrick Crotty, Christian Reed, Hanna McPhee, Natacha Seroussi, Robin Block, Julia Kwamya, Jenny Nordbak, Justin Jacobson, Thomas Bidaux, Krystal Banner, Adetokunbo "T" Oyelola

Hi, I’m Kimm and I lead Creator & Backer Success at Kickstarter, the team that works directly with Creators and Backers to help them have a successful experience on our platform. For the second year in a row, I am excited to announce Kickstarter’s Community Advisory Council members.

It’s hard to understate the importance of community in the landscape of crowdfunding. Each campaign is a microcosm of community motivation and inspiration with Creators and Backers coming together to bring a new work to life. It’s this model of participation we hope to achieve through our advisory council – bringing our top business challenges and initiatives for feedback from the council; and providing a place for them to bring their top concerns and perspectives for us to weave into our plans. Our goal with the Council is to bring together a diverse group of Kickstarter creators who can offer insight and expertise across various creative disciplines. These luminaries will help us identify issues, questions, and opportunities we may not be able to see on our own and help us prioritize work that matters to them and their communities.

Last year’s council proved to be an inspiring program, full of candid and actionable feedback, so thank you to Ivan Askwith, Annette Azan, Ellia Bisker, Stefanie Black, Kat Calamia, Jose Cardona, Thomas Negovan, Tony Patrick, Philip Reed, George Rohac, Philomena Schwab, and Philip Winter for helping set the foundation that we will build on this year.

This year, I am once again, honored to announce the stellar community members who have come forth to join our next cohort: Allison O'Toole, Patrick Crotty, Cristian Reed, Hanna McPhee, Natacha Seroussi, Robin Block, Julia Kwamya, Jenny Nordbak, Justin Jacobson, Thomas Bidaux, Krystal Banner, Adetokunbo "T" Oyelola. These creators represent an incredible pool of experience and have displayed a true passion for Kickstarter and the communities they've built. We feel very fortunate to have them work with us. Please join me in welcoming them to the Council, and read a bit about each of them below.

Robin Block is the CEO & Founder of CREATORVC, a D2C entertainment company that specialises in community-driven, crowdfunded documentaries and books. He is the creator & Exec Producer of the In Search of Darkness horror documentary franchise and has delivered 6x long form documentaries in the last 5 years supported by 80,000 backers. Robin was also responsible for the successful crowdfunding of 'Shelby Oaks' the highest-grossing horror movie on Kickstarter, which raised $1.4m in 30 days.

Patrick Crotty is one of the founders of the highly regarded Swedish book publisher, Peow. He also served as the Senior designer who helped establish and led design for Random House Graphic. Currently, Patrick is an art director for the UK based video game & culture book publisher Lost in Cult, and working on his personal comic series, Internal Affairs.

Krystal Banner is an artist, author, and the founder of Kaleidadope, a creative hub for unique stationery, decks, and gifts. She has a background in engineering and a passion for creativity and representation, which she incorporates into her art and design. Krystal has launched several successful Kickstarter campaigns and has also been featured in multiple publications. Her products and published work can be found in retailers around the world.

Thomas Bidaux is a highly accomplished French entrepreneur and expert in crowdfunding, with over two decades of experience in the video game and tabletop game industries. As the co-founder and an executive at ICO, a self-publishing video game agency he established in 2008, he has been instrumental in the company's success in helping independent game developers to bring their games to market. He is also a specialist of the video games and board games crowdfunding, and has a thorough understanding of the industry dynamics and the latest trends in this field. With his extensive knowledge and experience, he is widely recognized as a leading figure in the gaming industry.

Prior to his work at ICO, BIDAUX held several senior positions in the gaming industry. From 2004 to 2008, he served as Head of Products at the European subsidiary of Korean MMO publisher NCsoft, where he played a key role in setting up the company's operations in Europe. Before that, from 1999 to 2004, BIDAUX worked as an international producer at France Telecom, where he launched several MMOs for the company.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, BIDAUX is also a co-founder of Women in Games France, an organization that supports and promotes the participation and advancement of women in the french video game industry.

Justin Jacobson is an attorney by trade and gamer since birth, when Justin got burned out on the law, that really only left one option. In 2016, Justin closed his law practice and created Restoration Games with legendary game designer, Rob Daviau. We find old, out-of-print tabletop games, update them with modern design principles, and bring them back for today's modern gamers. Justin lives in South Florida with his wife, two daughters, dog, and cat.

Julia Kwamya is triple threat. Her talents range from acting, music, and finance which gives her an expansive view on the world and various industries. The half Ghanaian, half Ugandan, American, raised funds for her first EP "Feel Good About Feeling Bad" as a creator in residence at Kickstarter in 2018. In addition to writing music and learning Shakespeare monologues, she works at Tikehau (TKO) Capital building out the US business development franchise. She looks forward to working with you all and imparting whatever guidance she can impart.

Allison O'Toole is a comics editor and publisher based in Toronto. Most recently, she edited the Eisner Award-winning series Public Domain by Chip Zdarsky and was the co-editor and publisher of the Ignatz Award-winning anthology, Shades of Fear. Allison has collaborated on six Kickstarter-funded comics anthologies, most of them about monsters, and she was named one of Rue Morgue’s “Wicked Women to Watch.

Adetokunbo "T" Oyelola is one the most dynamic, creative entrepreneurs in the UK. His versatility on projects makes it difficult to put him in a box. From managing talent, to running a restaurant, organising concerts to producing radio shows for airlines. "I guess I am like a creative architect. I like to plan projects, but I also roll up my sleeves and love working in the trenches. I love to build too, so I guess I am the architect and the builder". Build he does... T Oyelola calls London home, he has worked with a diverse roster of talent from jazz to gospel, comedy to animation. T Oyelola has been a member of the BRIT Award Voting Panel since 2016, a member of the Music Managers Forum (MMF), an Alumni of MMF Accelerator with YouTube and a PRS Foundation Power Up Fellow. He has organised and promoted successful concerts, launched successful festivals and tours around the world, from small venues to arena. A firm believer in giving back and demystifying access to careers in music and entertainment, in November 2022 he spoke on a panel at the world famous Abbey Road Studios in London, to a room full of young students on the topic of the business of music. In June 2023, T Oyelola broke the global record for the largest ever raise by a restaurant on Kickstarter with his Soul Mama brand and what will grow to be a chain of music venues and restaurants around the world.

Hanna McPhee is cofounder of Nanu, a product design studio that creates objects to support a healthier relationship with time. Nanu has achieved two successful Kickstarter campaigns and actively works to help their creative community with fundraising, events, and collaborations. Before Nanu, Hanna was the first employee at Fellow, a coffee product design company that has raised over $1.8M on Kickstarter across three campaigns.

Jenny Nordbak is an author, retired dominatrix, and former archaeologist. When she isn’t writing romance novels, she cohosts the Bonkers Romance podcast and delights in narrating the steamiest of audiobooks. With her Bonkers Romance partners, Jenny has raised over $850k on Kickstarter, and she strongly believes in the future of crowdfunding for authors. When she isn't doing any of those things, Jenny can generally be found in the outdoors somewhere with her two adorably feral children and her handsome Viking husband.

Christian Reed has been a lifelong builder and maker. As the co-founder and CEO of REEKON Tools, Christian leverages his background in product development and design to bring some of the latest advances in technology to the construction site unlocking order of magnitude speed improvements and error reductions. Prior to REEKON, he graduated from MIT, served in the US Army, and worked as a program director at Formlabs.

Natacha Seroussi, a Paris native, has always been driven by her passions for art, fashion, and nature. Her journey began as a professional horse rider and trainer, where she developed a deep-rooted ethic towards horses, leading her to explore natural horsemanship. Natacha's artistic pursuits led her to study at the prestigious Bezalel Academy and Beaux-Arts de Paris, all the while, drawing inspiration from her father's atelier, which was part of a renowned Parisian fashion house. Over time, her interests shifted towards design, and she joined her father's accessories brand, eager to infuse it with her sustainable and vegan values.

This shared vision culminated in the birth of Laflore Paris, a Parisian fashion house that embraces aesthetics and ethics. In 2019, they embarked on their first Kickstarter campaign for the versatile backpack handmade from cork fabric: bobobark, which not only established their presence but also achieved remarkable success. Today, with over 90,000 satisfied customers and a diverse collection of iconic bags, Natacha and her team at Laflore Paris continue to make waves in the fashion world. They recently launched their fifth Kickstarter campaign, further solidifying their commitment to sustainable, ethical, and stylish accessories.

As we plan our first meeting of the Council this fall, are there topics you think we should discuss with the Council? Let me know by emailing us at