• Paragon crowdfunding campaign hits goal in first few hours
  • Feedback from funders prompts FirstBuild™ to set new crowdfunding targets to enable additional functionality and features

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—February 9, 2015—(NYSE: GE)—The old adage that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach just might be true if you consider the success of GE FirstBuild™’s crowdfunding campaign for its Paragon Precision Cooktop. Whether funders are buying for their sweethearts or for themselves, Paragon met its $50,000 fundraising target in just a few hours after launching on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo and sold over 1,000 units on the first day.

“There are several benefits to launching a new product like the Paragon using a crowdfunding platform,” said Natarajan Venkatakrishnan, director of FirstBuild. “It gives us immediate insight into what the market acceptance of the product might be, and it allows us to get feedback on improvements we should make to better meet consumer needs. We’ve listened to the feedback we have received and are making adjustments that will be incorporated in the final product.”

The 1,400-watt Paragon Induction Cooktop controls temperatures within 1 degree Fahrenheit so it can be used for precision cooking techniques like sous vide. A wireless temperature sensor continuously monitors temperature and sends this information to the cooktop, which automatically adjusts the burner’s heat output to maintain the set temperature. The Paragon Induction Cooktop is capable of multiple precise cooking techniques: Sous vide, deep-frying, simmering, and holding at a precise serving temperature are all assisted by the wireless temperature sensor. It doubles as an induction cooktop so sous vide cooking and searing can be done all on one device.

The Paragon development team has some fun with their new love! (L to R) Amelia Gandara (FirstBuild team member), Aaron Ma (Paragon challenge winner), Taylor Dawson (FirstBuild team member), Symon Harrah (Industrial designer who led design of Paragon) and Justin Berger (FirstBuild team member).

Want to feel the love? The Paragon Induction Cooktop campaign can be found at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/paragon-induction-cooktop/

FirstBuild™, GE Appliances’ new global co-creation community of designers, engineers and appliances users dedicated to developing and manufacturing the next generation of home appliances, launched the Paragon Induction Cooktop on Tuesday. Paragon enables home cooks to achieve restaurant-quality results for a variety of cooking techniques using a Bluetooth®-connected temperature sensor and associated iOS app. Early bird pricing begins at $149, with future retail pricing expected to be $249.

Stretching to satisfy consumers
For the next phase of the Paragon crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo, FirstBuild will be adding stretch goals to incorporate additional features based on feedback from funders. The initial stretch goal states that if the funding goal of $250,000 is met, FirstBuild will develop an app that will work with iOS and Android™ devices to enhance the Paragon user experience. The app allows users to set time and temperatures for sous vide cooking and remotely monitor cooking progress. Currently the app is slated to be developed just for iOS.

About FirstBuild
FirstBuild, a partnership between GE Appliances and Local Motors is a global co-creation community that harnesses the brainpower of the maker movement to change the way major home appliances are conceived, designed and manufactured. A physical state-of-the-art microfactory on the University of Louisville campus and online forum, FirstBuild speeds products from mind to market and enables customization through small batch production, without the costs and risks of traditional mass manufacturing. For more information about how to get involved, visit FirstBuild.com.