Crowdfunding MVPs are a great way to gauge market interest in your venture. By pitching to the crowdfunding world you can see quite literally whether people are willing to pay for your solution. Over the past 10 years several companies have used crowdfunding platforms to validate and fund their products - with some using them multiple times as they expanded their product catalog. A crowdfunding MVP means having your research sorted and a strong pitch that you want to share with the world. Often crowdfunding is used for physical designs like Internet of Things devices and fashion or lifestyle products but video games and apps are also funded. If you have a physical device than a prototype example is also useful to illustrate your solution to potential buyers.
WHEN: Use a crowdfunding MVP when you are ready to pitch your product to the world. It doesn't have to be 100% there but it should be well researched and have a strong story and plan for moving forward.
WHY: Crowdfunding MVPs give a clear signal of whether your problem and solution are in line with what people will pay for. If your campaign succeeds you have a group of committed investors that you may be able to engage in research and testing and whom you will need to keep updated as your process unfolds.
For more information about starting a campaign have a look at The Art of the Kickstart for ideas, case studies and information.