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We are a university team trying to build a formula race car to participate in events around the world, but finding it very difficult due to a lack of funds. Please fund our crowdfunding campaign- NITKRacing AMA

NITKRacing
Oct 15, 2017

Hey everyone.  Welcome to our AMA. 

We are Team NITKRacing, from NIT Surathkal, a prestigious engineering college in India.  Formula student (FS) is an international Automotive Design contest where a team entirely consisting of university students is challenged to design, build, test, market and race A Formula Style race car. The FS challenge demands extensive theoretical knowledge and practicality. The competition sees some of the brightest student teams from around the world.

A race car burns a lot of fuel and building a world class race car burns a bigger hole in our pockets. In a student project like ours, every penny matters. 

We aim to popularize racing as a sport in India and put India on the global racing map by doing well in events abroad. We have been mentoring other colleges in a bid to help them set up their own teams.

Some of our achievements are mentioned in the above poster.

Our crowd-funding campaign, which started on October-5, will run for 45 days and we aim to collect Rs 3.5 lakhs ($5400) during this time. We request you to support us by clicking on the link below and contributing towards our project. All our contributors will receive exciting rewards as a token of our appreciation.

Link to our campaign page: bit.ly/nitkracingwishberry


NITKRacing says:

This AMA will end Nov 22, 2017 7PM EST

Link to our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nitkracing/

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Conversation (36)

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What is your education background?

Nov 22, 10:55AM EST0

Which university is this, what is their speciality and in which country?

Oct 28, 6:21PM EDT0

How many cars are racing against each other?

Oct 28, 4:04PM EDT0

What important lesson have you learnt from using crowdfunding so far?

Oct 22, 9:04PM EDT0

How much information should I share on a crowdfunder and how important is it?

Oct 22, 3:06AM EDT0

What are the entry criteria?

Oct 20, 8:44AM EDT0

What is your role within the team?

Oct 19, 2:30PM EDT0

This campaign has been organised by the team captain and the Head of Marketing on behalf of the entire team.

Captain- Giriraj Heda, captain.nitkracing@gmail.com

Head of Marketing- Karan Chhajer, marketing.nitkracing@gmail.com

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any queries regarding the team and we will be happy to answer them.

Oct 19, 4:52PM EDT0

Is it a good idea to include a video in the crowdfunders and why?

Oct 19, 1:14PM EDT0

We definitely feel it is a good idea to include a video with the campaign.

A picture is worth a thousand words and a crowdfunding campaign is the best example. Sometimes it becomes difficult to translate our passion for our cars into words. However, a video lets us talk to our potential backers and reflects the importance of this project for us. We can also actually show the team in action in a video and how the entire team works collectively towards our goal. All this would be impossible to put in words.

The clips of our previous cars in the video also lends us a lot of credibilty and helps us show the world what we can achieve, given the right resources.

Oct 19, 4:49PM EDT0

Are students split into teams in terms of sourcing materials, design, production, etc?

Oct 19, 11:14AM EDT0

We have five sub-systems within the team:

1. Powertrain

2. Vehicle Dynamics

3. Aerodynamics

4. Electronics

5. Marketing

These are the only sub-divisions we have and the tasks like sourcing of raw materials and manufacturing of the car is done collectively by the team once the parts are designed by the concerned sub-system.

Oct 19, 4:42PM EDT0

Your link goes straight back to the AMA site, can you post the correct link please?

Oct 18, 8:04PM EDT0

Hey,

The link seems to be working fine. It goes to our campaign page on Wishberry. Please check it again and drop a comment if you still face any issues. We will be glad to help.

Oct 19, 4:40PM EDT0

How many students work as a team and is there a team leader?

Oct 17, 12:02PM EDT0

We have 40 students in our team currently. We do have a team captain.

Oct 17, 4:59PM EDT0

What are your back-up plans if your crowdfunding campaign fails?

Oct 15, 9:19PM EDT0

We have a marketing team which is working tirelessly to raise enough money to build our new car.. We are working extensively towards local as well as corporate sponsorship. However corporate sponsors are difficult to obtain and local sponsors cannot fund our car completely.

If we are not able to collect enough money, the team will have to manufacture the next car on a scaled down budget, which will not be sufficient to build an international level car. There will be no point in building a car which doesn’t satisfy our ambition and helps us in continuing our progress. 

Last edited @ Oct 16, 7:33AM EDT.
Oct 16, 4:00AM EDT0

Are you building the cars from scratch?

Oct 15, 6:21PM EDT0

Yes. We are building a car from scratch.  Except for the engine, brake discs and brake cylinders, all other components are designed and manufactured by the team.

Oct 16, 3:56AM EDT0

How long has this event been run for? When was the first year this event started?

Oct 15, 1:27PM EDT0

This event was first started in 1980 in USA. Currently the event is held in 13 different countries around the world.

Our team started about 7 years ago, making us one of the youngest teams around.

Last edited @ Oct 15, 1:49PM EDT.
Oct 15, 1:39PM EDT0

What mechanical background do the students have?

Oct 15, 1:20PM EDT0

The team not only consists of students from mechanical background, but also from other engineering disciplines. We have students from 7 different engineering streams, including fields like Chemical Engineering and Materials Engineering.

The basic background is into automobiles. But then there are different subsystems within the team. Power-train subsytem requires knowledge of CFD, combustion dynamics, automotive electronics, thermodynamics and machine design. The Vehicle dynamics subsystem is more into designing, mechanics of machines, vibrations etc.  The electronic susbystem requires background into sensors, actuators, digital electronics, circuits etc. The aerodynamic subsystem requires knowledge into CFD, designing.

The overall focus is into product designing taking driver ergonomics into consideration.

Last edited @ Oct 15, 5:42PM EDT.
Oct 15, 1:26PM EDT0

What does NITK mean?

Oct 15, 12:21PM EDT0

NITK stands for National Institute of Technology, Karnataka. This a government (public) university in India. It is one of the premier colleges here. 

Oct 15, 1:11PM EDT0

How much does a car cost on average and how do you get to events worldwide?

Oct 15, 9:36AM EDT0

A very basic formula student car costs about Rs 8,00,000 ($12400 approx). This is if we cut costs on various parts and go for the cheapest options available.  For eg: To build a car on that budget we need to compromise and go for fibre glass instead of carbon fibre for our side pods. Most teams outside India have a budget of over $50,000-60,000, with a few teams spending over $100,000. We try to make up for the lack of funds by engineering our car as well as possible. But this is still not enough to close the gap.

In order to get to events abroad, the team needs to pay a substantial registration fee and then ship the car abroad, which is again expensive. This doesn't make sense unless we do well in events in India. Hence, since we have done well at home we need to participate in events abroad to gain more exposure and compete against the best teams in the world.

Oct 15, 1:24PM EDT0

Who is the sponsor of this event?

Oct 14, 4:47PM EDT0

This event is organised by the Society of Automotive Engineers(SAE), a US based organisations. They organize formula student events all around the globe. University teams like ours need to register to participate in these events and pay a registration fee (a substantial one). While SAE gets a few corporate sponsors for these events, the participating teams don't recieve this sponsorship. We are solely responsible for raising our own money and building our car.

Oct 15, 2:30AM EDT0

What advice would you give to anyone else looking to create their first crowdfunding project?

Oct 13, 2:04AM EDT0

One advice that we would like to give anyone who wants to start their own crowdfunding campaign is to really believe in yourself and your project. You cannot convince anyone else to back you if you yourself are not totally behind the cause. You should be willing to fight for your project whatever be the challenge. Only start a crowdfunding campaign if your project is your passion and your dream.

Also, be honest with your backers and please do fullfill any promises you make.

Last edited @ Oct 15, 2:31AM EDT.
Oct 15, 2:24AM EDT0

Are you also trying to raise funds in your hometowns?

Oct 12, 2:05PM EDT0

Hello,

Our university is located in a small town called Surathkal. The nearest city is about 25 km away from here and the nearest major city is about 9 hours away. Hence, the sources of funding are few and far between near us. We have already approached everyone around us and while most of them have helped us in whatever way they could, this isn't enough to build a world class race car. 

Secondly, since racing isn't a popular sport in India, it is extremely difficult to convince people to back us. Hence, we want to do well in events abroad and show everyone that racing does have a very bright future in India.

Oct 13, 2:50AM EDT0

What is the biggest challenge that may hamper the success of this project apart from lack of funds?

Oct 12, 1:36PM EDT0

The biggest challenge that any technical project like ours faces is the transition from the design phase to the final assembly of the car. It is extremely difficult to manufacture our car exactly as per our designs, which subsequently makes assembly a challenge.

However, as we raise more money, we can improve our manufacturing quality and minimize deviation from designs. Our designs have won awards at events and hence, we are confident that given enough funds, we can manufacture the perfect race car.

Oct 13, 2:55AM EDT0
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