Innovation That Matters

Crowdfunding for creative endeavours

Financial Services

Crowdfunding has already received considerable ink on our virtual pages thanks to all the innovators out there who have applied it to bands, software projects and public schools, to name just a few. Now Brooklyn-based Kickstarter has picked up the concept and created a new site where artists, journalists, entrepreneurs, explorers and others can raise the funds for their next big idea. Anyone with an idea for a new endeavour can post a description of their project on Kickstarter along with a deadline, a funding goal and incentives to encourage others to pledge financial support—a free T-shirt for pledging USD 25, for example. They also create an account with Amazon Payments, which will process backers’ pledges. After browsing the available projects on the site, visitors can then make pledges towards the projects they like. If—and only if—a project’s funding goal is reached or exceeded by the funding deadline, funds are collected from supporters’ pledges and transferred to the project creator’s Amazon account, from which they can access the cash—less the fees Amazon charges. Supporters, meanwhile, get the promised rewards along with access to project updates along the way. If, on the other hand, the goal isn’t reached in time, all pledges are immediately cancelled automatically. In addition to raising funds for new projects, current Kickstarter members have used the free site for sales and to test out new concepts—a pop-up wedding chapel is one example. Kickstarter is currently for use by invitation only, and because of Amazon Payments’ policy, projects can only be started by those with a US address and bank account. One to emulate in your neck of the idea-filled woods…? (Related: Activism site ensures participation.) Spotted by: Andrew Sargent



Download PDF