By: Matthew Kert
Have an idea for a project but don’t know where to get the funding? Crowd funding has become the latest trend, using the internet to gain support and ultimately money for any project. Started in 2009, Kickstarter has become the go to site to post ideas and raise funds. According to the Kickstarter website, since launch the site has raised over $350 million on 30,000 different projects. The way Kickstarter works is that you set up a project page outlining what you are about, what you need funding for, the amount you need and a realistic time to raise the money. The site uses an all or nothing method meaning that if the goal amount isn’t reached the project isn’t funded. In addition, incentives are used from the project creator as a sort of reward to ‘backers’ thanking the customers for their support. Kickstarter however has to approve the project, so they can confirm the legitimacy and overall value of the campaign.
According to one of the creators, “you don’t have to make a video, but most money seekers do, and the successful ones avoid making it too slickly ad-like or blatantly amateurish; lighthearted hints that the creator is a little uncomfortable asking for money are a recurring trope.” Kickstarter changes the traditional view of the marketplace. While they may have to restrict some ideas, they do reward the “underdogs” and more specifically the ones who are self-confident. In order to get the exposure needed to raise the funds, the overall quality of the campaign is very important. With Kickstarter, money is going directly to the creators, helping ensure the funds go to the creative people and creative process.
Some of the more notable instances of popular Kickstarter campaigns are for LIFX and OUYA. Both have gained a lot more success than originally thought, achieving multiple times their intended goal. Both these example show that crowd funding does actually work. You just need a creative idea and an amazing marketing pitch.
Check out The New York Times article on Kickstarter.
Matthew is a final year undergraduate student majoring in Communication, Culture & Information Technology and Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He is interning at the RIC centre and is responsible for managing various social media events the company has to offer. He is very interested in advertising and marketing with a strong background in online marketing.
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