There is a notable buzz among innovative and creative minds these days, as platforms are now available to kick start their ideas by raising money online, via crowdfunding. In today’s world of social media, crowdfunding has established itself as the most powerful and innovative tool to connect investors and sponsors with the projects they want to invest their money in. New technologies and a desire for innovation have also enabled entrepreneurs from across the world to launch their projects and businesses with ease by getting the funds they require, online.
When it comes to launching a new and creative technology venture, it is important to get the word out there and to discover what the people have to say about the prospect, and this is the kind of platform offered by crowdfunding. A crowdfunding site asks the crowd to judge the value of start-up businesses and creative visions. It helps entrepreneurs put their faith in the P2P funding model that ensures transparency and a sense of community for both, investors and financial supporters.
This new era of online interaction and social media challenged the traditional business models and paved the way for young and creative minds to establish their ideas. How crowdfunding supports the innovation in technology is seen through platforms that provide great support to technological projects:
- Kickstarter, a popular crowdfunding site, spotted the huge gap present in the market for new and creative industries and provided a platform for creativity and innovation to flourish that depends upon “all or nothing” rules of funding.
- FundaGeek, another crowdfunding site, provides a lot more convenience to young technologists by offering incremental funding for non-profit oriented research projects. The site aims to crowdfund technology and scientific projects at universities and research institutes.
- Medstartr, a crowdfunding site for medical innovation, attracts medical professionals, researchers and entrepreneurs who want to bring innovation and advancement in medical technologies. Medstartr funds new medical devices and technology, new clinical practices, and drug development etc.
According to IEEE, science and technology currently cover a small percentage of the total number of crowdfunded projects. However, as crowdfunding platforms are becoming more popular due to their high rate of success, more engineers and industrial designers may join the trend.
Few Crowdfunded Technology Projects
KEM STUDIO’s industrial design project Skate Bench No.1 was a finalist for IDEA awards in 2012. The project was funded on Kickstarter and the company raised around $17,000 to manufacture a bench incorporated with a skateboard deck atop a continuously bent stainless steel or powder coated frame.
Engineer Debbie Sterling designed a toy named GoldieBlox for girls to get them interested in engineering; it also got its big break with Kickstarter. This project raised over $150,000 in four days, collecting $85,000 in the end. On the last day of the campaign, a big toy company approached Sterling to launch her project.
Aside from many crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, there are a few industry-specific platforms as well. For instance, Georgia Tech, a popular polytechnical university in the US, launched its crowdfunding site for its researchers to fund their innovative projects.
Hence, by giving the power of innovation and decision making into the hands of an interested audience, crowdfunding has paved the way for people to make innovation in technology possible by helping those who lack the resources to do it on their own.