Kickstarter & crowdfunding: a pathway to success

We’ve all had that eureka moment. That instance where you think “wouldn’t it be great if…” A lot of the time, the main stumbling block standing between your amazing idea and it becoming a reality is finance. It costs money to make a fully functioning, indoor, drink-delivery drone to save you queuing at the bar or a Back to the Future-style hoverboard with built in sound system. Well, regardless of how revolutionary – or borderline bonkers – your idea may be, financial backers could well be out there on online crowdfunding sites.

While other crowdfunding websites are available, Kickstarter is by far the most popular, well known and credible.

Much like Dragons Den, Kickstarter allows you to set up a dynamic page to pitch your idea to the world and ask for investors. People interested in your concept can then pledge money towards your idea and help see your vision realised. If the project meets it’s fundraising target by the specified date, the money is processed from those who pledged. If the project falls short and doesn’t hit 100% of it’s target by the set deadline, then no money changes hands and those prototype x-ray glasses you dreamed off may have to find another financier. Kickstarter itself is a pretty ingenious concept.

Some of the most famous Kickstarter campaigns include:

Pebble Time

giphy (40)Raised: $20,338,986

The Pebble Time smartwatch is not only the most funded campaign in the platform’s history, but it’s also the fastest to meet and exceed it’s original target – raising $1 million in less than an hour (its initial goal was $500,000).

Coolest Cooler

giphy (41)Raised: $13,285,226

Thanks to 62,642 backers, Inventor Ryan Grepper’s Coolest Cooler raised almost $13.3m. The cooler comes in three colours and includes several features in addition to the standard area for keeping this cool, including a USB port, waterproof speakers, a bottle opener, and storage for food as well as plates and utensils. Everything you need for the coolest camping trip or music festival.

The Veronica Mars Movie Project

giphy (42)Raised: $5,702,153

Veronica Mars was a beloved cult TV series that ran from 2004-2007 about a teenage PI investigating the haves and have-nots of her noirish Californian town. After the series was cancelled, devoted fans along with showrunner Rob Thomas and star Kristin Bell long held out hope that that the sassy sleuth could be seen on screen once more. The project’s goal was to gather $2m to make a feature film. That was met in only 10 hours. In the end, funding reached nearly $6m. The film was released in theatres on 14th March 2014 and at the time of writing has a score of 6.8/10 on IMDB. Maybe they’ll make a film of how this film was made.

If you need any inspiration, just head over to Kickstarter.com, hit ‘Discover’ and you’ll see a list of the types of projects available. I bet you’ll find at least two projects you’d want to pledge money towards.

So, if you have a great idea and need a little help bringing it to life, think about a Kickstarter campaign. It looks like it’ll spawn the next generation of enterprise and could be the gateway to your entrepreneurial future.

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