Crowdfunding site Kickstarter launched in April, 2009, and has revolutionized investment ever since.
Through micro-funding, the platform managed to turn the internet into an online hub for raising money in small increments from the general public in support of a cause, product or project. In other words, suddenly, backing startups wasn’t just for venture capitalists, it was for everyman (and woman).
Kickstarter’s business grew rapidly from inception. In 2010 the website had 3,910 successful projects, $27,638,318 pledged, and a project success rate of 43 percent. In 2011, the corresponding figures were 11,836, $99,344,381 and 46 percent. This success has spawned a string of copycats, but Kickstarter remains the premier project funding site on the Internet.
Indeed, for hardware enthusiasts and startups, Kickstarter has not only provided visibility, but also better tools to help entrepreneurs get to market faster on a shoestring budget, serving as both a sales channel and a funding pipeline.
Kickstarter also makes it easier for a pet project to become a real business opportunity, as entrepreneurs can now head off to China with the money raised from their campaign and get their product cheaply mass produced.
The phenomenon is also helped tremendously by firms like Sparkfun which have made it easy to source kits and components, with hardware development knowledge spreading slowly but surely.
One only has to look at some of the top funded tech projects on Kickstarter in 2012 to realize what a boon the platform is to the industry, and why engineers may want to keep a close eye on it.
Thus, without further ado, I present to you the top tech Kickstarter projects of 2012, starting with…