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…
As far as I'm concerned kickstarter is for the little guy. It's platforms like this that help those who would have never been heard get their chance to show their talents and shine.
chad with http://www.landscapelightingworld.com
You're right though, David, that I think Kickstarter projects need to give better time commitments. Other than that... it's awesome. I want almost everything on this list! In my opinion http://www.movingangels.com should be in the new list.
Good thing Formlabs raised $2,945,885.
They will likely spend $2,900,000 of it on lawyers defending their patent infringement allegation.
Sad that dinosaurs (I'm looking at you RIAA) need the courts to keep a business going that has not evolved to the market environment, or where it's simply appropriate to throw in the towel.
3D printers are now under $1000. A good chunk of the 3D printer market got obliterated by this, and an entirely new segment got created - are the dinos making sub-$1000 printers to keep market share, brand, or play in the newly emerging segment? Nope - send in the lawyers and defend your $20,000 price tag.
Failure to adapt to the environment = extinction.
And lawyers will only hasten your demise when the money could have been spent on engineering R&D.
Kickstarter is a very interesting way to fund small startups! I am wondering how the site funding and money transfer details work. Does Kickstarter get a cut of the overall funds raised or is there a set fee structure? It sounds like a great way to get ideas funded, I may consider a few projects myself.
You'll be the envy of everyone when you get your Pebble! I am already plotting about how to win it off you in a game of poker or something! :) You're right though, David, that I think Kickstarter projects need to give better time commitments. Other than that... it's awesome. I want almost everything on this list!
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