One of the most notable changes in how entrepreneurial ventures are funded has been the growth in popularity of crowdfunding. Instead of having to face the daunting task of asking for thousands of dollars from a handful of venture capitalists – requiring months of pitch preparation, a major deterrent to first time, introverted entrepreneurs – innovators can ask the internet “crowd” of several million users for a few dollars each. This phenomena is possible because of a handful of sites, including GoFundMe, IndieGoGo and CrowdFunder. The leader in this space, however, is by far Kickstarter, the site that has raised over $1 billion in funding for over 67,000 projects. Some of the most well known Kickstarters include the Pebble Watch, Ouya gaming console and even the Veronica Mars movie. Once viewed as a place for experimental ideals, Kickstarter has come into its own in recent years, and funded some incredible, cutting edge technological and design project that have the potential to change every day life. Looking for the next hot gadget? Think you have a great idea? Check out the experts below – these are the top three most heavily funded projects of 2015:
(photo credit: Pebble)
Funded: March 27, 2015
Shipped: September 17, 2015
After its record breaking campaign in 2012, Pebble broke records with its Time device – which earns not only the title of most funded campaign in Kickstarter history, but also the fastest funding round. Pebble raised over a million dollars in less than an hour, even though its original goal was $500,000. Why was it so successful? It was certainly a boon that Pebble was established and had received gratuitous coverage as an Apple Watch competitor in the past few years – a large portion of the people who funded this version of the device loved the original rendition, and were excited for the next product. Another contributing factor is that Pebble was one of the first truly successful Kickstarter projects. Lastly, they secured “geek cache” by appearing on popular tech websites such as Mashable.
The World’s Best Travel Jacket, by BauBax
(photo credit: Kickstarter)
Funded: September 3, 2015
Shipped: Not Yet
This jacket, an outer layer of clothing that comes with many usual perks, such as a built in neck pillow and iPod accommodating pocket, wins the award of the most funded clothing project in the history of crowdfunding, hands down. Additionally, it is the 4th most funded project ever in the history of Kickstarter specifically. It’s success seems to be the combination of two factors – the first being that the product greatly surpasses any currently available options, and the second being the level of both marketing-friendly language and real information that is massaged into the messaging and images included on the page. The BauBax jacket is a great example of the benefits you can expect when you know you have a great product, and you make sure your customers know exactly why it’s such a great purchase!
(photo credit: 3DPrintingIndustry.com
Funded: April 30, 2015
Shipped: Not Yet – expected April 2016
The Tiko is a 3D printer designed by a young engineering group that was frustrated with all of the moving parts of normal 3D printers, so they redesigned the chassis to be more stable – and more aesthetically pleasing. This campaign was so successful partially because, like BauBax, they provided a ton of information, professional marketing videos and frequent updates; in addition to that activity, the Tiko team also hit gold by offering an incredibly inexpensive version of a highly desirable and “trendy” tool.