Kickstarter: Crowd Funding Your Creativity
Kickstarter does what its name implies: It gives creative projects a kick-start through online crowd funding. Entrepreneurs can raise money from independent investors (friends, family, or the general online community) while still retaining ownership over their product. Thus instead of profit percentage, investors receive rewards. Think free copies (of the documentary, book or game) or an opportunity to meet the creator.
Since the recent explosive success of Ouya, an independent TV gaming console, Kickstarter has been making headlines. Projects listed are diverse and often funky. For example, current ventures include 100% organic Beef Jerky and a Bike-in Theater.
The site is user-friendly, categorizing projects by genre and location, making it easy for investors to fund start-ups locally. Anyone can view the project pages, which helps the creator further promote his/her idea through social media. However, the creators and investors must sign up for a free membership in order to participate. A creator’s page can feature an overview of the project, video and project data as well a list of rewards available for each level of donation.
With Kickstarter, investment is a game — with prizes — instead of a business contract. The best part? It’s impossible to lose. If a project tanks, neither the creator nor investor pays a cent.
But hold on, there is a catch. Kickstarter does take 5 percent of every successful project’s pledges. Although for the publicity and pre-formatted platform, the fee is a minor drawback.
Daily Download videos on this and other media innovation topics are supported by the Knight Foundation.
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