Crowdfunding: The latest way to get your project funded

Sites like Kickstarter offer both established businesses and startups a chance to finance their dreams.

By , Computerworld |  Business, crowdfunding, kickstarter

The big-name projects don't necessarily intercept dollars that could be pledged elsewhere. Of Double Fine's 87,142 backers, 71% were first-time Kickstarter users and 15% pledged an additional $877,000 to 1,266 other projects. Online newscaster Checkpoint reported that in the two months before Double Fine's adventure, 15 games were funded on Kickstarter for a total of $169,000; in the two months since Double Fine began asking for Kickstarter funding, $4,276,391 was poured into 34 "indie" games, not counting those from storied developers such as Interplay founder Brian Fargo, who is creating a sequel to the Apple II game Wasteland.

There are other ways that project owners can get attention. They can now connect their Facebook accounts to Kickstarter, to be notified when their friends back projects, improving their discoverability. And Brian Fargo has created an unofficial " Kicking It Forward" program, in which project creators can opt to pledge 5% of profits derived from successfully crowdfunded projects back into Kickstarter.

The future of crowdsourcing

Kickstarter requires project creators to be permanent U.S. residents and at least 18 years of age with a Social Security Number (or EIN), a U.S. bank account, U.S. address, U.S. state-issued ID (driver's license) and major U.S. credit or debit card. Because of this, Andrew Russell, a software developer in Australia, used RocketHub to fund a tool to ease porting games from XNA ( Microsoft's game development framework) to other environments, such as iOS. "It's still impractical for someone outside the United States to use Kickstarter as a creator," Russell says of why he chose RocketHub.

Russell's open-source project successfully received more than the requested funding, but he still sees ways for the crowdfunding model to grow. "One idea that I think would help is the ability to set multiple goal thresholds," he suggests.

Many Kickstarter projects unofficially use this model; project owners will offer extra benefits for more funding, such as adding more platforms and languages if more money is raised.

Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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