The concept of crowdfunding is something that many are familiar with now and it’s hard to believe that this concept has only been around for roughly five years. The JOBS Act of 2012 really helped set the platform for crowdfunding to expand and that it has. “According to the Crowdfunding Industry Report by Massolution, in 2012 there was $2.7 Billion raised online via crowdfunding. In 2013 an estimated $5.1 Billion was crowdfunded online.” When entrepreneurs see these types of numbers and hear about wildly successful campaigns (such as the Coolest Cooler on Kickstarter, which raised $13M) it is no surprise that they are turning to crowdfunding for support.
With so many crowdfunding platforms out there the landscape is packed and it is hard to know where to begin. We have put together the following list of crowdfunding websites sites, with brief descriptions on what types of projects they host, to help narrow your search to the community that is the best suit for your goals and needs.
- Kickstarter: “Bring your creative project to life” is the motto. This donation-based platform hosts creative projects ranging from art instillations to 3D printing technology. It is one of the earlier platforms and is very well-known. It has gained momentum in recent years with numerous product break-out campaigns raising wild amounts of funding.
- Indiegogo: This donation-based platform can help raise funds for a variety of projects. You will see things from consumer products to personal projects hosted here. With this kind of project variety and flexibility, Indiegogo has experienced more international growth than many of the other platforms.
- Quirky: If you’re an inventor, maker, or tinkerer then Quirky is a place to collaborate and crowdfund for donation-based funding with a community of other like-minded folks. Their site digs deeper into helping the process of bringing an invention or product to life, allowing community participation in the process.
- Go Fund Me: This donation-based platform is similar to Indiegogo in that there is quite a variety of projects on this site. Anything from personal goal projects to consumer product ideas can be found here.
- Crowdfunder: This is an investment-based platform, and has a one of the largest and fastest growing network of investors. This platform has quickly become the “Step #2” in crowdfunding for businesses — After successfully completing a donation-based funding campaign on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, companies are often turning to Crowdfunder to give the the crowd the opportunity to invest and raise more formal Seed & Series A rounds.
- AngelList: This is the place to go if you are looking for Silicon Valley momentum. Crowdfunding is relatively new for AngelList but the accredited investors and institutions on AngelList have been funding a growing number of top tech startups.
- CircleUp: This is a investment-based crowdfunding platform focuses on connecting accredited investors with innovative consumer and retail companies.
You will see in the brief descriptions above we mentioned either donation-based or investment-based. Donation or rewards based is the traditional type of crowdfunding platform in which you invest funds in return for a product if the campaign is successfully funded. Investment-based means that you are becoming a shareholder and are offered shares from the company in return for your investment.
We know there are hundreds of crowdfunding platforms out there, but we feel that these are the top places for entrepreneurs to get a product successfully funded and on its way to manufacturing and ultimately consumers.
We invite you to learn more about crowdfunding on the following websites:
- Top 10 Crowdfunding Sites For Fundraising (Forbes)
- Crowdfunding Sites In 2014 (Forbes)
- For some consumer products businesses, crowdfunding is the best route (The Washington Press)
- 3 reasons crowdfunders will hit consumer products first (Venture Beat)
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