The crowdfunding industry is a complex thing, mixing business and human psychology, playing on people’s emotions, fancies and the tendency to contribute to something, as well as offering them opportunity to either feel good about themselves, get a gadget with an early bird price tag or invest a small amount in turn for equally small equity share.
Either way, crowdfunding is a good alternative for many (but not all) projects, and your chances just might be better if you find the right niche – or the right crowdfunding platform: there are specialized sites for unique experiences, charity, social impact, travel, gaming, real estate… you fill in the blanks.
Kickstarter is the best known rewards-based crowdfunding platform, that boasts over $1 Billion in funding, but in addition to funding, project owners who do their campaigns right also get good publicity and a chance to win over the early adopter community. Note that the platform is not for charities nor do they offer equity crowdfunding, but if you’re looking to find a community of gadget lovers to test your idea on and get funding in return, go ahead.
Indiegogo’s the second most famous crowdfunding site, and a bit more lenient one than Kickstarter – is open to different kinds of projects, personal as well as entrepreneurial, and has a larger international presence than Kickstarter. Larger variety of projects, however, also means less focus, but unlike the afore mentioned Kickstarter, it offers flexible funding – meaning, you don’t have to reach the whole sum you’ve set out for to receive funding.
Appbackr is donation-based funding site for apps (obviously) and it’s got a nice niche community for mobile app development that can also give you feedback and validate your idea.
If you’re always fiddling with something and looking for a community of like-minded fiddlers who will recognize how awesomely you’ve been fiddling with something, try Quirky. It is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform and a community most for product inventors, and it is also a place for collaborating with other users when it comes to the development of a product or prototype. A bonus – it also has a marketplace for finished products!
A few years ago, most of the crowdfunding came from rewards-based crowdfunding, basically, trading funding for products, but it is now allowing investments to be made via crowdfunding, which is known as equity crowdfunding. It has its network of Angel investors and venture capitalists and it supports businesses from idea-stage startups to publicly-traded companies.
If your project falls under the category of charity or social impact, Crowdrise might me a good place for you. It’s a platform for donation-based funding that funds different causes and needs and has a do-gooder community that supports it.
Last but not least, and only half serious, at least regarding this text, Trevolta – if you decide to give up on your project and crowdfund your way through seeing the world and discovering yourself, this is one of the highly specialized platforms where fellow travelers just might help you out with that, if you win them over of course.