If you’ve got a great idea for a green tech product burning a hole in your brain but don’t have the coin to get it off the ground, consider crowdfunding your project through Kickstarter. For a modest fee, the site will showcase your endeavor and help you collect funds to get started. Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of this funding platform.
One of the most attractive things about Kickstarter to potential investors is that if your project isn’t 100% funded, everyone gets their money back. That translates to low-risk for anyone willing to send over some seed money without worrying that they’ll lose it if you don’t meet your financial goals.
Kickstarter projects are constructed in a way that invites potential backers to invest because they know they’ll get something in return for their assistance. Few people would be willing to send 50 bucks your way just for the privilege of buying your item off the shelf a year later. With Kickstarter, however, investors pledge money knowing they’ll get the product well in advance of non-investors, free tech support, or whatever other incentives you choose to offer.
Project guidelines allow you to give backers several funding levels to choose from. You can set these levels at any price points you want so people with only $5 or $10 have a chance to participate as well as those who happen to have $500 (or more) lying around. Of course, the higher the investment, the better incentive they’ll get.
It’s easy to get a project up and running on Kickstarter. Simply head over to the site and fill out the digital paperwork outlining your project, goals, and reward levels. (You must be a U.S. or UK citizen with a major credit or debit card.) Sit tight a couple of days while it gets approved, then let everyone and their cousin know your project is live. Visit the “Getting Started” page for all the details about launching and running a Kickstarter project.
Be aware that Kickstarter projects must involve a physical product so it’s not the place to ask for investors to send you to college for a degree in Environmental Studies. That said, it’s a great place to get exposure for your Next Big Idea. In fact, Kickstarter estimates that “successfully funded projects raise around 130% of their goal.”
Have you ever crowdfunded a project through Kickstarter or a similar site? Let us know how it worked out for you in the comments.