Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Crowd Funding

Crowd funding is a relatively new approach to developing seed funding for new projects. Kickstarter is one place where you can sign up to buy proposed products to be developed, thereby providing funding for the development of those products. (My son and his friends are currently seeking funds for development of a video game based on Ars Magica, a famous role playing game.) It focuses on the arts and, to a lesser degree, technology.

A recent article in The Economist describes crowd funding sites for science:
Philanthropic sponsorship of science, particularly in the form of expensive pieces of kit such as large telescopes, or sponsorship for expeditions to far-off places, has been around for centuries. But the internet now permits what might be thought of as microphilanthropy. Through a technique called crowdfunding, in which members of the public donate small sums to projects they like the look of (sometimes in the knowledge that the donation will be taken up only if sufficient other pledges are made to surpass a stated target), the possibility of scientific philanthropy has been extended to those of more slender means.......... 
Donors can expect no revenue if a crowdfunded science project is successful, of course. But they can expect to be kept up to date with progress.
The article goes on to mention:

Crowdfunding.com provides this video describing use of GoFundMe.

This article in Forbes magazine describes recent legislation to enable the use of crowd funding to make investments in new enterprises. It mentions:
  • Kiva (a micro lending site)
  • Solar Mosaic  (a crowdfunding platform for solar investment)

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