The idea behind crowdfunding is simple—entrepreneurs around the world can introduce people to an idea that resonates with them and ask them to fund the project. Since its inception, Kickstarter (crowdfunding's biggest player) has helped facilitate funding for over 63,000 projects. That's more than $1.1 million spent on creative, innovative, artistic, literary, delicious and all-around game-changing projects. For many small business owners, crowdfunding has helped them launch their company, create a new product or branch out into a new sector without the traditional business loans and debt. If you're interested in using crowdfunding for your own business, Kickstarter is no longer the only option on the Internet. We've rounded up several sites that just might be your door to success.
Kickstarter: The most well-known and established of the donation-based funding sites is ideal for new creative projects like inventions, films and artistic endeavors. Kickstarter curates projects and does not support charity causes or personal financing, but has been a major platform for supporting major product innovations like Pebble, a smart watch in the wearable technology realm. Pebble is one of Kickstart's most insanely successful campaigns, raising over $10 million in funding.
Quirky: Quirky is for inventors and their mission is to unlock the great ideas trapped inside people's heads. The community and collaboration focus is unique and can truly help makers learn how to take their products from the idea phase to the market.
Indiegogo: A broader focus than Kickstarter, Indiegogo allows people to raise money for almost anything. They are also one of the more established crowdfunding sites and have a large community of backers. Thousands of users have raised money for new businesses, personal causes, charity and more. In 2011, the world's first crowdfunded baby was born thanks to Indiegogo!
RocketHub: RocketHub's Success School really sets them apart, empowering campaigners connect with other entrepreneurs and business owners to help them collaborate in various ways. Musicians, entrepreneurs, fashion designers and all sorts of other business owners have been supported through this platform, which boasts founders from the music, film and tech industry as well.
Fundable: This Columbus-based crowdfunding site was launched in 2012 and supports all sorts of campaigns. Of note, Moxie Yoga raised $10,500 to open their first studio and Grapevine Craft Brewery raised more than $60K toward their launch. It's best for retail businesses as well as products.
Inc Magazine also put together this handy 22-site map to help you determine which crowdfunding platform will be right for you.
Have you used crowdfunding in your business or to support another? What's your favorite platform and why?