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Indiegogo is the crowdfunding megasite that helped thousands of dreams become reality. "It's amazing what people will come up with - like the 15ft statue of Christopher Walken as a Tyrannosaurus Rex, which an art student somehow persuaded people to pay for in New York," says Liz Wald, Head of International.

Indiegogo existed before the term 'crowdfunding' was in popular usage, launching in the USA in 2008 and internationally in dozens more currencies and languages late last year. Indiegogo is less restrictive than rivals such as Kickstarter, with everything from art projects to genuinely world-changing ideas finding funding via the site. A project to turn America's roads and motorways into solar panels doubled its funding goal on the site. Mars One – a mission to send the first humans to Mars by 2024 – sought funding via Indiegogo, not Kickstarter.

 
 

The Christopher Walken Rex statue was funded and built in New York's East Village last year. "I haven't seen it, but I'm flattered," Walken told a New York Paper, after hearing of the sculpture. "I've always been fond of T-Rexes. Everybody enjoys T-Rexes."

"We've seen it all," Wald says, "From a couple crowdfunding a baby (or more specifically an IVF treatment) to an entrepreneur bringing her brain-sensing headband to market."

The Mars One mission closed three-quarters of the way to funding a robotic lander for the first private mission to Mars via Indiegogo. But Wald is adamant that such big ideas can work on the site. "It is possible to crowdfund a robotic mission to Mars," insists Wald. "Absolutely."

Indiegogo distributes millions of dollars every week, globally, and there are campaigns in 200 countries. Unlike rivals such as KickStarter, there's no approval process for campaigns, which can be anything users desire, "without restrictions," says Wald.

Wald believes there's no 'ceiling' to what can be funded via Indiegogo, "I don't think there's an upper limit to crowdfunding any more than there's an upper limit to banking or other kinds of finance. This is a new industry that is seeing innovative ideas burst on the scene every day."

 

"The beauty of the internet is its global reach. There is not a 'right amount' of funds to try to raise. The key to this campaign though, like any other, is that they have to be able to engage a strong base of people and then activate that base. A great way to do this is to use social media to good effect."

A highly ambitious project to raise more than $32 million for a smartphone launch - the Edge, running the open-source Ubuntu system, showed that raising millions via such sites was not impossible - $12.8m was pledged to the Edge project, although it ultimately failed, falling $19m short of its goal.

"It would have made no sense for them to do a small campaign because that would not have met their needs. Although they didn't hit their goal, they felt the campaign was a huge success because they learned exactly what price point would work, what level of demand they have and what expectations people had who were willing to fund the campaign."

"I was blown away by the level of support," says Edge founder Mark Shuttleworth, "So, while I was disappointed that we didn't make the Edge, I'm convinced the idea is going to get made."

Shuttleworth says that the campaign showed that existing manufacturers - who had factories and fabrication plants already at their disposal - could use crowdfunding to explore 'out there' ideas, "with a lower funding threshold."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

"The real secret about crowdfunding is that it's not about the money," Wald says, "Of course funds raised are important but the value you gain from engaging with fans, understanding market demand, and gaining direct feedback often turns out to be even more valuable to a campaigner at the end of the day."

"Thousands of campaigns, like the Solar Roadways,

are receiving the funds they need and are successfully accomplishing their goals. While the amount of money a campaign raises is one indicator of success, the benefits of crowdfunding are endless. Among them, the unique opportunities of market validation, awareness and customer acquisition gained through running a crowdfunding campaign are invaluable learnings that mean that whether a campaign reaches its official goal or not, it can still be considered successful."

At any given time, 7,000 campaigns are active on the site, Wald says, and millions of dollars are handed out each week.

Wald believes there is no limit to what users can achieve, providing they think carefully about how to frame their campaigns. "We launched in 2008, before the word ‘crowdfunding' was a known term," Wald says, "We introduced the concept of perks in exchange for donations. Now we have contributors and campaigners from nearly 200 countries. One of the most exciting parts of crowdfunding is that everyone has a different reason why they want to help fund a project," says Wald. "Indiegogo believes people should have the opportunity to fund what matters to them whether creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related."

 
 
 
Feature:  

Indiegogo: a crowd funding revolution

indiegogo

indiegogo – quote 1

Indiegogo is the crowdfunding megasite that helped thousands of dreams become reality. “It’s amazing what people will come up with – like the 15ft statue of Christopher Walken as a Tyrannosaurus Rex, which an art student somehow persuaded people to pay for in New York,” says Liz Wald, Head of International.

Indiegogo existed before the term ‘crowdfunding’ was in popular usage, launching in the USA in 2008 and internationally in dozens more currencies and languages late last year. Indiegogo is less restrictive than rivals such as Kickstarter, with everything from art projects to genuinely world-changing ideas finding funding via the site. A project to turn America’s roads and motorways into solar panels doubled its funding goal on the site. Mars One – a mission to send the first humans to Mars by 2024 – sought funding via Indiegogo, not Kickstarter.

indiegogo

The 15ft Christopher Walken Rex raised $2,680 despite its modest $750 target

The Christopher Walken Rex statue was funded and built in New York’s East Village last year. “I haven’t seen it, but I’m flattered,” Walken told a New York Paper, after hearing of the sculpture. “I’ve always been fond of T-Rexes. Everybody enjoys T-Rexes.”

“We’ve seen it all,” Wald says, “From a couple crowdfunding a baby (or more specifically an IVF treatment) to an entrepreneur bringing her brain-sensing headband to market.”

The Mars One mission closed three-quarters of the way to funding a robotic lander for the first private mission to Mars via Indiegogo. But Wald is adamant that such big ideas can work on the site. “It is possible to crowdfund a robotic mission to Mars,” insists Wald. “Absolutely.”

indiegogo

Indiegogo distributes millions of dollars every week, globally, and there are campaigns in 200 countries. Unlike rivals such as KickStarter, there’s no approval process for campaigns, which can be anything users desire, “without restrictions,” says Wald.

Wald believes that there’s no ‘ceiling’ to what can be funded via Indiegogo, “I don’t think there’s an upper limit to crowdfunding any more than there’s an upper limit to banking or other kinds of finance. This is a new industry that is seeing innovative ideas burst on the scene every day.”

indiegogo

“It’s absolutely possible to fund a robotic mission to mars”

“The beauty of the internet is its global reach. There is not a ‘right amount’ of funds to try to raise. The key to this campaign though, like any other, is that they have to be able to engage a strong base of people and then activate that base. A great way to do this is to use social media to good effect.”

A highly ambitious project to raise more than $32 million for a smartphone launch – the Edge, running the open-source Ubuntu system, showed that raising millions via such sites was not impossible – $12.8m was pledged to the Edge project, although it ultimately failed, falling $19m short of its goal.

“It would have made no sense for them to do a small campaign because that would not have met their needs. Although they didn’t hit their goal, they felt the campaign was a huge success because they learned exactly what price point would work, what level of demand they have and what expectations people had who were willing to fund the campaign.”

indiegogo

The Edge smartphone raised $12.8m but ultimately failed to reach its goal

“I was blown away by the level of support,” says Edge founder Mark Shuttleworth, “So, while I was disappointed that we didn’t make the Edge, I’m convinced the idea is going to get made.”

Shuttleworth says that the campaign showed that existing manufacturers – who had factories and fabrication plants already at their disposal – could use crowdfunding to explore ‘out there’ ideas, “with a lower funding threshold.”

“The real secret about crowdfunding is that it’s not about the money,” Wald says, “Of course funds raised are important but the value you gain from engaging with fans, understanding market demand and gaining direct feedback often turns out to be even more valuable to a campaigner at the end of the day.”

indiegogo

“Thousands of campaigns, like the Solar Roadways,are receiving the funds they need and are successfully accomplishing their goals. While the amount of money a campaign raises is one indicator of success, the benefits of crowdfunding are endless. Among them, the unique opportunities of market validation, awareness and customer acquisition gained through running a crowdfunding campaign are invaluable learnings that mean that whether a campaign reaches its official goal or not, it can still be considered successful.”

At any given time, 7,000 campaigns are active on the site, Wald says, and millions of dollars are handed out each week.

Wald believes there is no limit to what users can achieve, providing they think carefully about how to frame their campaigns. “We launched in 2008, before the word ‘crowdfunding’ was a known term,” Wald says, “We introduced the concept of perks in exchange for donations. Now we have contributors and campaigners from nearly 200 countries. One of the most exciting parts of crowdfunding is that everyone has a different reason why they want to help fund a project,” says Wald. “Indiegogo believes people should have the opportunity to fund what matters to them whether creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related.”

Photo: Peshkova /Shutterstock.com
Photo: Scott Lynch
Photo: Mars One / Brian Versteeg / REX
 
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