All you need is an idea and an Internet connection. These days, more and more people are sharing their ingenious—and sometimes, not so ingenious—ideas on crowdfunding websites, hoping to raise enough money to get their product or service off the ground.
Not quite sure what we’re talking about? Well, here are some popular crowdfunding campaigns from the last few years. You might even get inspired to create one yourself.
Standing desks have been all the rage over the past few years. But for those who use laptops most of the time or simply can’t afford the premium price of a standing desk, they’re not a viable option.
That’s why Luke Leafgren created StandStand. Using three pieces that fit together, StandStand creates a standing desk no matter where you are. The campaign raised more than $115,000 on Kickstarter and is in full production.
Skully AR-1 Smart Helmet
Motorcycles allow you to enjoy the open road in a whole different way—but they don’t provide the connectivity you find in newer cars. Skully is changing that. Their smart helmet connects you to your phone and music, and also provides a rearview camera, GPS, a heads-up display and so much more.
The AR-1 combines sleek design with its connected features, promising to keep you safer on the road. Skully’s IndieGoGo campaign shattered their $250,000 goal, raising nearly $2.5 million and turning the Smart Helmet into one of the most sought-after pieces of motorcycle gear.
A Car for James Robertson
Crowdfunding campaigns aren’t just for cool new gadgets and toys. Go Fund Me provides a platform for personal campaigns, which has spawned numerous stories that tug at the heartstrings.
One of these stories was James Robertson, who used to walk 21 miles to work—until someone started a campaign on his behalf to buy him a new car. His story was shared more than 24,000 times, raising nearly $350,000.
Jamaican Bobsled Team
It was like the movie Cool Runnings all over again.
Started by an ordinary fan, this Tilt campaign to raise money to send the Jamaican bobsled team to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games gained momentum, eventually bringing in $129,687.
While they did not win a medal, the team did bring a new level of excitement to the games in Sochi.
Aros Smart Air Conditioner
Quirky is more of a collaboration site than a crowdfunding site. Users submit ideas for new products that aren’t on the market—or better versions of items that already exist—and the Quirky community can comment, add to the ideas and vote on which ones they want made. It’s an amazing way to get your product off the ground without needing to secure all the capital.
One great product made by Quirky, in collaboration with GE, is Aros. This smart air conditioner looks much better than traditional window units, with a sleek design and window covers. And it connects to WiFi, allowing you to turn it on before you get home. It also follows your energy budget so you don’t consume too much, ensuring optimal efficiency.
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