Crowdpower

WikiWeapon Campaign to 3D-Print Your Own Gun Suspended by Indiegogo

(Photo: Indiegogo)

Though Indiegogo has largely been the go-to campaign site for non-artistic endeavors and bullied bus monitors, it turns out that there actually are some projects that the site will not allow. Forbes reports that a group of 20-somethings called Defense Distributed collaborated on a campaign called the Wiki Weapon Project to develop open source blueprints for a gun that can be made with a 3D printer. Read More

Kickstarted

This Kickstarter Campaign Would Prefer You Not Back Them

Cheaper than a vacation!

The dream of the nineties is alive on Kickstarter! Or one specific dream is, anyway: virtual reality. Think the holodecks from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Oculus Rift is a new gaming headset currently raising money on the crowdfunding platform, and it’s already garnered quite a bit of attention. And how could it not, promising “truly immersive virtual reality”? The excitement is such that its campaign is already overfunded, having raised $1,688,407 to the requested $250,000, and there’s still a big chunk of August left to go.

Don’t pull out your credit card just yet, though. According to Wired, the folks behind the campaign don’t want your money. Not if you’re a consumer, anyway: Read More

Kickstart It

The New York City Council Now Using Kickstarter For Community Development

Discover NYC.

Is there anyone who isn’t on Kickstarter these days? The latest bandwagon-jumpers: The New York City Council, which has partnered with the artsy crowdfunding platform to create a landing page that highlights New York City-based projects.

The move is positioned as a way to help business owners in low-income neighborhoods get access to hard-to-find capital, a persistent problem.

Remember when microlending was going to solve everything? Now it’s crowdfunding. Wonder what it’ll be in five years?  Read More

Crowd Power

The Kickback Machine Surfaces the Failed Projects Kickstarter Doesn’t Want You to See

(Photo: The Kickback Machine)

A healthy chunk of criticism has been lobbed at crowdfunding platform Kickstarter for using a search algorithm which “hides” failed projects. If you want to learn from projects that didn’t quite meet their funding goal, you’d be hard-pressed to do so on Kickstarter itself–failed projects are only available directly through a creator’s profile.

“This isn’t to ‘hide failure’…it’s because it would be a poor user experience (there’s no action that anyone could take) and it would expose the creators of unsuccessfully funded projects to unnecessary criticism from the web,” Kickstarter’s cofounder Yancey Strickler told TechCrunch back in May. Read More

Crowd Power

Indiegogo Now the Official Fundraising Home For People Publicly Shat Upon

(Photo: Indiegogo)

Yesterday, a video surfaced on Reddit that showed a man ordering a free water at a Chick-Fil-A drive-thru, then verbally bullying the employee who happily served it to him. His rage was rooted in Chick-Fil-A’s discriminatory and widely panned policies surrounding homosexuality and religion, but his behavior towards an innocent fast food employee–who exercises no power over corporate decisions–came across as petty and meanspirited. Read More

Crowd Power

The Hills’ Whitney Port is Raising $50,000 on Indiegogo

A worthy charity cause. (Photo: Indiegogo)

If two TV shows, a book and a clothing line aren’t enough to line your pockets with the cashmoney you so deserve, what’s a glamour gal to do? Judging from Whitney Port, leggy star of The Hills and The City, the answer is start a$50,000 Indiegogo campaign.

Launching a gaudy charity for yourself? What on earth will Olivia Palermo say?

Ms. Port is raising money to help fund her Whitney Eve show at New York Fashion Week Spring 2013. Shhh, nobody say anything about the fact that she decided against using the vast amounts of cash she must have collected from her celebrity status, or her father’s apparel fortune, and instead chose to solicit it from her no doubt less wealthy fans. An Indiegogo campaign is an artistic endeavor.

And for your kindhearted philanthropic donation, you will get one of many swagalicious prizes, including a Whitney Eve gift card, an autographed photo–even a personalized tweet! Read More

Crowd Power

30,000 People Contributed to Bullied Bus Monitor Karen Klein’s Vacation Fund

(Photo: Pulse2)

Fundraising platform Indiegogo just released some interesting stats regarding the do-gooder campaign for bullied bus monitor Karen Klein. The fundraiser, which was launched last Wednesday by nutritionist Max Sidorov to raise money for a vacation for Ms. Klein after a video of her being bullied surfaced on YouTube, has raised more than $660,000 in just one week. Indiegogo, which takes a 4 percent cut of every campaign, stands to make more than $26,000 from the Internet’s philanthropy. Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

Nice Try, FunnyJunk: Indiegogo Says the Oatmeal’s Fundraiser is A-Okay

There were some other parts to Mr. Inman's response. (theoatmeal.com)

Round three of The Oatmeal versus FunnyJunk isn’t looking so great for the latter.

For those just tuning in: Earlier this week, accused of defamation and faced with a demand he immediately fork over $20,000 in damages, Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise the money. However, he proposed to split it between the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. FunnyJunk’s lawyer then alleged that the campaign was a violation of Indiegogo’s terms of service and that he would be petitioning the crowdfunding site to remove it.

Well,  it turns out that Indiegogo does not agree with that assessment. The company just sent us the following statement: Read More

The Equity of the Crowds

The U.K. Already Has Equity-Based Crowdfunding, and This Startup Just Set a Record

(escapethecity.org)

U.S.-based crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and ArtistShare offer a huge range of creative perks like T-shirts, backstage access, chip clips, or a week’s worth of personal training alongside Bret Easton Ellis. But what if a startup could offer equity in the company to the little people who helped make it happen?

The JOBS Act, passed in April, gave the SEC a directive to clear the path for equity-based crowdfunding (some call it “crowdinvesting”) sites. The regulatory agency is deliberating over the rules now, with the goal of publishing the new rules by January. We’ll see how that goes, given how complicated crowdfunding is. What are the disclosure requirements for companies? What kind of due diligence will an equity-based crowdfunding “portal” have to do? Yes, the Act and the SEC are calling crowdfunding sites “portals.”

Meanwhile, across the pond, equity-based crowdfunding is already legal and underway. A London-based startup called Escape the City has raised £557,920 (roughly $892,481) on a £600,000 goal with 14 days to go on the equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. The startup upped its goal because of high demand. Escape the City is a social network somewhere between LinkedIn and Idealist.org; it aims to match dissatisfied corporate drones with new jobs, more noble jobs, or professional adventures abroad. Read More