What Technologies Will Crowdfunding Create?

17. September 2012

Date: 17-09-2012
Source: Technology Review

Super-users, hobbyists, and gadget fans are investing in innovations they want, and creating a new generation of entrepreneurs along the way.

It’s becoming a common story. A project listed on Kickstarter, the Internet crowdfunding website, ends up wildly exceeding its financial goals. Suddenly, someone is in business.

That’s what happened to inventor Jay Silver, creator of MaKey MaKey, an “invention kit” consisting of a processor board and alligator clips that turns objects with high electrical resistance—bananas, Play-Doh, human flesh—into computer controllers. Silver listed the project on Kickstarter this year hoping to raise $25,000. He ended up with $568,106.

Since then, it’s been a race to negotiate with Chinese manufacturers, customs agents, and wholesalers to produce and ship what will be the first product of Silver’s newly incorporated company, JoyLabz. “I was going to start this company in a few years, but my crowdfunding success accelerated the timing,” says Silver, who is 33. Read the rest of this entry »