Crowdfunding Abounds in KC
The Kansas City Star
Crowdfunding is exploding in popularity. According to an industry report, online fundraising through websites including Kickstarter and Indiegogo more than doubled last year, with $1.6 billion raised in North America alone. In 2012, that number is expected to exponentially grow.
A good chunk of that cash will be raised in Kansas City, of course, and there’s no shortage of fundraisers currently underway. Right now online you can fund the spaying of a pet rabbit, the building of a smartphone-based radiation detector, or the opening of a New Orleans-style voodoo shop complete with chicken foot charms.
KC even has a crowdfunding website created here. Neighbor.ly, built by a local start-up, is designed to raise money for public projects without raising tax dollars. A current campaign endorsed by City Hall hopes to offset the costs to taxpayers of a new downtown streetcar.
The arts have been very fertile ground for self-funders.
The Architects, local rock heroes, have a campaign to pay for their almost epically ambitious project “Border Wars.” A five-part, year-long series that combines music and the graphic novel. Every few months throughout 2012, donors to the project will be sent an all-new, six-song CD and a full-color, full-sized comic book.
Performing arts group Quixotic is taking a typically innovative approach to fundraising. April 27, in partnership with Nelson-Atkins Museum, the group is staging a free show on the south lawn of the museum, a performance that will incorporate huge digital images projected on to the building’s face. In conjunction, Quixotic is asking for help in getting a projector of their own, like the one used in the show, in order to save the huge expense of having to rent one for every performance.
Entrepreneur Chris Shaw is raising money for a documentary called “Tech Trek.”
Shaw was one of just 8,000 people in the world chosen to beta-test Google Glass, the Mountain View company’s new, much-buzzed-about, wearable technology. Worn like a pair of specs, Google Glass lets users capture and stream live images and video to the web, hands-free, using their smartphone. Shaw’s movie will explore the new technology on a road trip from California to KC, with stops at eye-popping places like Las Vegas, San Francisco, and the Grand Canyon along the way.
Shaw’s campaign closes on May 5. Quixotic’s high-tech passing of the hat comes to a close on May 4, while The Architects drive for “Border Wars” ends on May 3. Crowdfunding, though, across Kansas City and around the world, only seems destined to boom.