Crowdfunding Rising: Top ideas show how to do crowdfunding right

7 minute read

Sesame: Your Key, Reinvented

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1425492550/sesame-your-key-reinvented?ref=discovery

There are lots of ways to lock doors. And most of them are
perfectly adequate.  But when you want to
let people into your workplace – especially if that place doubles as your home
or workshop –all of them require either too much trust (keys) or too much
installation (most smart lock systems). Sesame aims to simplify the way you
control your entry point. It works with the lock you have, requires almost
nothing in the way of installation, opens the door with an app, lets you
control who gets in, and tells you whenever anyone opens (or tries to open)
your door. It’s also just slick as all heck. You can tap your phone – while
it’s still in your pocket! – to unlock the door. Pledge $149 to this campaign and you’ll get the Sesame
with Wi-Fi access before the rest of the world can pay retail.

Beam: The smart projector that fits in any light socket

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/beamlabsinc/beam-the-smart-projector-that-fits-in-any-light-so?ref=category

Forget huddling around a laptop screen or connecting a
difficult projector. Just plug this into any light socket, point it at a wall
or table surface and project from your Android or Apple phone. It works with
any app and gets your game, project, movie, or presentation in front of the
eyes of everyone in the room without a huge setup hassle. Movies on the wall?
Presentations in the back of a restaurant? Games on a table (with an overheard
light)? All easy to do. If you pledge $349, you will get a Beam as soon as they
are ready and for the lowest price they will ever be.  

Con Man

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/con-man

Have you ever been frustrated when your favorite TV show was
cancelled by a network? Crowdfunding can prevent that. Rather than leaving the
decision about what shows are worth it in the hands of executives who don’t
even watch, it gives that power to you. And, for the same reason big business
produce movies, it can be a great way to connect with potential customers. One
famously cancelled show is the Sci-Fi series Firefly. It was written and directed by Joss Whedon and starred
Nathan Fillion (Castle) and Alan
Tudyk (Arrested Development). It was
cancelled way too soon for its fans (this writer being one.) And those fans are
legion and devoted. Fillion and Tudyk have taken to Indiegogo to prevent that
fate for the Tudyk-written comedy, Con
Man
, about science-fiction convention characters. It looks like a show
worth watching, especially for Firefly
fans – since it’s based on them. If you put up $5K, you’ll get listed as an associate producer
both in the credits and on IMDB, helping this huge body of devoted fans see you
as one of their own. There are much smaller ($5 will get you something) ways to
back this idea if you are – like me – just a fan.

Woolet: The Slimmest Smart Wallet for the Modern Man

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wooletco/woolet-the-slimmest-smart-wallet-for-the-modern-ma?ref=category

A lost wallet stops your whole day. It can cost you money,
compromise your identity, and make you very unhappy. This smart wallet will alert
you if you are about to lose it. If you try to leave without it, your phone
will bleep (or woof) and tell you where
the wallet is so you can go back and get it before your day goes completely
south. This wallet is more than some plastic dongle you clip to your wallet. It
is beautiful: Leather, hand-crafted, and aesthetically pleasing. It would make
a great gift to help employees, contractors, and clients keep it together, too.
More likely to lose your phone than your wallet? The Woolet two-way security
will also alert you if you leave your phone behind. Throw $99 at this project
and you’ll get the black version of the wallet ASAP. A smaller contribution
will get you a phone case or key fob.

Project Overlord: Advanced Wheel Anti-Theft and Tracking Systems

http://www.projectoverlordsystem.com/#!our-indiegogo-campaign/c1o90

Do you own a fleet of cars? Listen to the pitch on the
campaign for Project Overlord. You might not be worried about the cars getting
stolen – there is a lot of technology to protect you from that – but you
apparently should worry about the tires being stolen right off the car. Tires
are expensive, untraceable, and easy to steal. This system alerts you via your
smart phone the second someone tampers with your wheels so you can leap out of
bed and deal with it. It also alerts the authorities and emits an alarm to
scare the thief. And it tracks the tires via GPS if the culprit makes off with
them. Even if your fleet is made up of bicycles, motorcycles, or farm
equipment, this device can protect it its wheels. Heck, even if your fleet is
one bicycle, it’ll keep an eye on those two tires. $299 will get you one of the first ever working systems for one vehicle.

Prong iPhone Case

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/prong-iphone-case-never-use-another-cord-again

That iPhone is amazing, right? Drop it in a pocket and work
from anywhere. No need to lug a bag with a laptop. Oh, wait, though. You do
need a bag for the charger plug, cable, and backup battery because the phone
battery won’t last all day.  Or you could
back this campaign for an all-in-one iPhone case, charger, and battery. Then,
when you get yours, put the phone in the case and the case in your pocket. When
the battery gets hungry,  press a button
on the case to charge the phone. Is the case battery is dead, too? Oh no! Wait,
no worries. Pop out the prongs, plug it into the wall and charge away – with the
phone in it. Or just charge the case and keep using the phone. It also has a microUSB
port so if you do have a cable handy, you can plug the case in with that. Get
one for the whole team and no one will be able to claim “Dead battery!” when
you need an answer.

Pebble Time – Awesome Smartwatch, No Compromises

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-time-awesome-smartwatch-no-compromises?

A smart watch is a great way to stay productive, without
stopping to stare at your phone. You could wait for the Apple Watch and pay
$350 – or more. Or, hey, why not back the next iteration of the Pebble Watch –
Pebble Time? This is the original smart watch. It’s been on the market for
years so this new version is a response to what people want. And Pebble Time
will work with whatever phone you have –iPhone, Android, Samsung – so if you
change phones, you can still use your watch. It has a color e-ink paper face,
is water resistant, has lots of app partners, a battery that lasts a week, and
it will let you do voice replies and take voice notes right from the watch. The
Pebble people built an interface for it – called Timeline – that is simple and
keeps you informed about your day with just a couple of buttons. Back this idea
for $179 and you’ll get the watch in your choice of three colors.

MAGNETIC: Paper That Sticks to Walls

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/teslaamazing/magnetic-paper-that-sticks-to-walls?ref=category

Post it notes, dry erase boards, sticky pads? These are the
elemental office communication tools and they haven’t changed much in decades. But
these? So much better! Especially if you don’t work in a traditional space with
whiteboards and cubicles.They use a stable static charge to stick to any
surface. Post it notes on the stone walls, fabric surfaces, on the fridge, on
the potted plants, on the dishes in the kitchen, on your leather bag. Post-it
or memo notes you can stick to any surface for quick alerts or signs? Exactly.
Computer printouts you can stick to anything without stapes or glue?
Absolutely. Big sheets that stick to any wall and create a movable dry-erase
board anywhere? Sure thing. Back this project for less than $30 and you can get
a note sampler. Or choose the format you want. And you will get your preference
as soon as they are manufactured.

Rocketbook: Cloud-Integrated Microwavable Notebook

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-amazing-microwavable-notebook-cloud-connected

All those notes you take in meetings? Where are they now?
How much time do you spend typing notes after a meeting? Write your notes in
this notebook and you won’t groan next time someone asks you either of those
questions. After you jot your notes (or drawings or doodles) snap a picture of
them with the Rocketbook app. It processes the pages – two at a time if you
like – and sends them instantly to where you like to store things in the
cloud. Sometimes that might be an email. Other times, that’s Evernote or
Dropbox. Icons on the bottom of the page tell the app where you want to send
that page. Slick. And you don’t have to keep buying special paper to make this
all happen. Just use the right kind of pen and pop the notebook in the
microwave to erase everything in it. A $25 pledge gets you the standard
notebook as soon as it becomes available.