20 Ventures That Convinced Lots Of Strangers To Give Them Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars

kickstarter company

Photo: Kickstarter

You can’t make money without money, and there are a lot of ways to get cash for a venture.Kickstarter is a startup that helps creative projects get crowdsourced funding. People post their ideas and others can contribute as little or much as they like to support the projects.

We found 20 projects on Kickstarter that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from thousands of people. The most popular projects were documentaries and iPhone accessories.

One project raised nearly $1,000,000 from 13,000 people.

*Thanks to Todd Stone for his help with the article

Concept: John and Anthony of ToneLoof needed money to make a feature-length documentary on street photographer, Vivian Maier.

organiser: Chicago-based production company, ToneLoof

Number of backers: 1,495

Goal: $20,000

Concept: Avid bicyclist John Loughlin wanted to create a bike lock that was as well-designed as his bike.

So he teamed up with designer Joshua A.C. Newman to design the TiGr, an inconspicuous, but strong, Titanium lock that runs the length of the bike and closes at the end.

organiser: John Loughlin

Backers: 740

Goal: $37,500

Concept: Writer Jocelyn Towne made an appeal to raise money for her book to become a feature film. Her book is about a woman who meets the father who abandoned her as a child.

organiser: Jocelyn Towne, a writer

Backers: 902

Goal: $100,000

Concept: Design expert and teacher Frank Chimero wanted to make a small book about design with a unique online version.

organiser: Frank Chimero

Backers: 2,109

Goal: $27,000

Naked Sea is a movie that gathers thousands of nude people in public places. It raised $116,270 from 706 people

Concept: Spencer Tunick is a world-renowned installation artist whose signature theme is gathering hundreds to thousands of naked people in public places.

He wants his next installation to be at Israel's Dead Sea, but needs money to coordinate the project. The producer of the installation, Ari Fruchter, led the Kickstarter campaign.

organiser: Ari Fruchter

Backers: 706

Goal: $60,000

Urbanized, a documentary about urban design, raised $118,505 from 1,814 people

Concept: Self-described 'Design Geek,' Gary Hustwit, created two documentary films, one called 'Helvetica,' about the eponymous font, and the other about industrial and product design, called 'Objectified.'

While he didn't get money to make either of these films, he was able to get them broadcast on PBS and BBC. He was conducting interviews with his cinematographer for his third documentary, 'Urbanized,' about urban design, when he hit a financial roadblock. So he turned to Kickstarter.

organiser: Gary Hustwit

Backers: 1,814

Goal: $85,000

Dot: 360, a video capture for the iPhone 4, raised $120,514 from 1,023 people

Concept: A camera that allows users of the iPhone 4 to make panoramic videos.

organiser: Jeff Glasse

Backers: 1,023

Goal: $20,000

The Oona lets you attach your phone to any surface. It raised $131,220 from 3,915 people

Concept: Attaches to a smart phone and can be used as a stand or to affix to any other surface like a mirror, a white board (for use as notes), or a wind shield glass. It makes using the GPS on your iPhone easier - and legal!

Oraganizer: Sam Gordon Brad and Danny, childhood friends who grew up in Silicin Vally.

Backers: 3,915

Goal: $10,000

The Cosmonaut, a wide marker-like tool for touch screens, raised $134,236from 6,192 people

Concept: A substitute for your finger when using a tablet like the iPad. It has the feel of a magic marker.

organisers: Designers Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt

Backers: 6,192

Goal: $50,000

The Glif, a tripod for an iPhone, raised $137,417 from 5,273 people.

Concept: The same people that designed the Cosmonaut designed The Glif. The Glif is a tripod for the iPhone 4. No more shaky videos. Very useful. Provost and Gerhardt designed a prootype for the Glif, but they needed money to have it manufactured.

organisers: Designers Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt

Backers: 5,273

Goal: $10,000

B-Squares, which are solar powered iPhone chargers, raised $145,034 from 1,110 people

Concept: Solar powered squares that store energy and can (at least in part) charge an iPhone, among other devices.

organiser: Jordan McRae

Backers: 1,110

Goal: $25,000

My Reincarnation, a documentary, raised $150,456 from 518 people

Concept: Jennifer Fox produced a documentary film about the relationship between a Tibetan master and his son, called MY REINCARNATION. It was received very well in New York City, but Fox wanted the world to see it. So she went to Kickstarter to raise money to market the film. And she succeeded.

organiser: Award-winning director, Jennifer Fox

Backers: 518

Goal: $50,000

Concept: Inspired by Neil Gaiman's book, 'The Price,' cinematographer Christopher Salmon wanted to turn the book into a richly animated film.

He wrote to Gaiman, who was very receptive, but he didn't have enough money to make the film. Salmon had put together an animatic (a summary of what the film could be) to pitch Gaiman on the idea, and it worked. So he put the same short video on Kickstarter, and it worked again.

organiser: Christopher Salmon, a filmmaker/cinematographer

Backers: 2,001

Goal: $150,000

GoPano Micro is a 360 degree camera for iPhones. It raised $169,209 from 2,685 people

Concept: Rondinelli designed a lens to place over the iPhone 4 camera that allows it to take panoramic photos and videos. Think of filming a sports event, for instance.

organiser: Michael Rondinelli, a designer in Pittsburgh

Backers: 2,685

Goal: $20,000

PadPivot, a tablet stand, raised $190,352 from 4,823 people

Concept: The Pad Pivot allows users of tablet devices to use them more comfortably. It attaches to the tablet and serves as a versatile stand that can mould itself to a flat countertop or to your leg.

organiser: Jim Young, an independent industrial designer living just outside Seattle, WA.

Backers: 4,823

Goal: $10,000

Diaspora, the anti-Facebook social network, raised $200,641 from 6,479 people including Mark Zuckerberg

Concept: This group of NYU computer science students wants to create, in their own words, 'an open source personal web server that will put individuals in control of their data.' They were inspired by a talk given by professor Eben Moglen about freedom and ownership online.

organisers: Daniel Grippi, Maxwell Salzberg, Raphael Soafer, Ilya Zhitomirskiy

Backers: 6,479

Goal: $10,000

Minecraft, a documentary about a game, raised $210,297 from 3,631 people

Concept: 2 Player Productions wanted to create a documentary about the Swedish programmer, Marcus Persson, who created the widely popular game, Minecraft.

organiser: 2 Player Productions

Backers: 3,631

Goal: $150,000

Joulies, which makes sure your coffee is the perfect temperature, raised $306,944 from 4,818 people

Blue Like Jazz, a book-turned-movie, raised $345,992 from 4,495 people

Concept: Blue Like Jazz, a book on Christian spirituality book by Donald Miller, has sold more than 1.3 million copies since its release in 2003. It was slated to become a movie, but fell $125,000 short of funding. So fans Zach and Jonathan created a video and posted it on Kickstarter.

They provided some incentives. For $100, you could have your name in the credits, for $1,000, you could appear as an extra in the film, and for $10,000, the author will fly to your town for a private reading.

organiser: Steve Taylor

Backers: 4,495

Goal: $125,000

TikTok and LunaTik Watch Kits are made from iPhone Nanos. They raised $941,718 from 13,512 people

Concept: Scott Wilson took the iPod Nano and designed a watch around it. He explains on his Kickstarter page:

'The idea to use the iPod Nano as a watch was an obvious one ever since the product was announced. But we wanted to create a collection that was well designed, engineered and manufactured from premium materials and that complemented the impeccable quality of Apple products. Not just clipped on a cheap strap as an afterthought. We wanted to create a product that your friends and strangers would stop you and ask 'WTF is that??? And where can I get one?!'

organiser: Scott Wilson, founder of Chicago-based design firm, MINIMAL

Backers: 13,512

Goal amount: $941,718

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