Guide To Intelligent Giving

crowdfunding successful examples - Part 1

Nikola Tesla Museum

In 2012, Matthew Inman from The Oatmeal, a web comic site, started an Indiegogo campaign to build a Nikola Tesla museum and science center to honor the late engineer and save the site of the Wardenclyffe Tower, which was demolished in 1917. He raised more than $1 million in nine days to create a "Goddamn Tesla Museum." New York state also matched the donations, pushing the campaign over $2 million. Then this month, Elon Musk donated $1 million to get it off the ground.

Solar Roadways

Solar Roadways raised $2.2 million through their Indiegogo campaign, and along the way they broke a few records. The Idaho-based startup worked on the technology for many years before starting the campaign to scale their prototypes, and the founders were blown away by the support of the world. Part of the reason was because their video "Solar Freakin' Roadways" went viral.

Scanadu Scout

The Scanadu Scout wasn't originally intended for consumers -- it was a project with NASA to help monitor astronauts on the international space station. The device is a "medical-grade Tricoder" that uses Bluetooth LE and your smartphone to monitor your vitals. Place it on your forehead for 10 seconds and your medical information wll be sent to your smartphone. It raised almost $1.7 million on Indiegogo, well over its $100,000 goal. Then, it raised $10.5 million in Series A funding, paving the way for its FDA approval.


Kano is a computer and coding kit for kids of all ages. The DIY computer is powered by Raspberry Pi, and you can build a wireless server, games, music, a case, and virtually anything else since it's open source. The team behind the campaign tested out 200 prototype kits before putting it on Kickstarter, and it was obviously convincing -- they raised $1.5 million, well over their $100,000 goal.


Diaspora brought together four young programmers from NYU to build an open source personal web server over one summer instead of working or doing any other internships. The personal server stores all your information and shares it with your friends, securely. Their original $10,000 goal was quickly exceeded -- the foursome raised more than $200,000 from almost 6,500 backers on Kickstarter. Their mission is to decentralize the social web, and make sure "privacy and connectedness don't have to be mutually exclusive."



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