News & Perspectives

Crowdfunding the Future: Alternatives to Venture Investment

Crowdfunding the Future: Alternatives to Venture Investment

Perspective// Posted by: Christine Mason / 19 Jul 2013

While open source innovation and crowdsourcing are not new, we’re seeing it being used in new and unexpected ways to fundamentally advance the frontiers of what is possible in sciences. What was once support for art projects and personal creative dreams has moved into full on expressions of interest, evidenced by real money from many people. Micro-investments from science lovers add up to millions of dollars. We know of at least three of our friends that, after considering venture money, went straight to the interested “small money” community – and funded themselves effectively through preorder, without dilution.

  • Jessica Richman at Ubiome ran an Indiegogo campaign to sequence the human microbiome. $351,193 raised of $100,000 Goal
  • Antony Evans and Omri Amrit Drory of the Glowing Plant Project ran a Kickstarter to merge the bioluminescent DNA with plants to grow lightbulbs that don’t use electricity – 8,433 backers with $484,013 pledged of $65,000 goal
  • And the Scanadu Scout, the first Medical Tricorder. The brain child of Walter deBrouwer and team is a scanner packed with sensors designed to read your vital signs and send them wirelessly to your smartphone in a few seconds any time, anywhere. This broke all records, garnering $1,664,375 of its $100,000 Indiegogo campaign goal.

If you can tell your story, and hold out a useful vision, there are no barriers anymore.

Christine Mason
Christine maps new markets for emerging technologies, scouts for strategic expansion opportunities, and guides internal innovation strategies for leading companies.