Crowdfunding: Bridge Between the Innovator and Capitalist
Crowdfunding sites have become incredible launching pads for entrepreneurs from all over the globe.
The short history of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo shows that if you have the right idea, there are people willing to support it and invest in it.
There are four basic forms of crowdfunding: reward-based, donation-based, equity funding and debt funding.
Indiegogo and Kickstarter are both reward-based platforms. This style of funding accepts small donations and, in return, provides the donator with the product or another token of thanks. With donation funding, there isn’t generally a reward, but often the donator will receive tax receipt. This funding is generally used by campaigns looking to do some sort of charitable work, like building a school in Africa.
The other two forms of funding are more business investments. Equity funding requires supporters to make a larger donation (at least $1,000) and, instead of a reward, they receive equity in the company. AngelList and Crowdfunder are two of the more popular equity funding sites, but there are plenty more.
Finally, debt funding. With this type of funding, the donators act as a bank, donating money with no expectation of a reward or equity but a reimbursement of the investment with interest. Upstart and Lending Club are two of the more popular sites for debt funding.
Next: Crowdfunding and technology
People are always looking to support the latest technologies. For instance, Pebble Technology has had more success with Kickstarter than any other project in Kickstarter’s history.
Pebble Technology introduced its first campaign in 2012 and quickly became the most funded product – ever. It raised $10,266,845 –10,266 times its goal. That campaign led to the development of “the Pebble,” which many consider the first-ever smartwatch. Pebble Time followed that by raising $20,338,986 – reaching its original goal of $1,000,000 in just one hour – re-establishing itself as the most funded campaign in history,
Advances in health-care technology are a hotbed for funding. Projects like Lumafit, an interactive fitness coach with heart age tracking, was backed by more then a thousand people on Kickstarter. My Memory App caters to people dealing with Alzheimer’s or autism. It also received full funding from nearly 100 different donors.
It isn’t always gum drops and lollipops, though. Seth Quest received funding in 2011 to create Hanfree, a hands-free iPad stand that could be attached anywhere in the house. Problem is Quest never negotiated manufacturing costs before receiving the funding and discovered he couldn’t afford to make the product. Long story short: Quest was sued by one of his investors and wound up claiming bankruptcy over the project. Lesson here: make sure all your ducks are in a row before you start asking for money.
Click through to read about recent campaigns mixing technology and health to create a variety of personal health-monitoring devices.
The OneRing is a small ring that monitors patients Parkinson’s-related movements. Utkarsh Tandon, a 15-year-old high-school sophomore, was inspired to develop the ring after seeing how the disease affected Muhammad Ali as he lit the Olympic torch in 1996 – before Tandon was even born — and upon learning Michael J. Fox suffered from the same disease. He made the decision to put his knowledge of programming to work – helping to combat and better manage Parkinson’s disease.
The size of the ring allows patients to wear it throughout the day. It tracks their movements and provides a report that is accurate to the minute. The data is transferred to the OneRing iPhone app as well as the patient’s physician. The information allows doctors to create a personalized medication plan, ultimately helping patients better cope with and treat their symptoms. To visit the OneRing campaign page, click here.
SPO2+ Health Ring
The SPO2+ Health Ring was developed by a group of engineers, designers and artists from Silicon Valley. At five grams, it is the lightest health smart ring. The ring uses the patient’s heart rate to determine their blood oxygen saturation, as well as collecting data for respiratory rate, body temperature and movement. Its 4GB of memory allows patients to be monitored for a longer period without having to upload data. It also monitors the patient’s sleep, snoring or sleep apnoea (measured by decreased blood oxygen levels) and assesses its severity.
The SPO2+ app is able to analyze the information and provide data for walking, running, standing and sitting. It also monitors heart rate before and after exercise, determining recovery rate. There is an advanced version of the app, which allows other variables such as diet, emotional state and medication records.
The SPO2+ is designed to help you monitor and understand your lifestyle so you can make educated decision and build a healthy lifestyle. To visit SPO2+ Kickstarter campaign page, click here.
WIWE is a pocket heart monitor that reads the patient’s ECG (ElectroCardioGraphy) and calculates the risks of heart attack and stroke. The device works in partnership with an online app, allowing data to be analyzed on either a smartphone or tablet.
The device is easy to use. Simply place your thumbs on the sensors until it notifies you to release them. Within seconds, you will be able to scroll through your results on the evaluation screen.
The app is user friendly with four major readings: the ECG notifies the patient of any abnormalities; the VH (Ventricular Heterogenity) reading shows the risk of sudden cardiac arrest; the AF (Atrial Fibrillation) displays your risk of a stroke; and blood oxygen level and heart rate.
WIWE also acts as a pedometer, pulse oximeter and calorie counter. The personal profile of the user allows WIWE to adjust its readings based on height, weight and age. To see the WIWE campaign page, click here.
Jonny and Louise Morris, a brother-and-sister team, sparked the idea for Nudgu after experiencing dementia first hand with their parents and grandparents. This reminder app allows you to balance caring for your loved one with the rest of your commitments.
The app sends reminders directly to the patient’s landline, reminding them of commitments as well as medication reminders. The choice of sending messages to the landline was intentional as many people with dementia struggle with unfamiliar technology.
The app is easy to use: you record a short message in advance, and Nudgu will phone your family member at the specified time with the message – even if your smartphone is off.
Because the Nudgu app is designed to deliver messages to landlines only, it is currently compatible only with U.K. and U.S. numbers. However, if the campaign is able to reach its goal of 5,000 euros, the money will be used to move the product into new territories.
No other reminder app can deliver recorded messages to traditional home phones. To visit the Nudgu Reminder App’s campaign page, click here.