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5 Questions

Innovation and Crowdfunding

November 12, 2015          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week, we chat about crowdfunding and its place in the innovation ecosystem.

The creative class — knowledge workers in industries like biotech, design, gaming, and software — need new models and structures for collaborating and interacting. Crowdfunding’s open model means that nearly anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and a good idea can start up a project and hopefully, get some money behind it. For this reason crowdfunding is great for testing markets, and launching new product categories. But for all its benefits, it also come with some high risk potential.

Recently the TechJect Robotic Dragonfly drone project — funded to the tune of $1 million in 2012 on Indiegogo — disintegrated when the company ran out of money. And it’s far from the first.

And the Glowing Plant synthetic biology project — a great example of how cutting-edge technology and innovation could receive crowdfunded backing — set off a series of events that led to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) being banned on Kickstarter.

Is crowdfunding Wild West capitalism for the digital age? The new face of funding for innovation? Or just a flash in the pan?

Resources
Kickstarter
Indiegogo
Another 1 Million Crowdfunded Gadget Company Collapses