UK entrepreneurs hope for fresh chances as Kickstarter crosses Atlantic


The crowdfunding website Kickstarter has helped launch projects including a commercial spacesuit and an open source submarine. Now the UK’s creative entrepreneurs will get a chance to bring their ideas to life when the investment platform crosses the Atlantic.

Until now only open to US-registered projects, Kickstarter allows film-makers, app designers, video game creators and anyone with a smart business idea to appeal for small amounts of funding to help get their idea to market.

Individuals set a funding target for their project and investors receive different levels of rewards in proportion to their financial involvement.

The New York company began in 2009 as a mechanism to help community arts projects. It has since helped fund more than 20,000 projects, with several reaching their target of $1 million.

Kickstarter successes include the Pebble, an electronic paper Smart Watch, which raised more than $3m (£1.8 million) in less than a week on the site and eventually totalled $10 million in pledges.

It has generated seed-funding for an indie film starring Lindsay Lohan, a motion-controlled Sword game, and a Nasa engineer's submarine, designed for pollution monitoring or species identification in Antarctica, which passed its $20,000 target inside 24 hours.

The site, which uses Amazon’s payment system, announced in a tweet: "People in the UK will be able to launch projects on Kickstarter starting this autumn.”

Currently UK entrepreneurs are only able to raise funds if they partner with a US organisation. Last month, Stainless Games, the Isle of Wight company behind video game Carmageddon, raised $625,143 through the site, to enable them to create a sequel. Stainless had to set up a separate company in the US in order to qualify to use Kickstarter.

The UK launch will help artists like Julia Vogl, who is seeking Kickstarter funds to support Home, her “self-initiated cultural Olympiad” public art installation in Peckham, south east London.

The US-born Vogl, who is recording the voices of Peckham residents and embedding MP3 files of their conversations inside a wooden “home”, has received 30 pledges totalling $2,226 with 16 days to go before the appeal ends.

Kickstarter is also being used by London-based comic book artists Peter Cooper and Adam Burn to create an “epic-scale, action-intensive, sci-fi work” called Telikos Protocol. The duo need $9,600 to continue their work and have so far raised under $3,000.

Although Kickstarter claims to be the “world’s largest funding forum for creative projects”, only 44 per cent of appeals meet their funding goals. Dance projects are most successful, statistics suggest. It is launching into a crowded market for fund-raising sites in the UK, where Crowdfunder, and Indiegogo already operate.

Musicians will hope to emulate the $1.2 million raised via Kickstarter this year by Boston singer Amanda Palmer to fund her latest album, a record figure for a crowd-sourced music project.

This week soul veteran Tina Turner signed up to raise funds for her new album through Bruce Foxton, former bassist with The Jam, is offering to play a round of golf with whoever gives £300 through PledgeMusic, to fund a new album featuring his former bandmate Paul Weller.

The founders

Kickstarter began in the New York living room of Perry Chen, who along with co-founders Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler, shared a vision of a web platform which would help creatives get their dream projects off the ground without relying on big corporations.

Within a year, Kickstarter was named by TIME magazine one of the “Best Inventions of 2010” and is now responsible for funding 10% of the “indie” films screened at the Sundance festival.

More than $175 million has been raised so far with Kickstarter taking 5% from each funding pledge and Amazon pocketing a further stake for the use of its payment mechanism.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

    £70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

    Ashdown Group: European Recruitment Manager - Cheshire - up to £48,000

    £40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: European Recrui...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions