I love it when I discover a new website that is designated towards helping people. I am also a fan of creativity. I think if you have an idea brewing in your brain and want to get it moving and off the ground, you shouldn't let anything get in your way. I have a dream of opening a coffee shop someday, or at least being a part of the opening process. One of the biggest hindrances that I have run into in the past is funding my efforts. It may come as a surprise to some of you (sarcasm) but I don't have tons of money lying around to put towards opening a business like a coffee shop. I have gone as far as starting to write up a business plan and even ordered some mug samples to see what kind of color schemes I'd like for my shop. All this is more a hobby for me at the moment, but someday it is a legitimate undertaking that I may attempt provided I can find the funds.
While I was away in Indiana, I got the joy of listening to Brent Dixon, one of the speakers for our meet up. In his presentation, he made reference to a website called Kickstarter. Kickstarter.com is a website that is designated to help fund your creative causes. People with their ideas can post on this website in hopes that they get supporters. There are tons of causes that are sponsored by this website including documentaries, websites, theater performances, restaurants and everything in between. People post their ideas, set different money goals and can even set up different perks to pledging money towards the cause. For instance, if I was going to open a coffee shop, I could set different price perks. So if you pledge $50, you get a personalized mug whenever you come in. If you pledge $100, I'd give you a mug and t shirt with our logo on it, and so forth. While I haven't used the website yet, it looks like a fun and innovative way to be able to fund a cause or project. In fact, a New York restaurant is taking this idea and letting the people decide on everything from the color scheme to the menu items.
Now there are guidelines to using the website. You can't just create a cause and raise money. There are rules that state you can't use the website for paying back college tuition or helping buy you a camera or things like that. You have to have specific goals and aspirations for your cause. You also can't use it to fund a charity. Regardless, if you stick to the guidelines and your project meets the requirements, it could be a fun and innovative way to raise money towards a goal. A complete list of the rules and guidelines can be found here.
So there you have it. The next time you have an awesome idea and need funding, check out Kickstarter! It may be the site that helps you start something big.
What are your innovative ideas?