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Kickstarter surge continues in Boston; panel discussion on April 19th

Posted by Scott Kirsner  April 6, 2012 09:05 AM

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Hardly a day goes by that I don't hear about a new project that's trying to raise money on Kickstarter. There are Emerson College student films pulling in $1,000, camera case designers collecting $24,000, and wearable data storage startups raising $13,000.

The New York-based site lets artists, designers, and entrepreneurs set a fundraising goal and essentially run an online telethon; backers at various levels get different kinds of payouts, from a digital download of an album to a limited edition iPad case.

I'd missed the fact that last year, two Berklee College of Music students used the site to raise $7,200; the money went toward recording and making a video for "The Boston Song," a pop anthem for the city.

And just yesterday, Tufts student Brett Andler e-mailed about his Kickstarter project: trying to raise $10,000 for a game called Whozit. It's a version of the guessing game "Guess Who" that taps into your collection of Facebook friends.

I've written here about how the MIT spin-out Supermechanical used Kickstarter to raise $550,000 to design a new kind of wireless sensor, and also talked about the larger crowdfunding trend in my Boston Globe column.

And later this month, the folks at the Venture Café in Cambridge have put together an interesting panel that I'm moderating: "Killing It On Kickstarter: Running successful campaigns for new products and creative projects." It features four entrepreneurs and artists who've used the site to raise money for everything from a new brand of microwave popcorn to a documentary about the heyday of radio station WBCN ($114,000!). It's free, and it happens on April 19th from 6 to 7 PM. Hope to see you there...

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Innovation and technology news that matters, on a new website from the Boston Globe, featuring Scott Kirsner and other original reporting.

About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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More from Scott


March 3: Web Innovators Group
Demos, drinks, and schmoozing at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge.

March 7-8: MassDigi Game Challenge
Competition for aspiring game developers... plus panels and keynotes related to the business of play.

April 3-4: Mass Biotech Annual Meeting
Issues facing the region's life sciences community.