The 8 Most Successful Kickstarter Campaigns Ever
With Kickstarter, the American dream might be more attainable than ever. No longer are people reliant on banks or wealthy investors to fund a project or start a business. Since its birth in 2009, Kickstarter has helped fund 135,000 user-created projects from around the world. People can donate in small amounts and, should the project be funded, will receive a product (a T-shirt, game, food…anything at all can be produced) in return.
For entrepreneurs, Kickstarter can be a lifesaver. Here are some of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns to date — will yours make the list?
You have probably seen this sleek gadget on sale in every electronics department, but its debut came on Kickstarter with the site’s first massive success. The Pebble is a smartwatch that uses e-ink technology. When paired with your phone, the Pebble watch can vibrate when you receive an email or text, display incoming calls and even has a fitness tracker. The product had $10,266,845 pledged and was 10,266 percent funded. Pebble showed the power of Kickstarter and how it can be used to launch a product.
The Coolest is marketed as the coolest cooler you have ever seen. With a built in blender, USB port, waterproof speaker, a bottle opener and much more, it has everything you need to keep the party rolling. The Coolest is the most funded Kickstarter campaign ever, earning $13,285,226 from 62,642 backers. It is expected to be released in February 2015 and will be given to several thousand backers who already paid for the product.
LeVar Burton revived his wildly popular children’s show with a Kickstarter campaign in the summer of 2014. Burton’s new project brings the show’s signature method of interactive books to 10,000 classrooms across the country as well as over the web, mobile devices and even video game consoles. Much of the material will be offered for free to classrooms in need. The Reading Rainbow project set the Kickstarter record for most donors ever, at 105,857, and raised $5,408,916. This project tapped into the nostalgia Generation X feels for its television shows, and will introduce a new generation to the program.
This innovative new way to play games may be the product that makes virtual reality a mass-market technology. The Oculus Rift made its way to Kickstarter in mid-2012, billed as the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games. The project raised $2,437,329 from 9,522 backers and became an instant hit. Soon enough Oculus was showcasing the device at the Electronic Entertainment Expo and the Consumer Electronics Show. In March 2014, Facebook announced its purchase of Oculus for $400 million in cash and $1.6 billion in Facebook stock. The new partnership hopes to release a consumer version of the Oculus Rift in 2015.
Another gaming system, the Ouya uses the Android mobile operating system to create a “micro console.” The project was announced in the summer of 2012 and met its initial fundraising goal in just eight hours. All Ouya systems are also dev kits, which allow anyone to be a developer. The unique open development and app store was enough to raise $8,596,474 from 63,416 backers. In March of 2013, the system shipped to backers and was released at retail just a few months later.
This unique DIY tech product is a simple invention kit for just about everyone. The simple but still complex product allows you to turn anything into a button. This toy debuted on Kickstarter in May of 2012, and quickly raised $568,105 from 11,124 backers. Since its wildly successful campaign, MaKey MaKey has begun preparing itself for retail sales in 2015. It has already become the subject of overwhelming praise for its simple method of inspiring creation with electronics. MaKey Makey is a great example of how Kickstarter provides an outlet for mid-level projects.
Not all Kickstarter campaigns come from relative unknowns; gaming industry staple Obsidian Entertainment came to the site with a gaming concept in late 2012. Project Eternity was billed by the company as the type of game they “have wanted to make for years.” Kickstarter offered them the chance to pursue their idea with the direct support of their core audience rather than a publisher. The project was backed by 73,986 users who pledged $3,986,929 and made it Kickstarter’s most funded video game. The game will be released at retail in early 2015.
Legendary musician Neil Young has long been on record criticizing the quality of digital audio. In 2012, Young founded PonoMusic to provide the highest quality of digital music from major and independent labels. In March 2014, Young put Pono on Kickstarter and instantly received rave reviews. Over 18,000 backers pledged $6,225,354 for the service, which went fully live in October 2014. Young showed how household names could use the service for their ideas and certainly will not be the last to do so.
Turn Your Business Dreams Into Reality
Each of these Kickstarter campaigns began with a dream that turned into an idea. Some of them came from highly successful individuals, but others came from those with little experience. As these examples show, a great idea and some business savvy could make you the head of the next great Kickstarter campaign. If you are looking for a way to gain the credentials and knowledge you need to become a serious businessperson, consider a business degree from Touro University Worldwide. Whether it’s an online MBA or a online bachelor’s degree in business with a focus on entrepreneurship, our flexible and convenient online programs allow you to earn a quality education around your schedule. With experienced instructors, you’ll gain insight into modern business principals and concepts that employers use on a daily basis.
You may be the next Kickstarter success story. Gain the tools you need to make your dream business a reality at TUW. Explore our online school of business today for more information.