Inventors and innovators in Britain will soon have a new platform to help them launch their projects, after popular US crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter announced via Twitter that it will finally open itself to contributions from the UK this autumn.
Up until now, the website – which enables users with neat ideas to pitch to its online community in the hope of securing funding – has only allowed individuals and businesses based in the States to ask for donations. The website is powered by Amazon Payments, which means users must have a US bank account, though the UK's more enterprising types have found ways around this hurdle by setting up US branches of their company of partnering with existing American ventures.
Digital Dragon's Den Kickstarter will compete against more than 40 other crowd-sourcing sites currently operating in Britain when it launches, though observers predict it will grab an enviable market share almost immediately due to its illustrious reputation.To date, Kickstarter has helped entrepreneurs and creatives raise over £175 million across more than 60,000 projects, with notable success stories including the Pebble SmartWatch and games like Carmageddon.
According to statistics provided by Kickstarter, less than half of the projects meet their funding goals, with successful ideas generally getting around £6,500. Pledges totalling over six-figures are far from unheard of, however, and the $1 million mark has been broken on seven occasions so far this year. Projects relating to music, film, and video are by far the most common.