Have you ever felt like you had an idea for the next big thing, but no way to see it through? Inventions and creative projects require time, planning, expertise and money. You might have loads of the first three, but if you don’t have the last one then your idea will never become a reality. Or worse, someone else will do it first. But that doesn’t have to be the case because there are some great websites that can help you take your ideas to the next level. Check out these 5 great sites that can help bring your ideas to life.
Kickstarter Like the name implies, Kickstarter is a great place for creative people to kickstart their projects. Since its launch in 2009 the site has helped fund thousands of new products and projects. Kickstarter is ideal for inventors, artists or anyone creative. Projects relating to art, design, film and technology tend to succeed.
How it works:
Kickstarter uses an “all or nothing” model of crowd funding. So if a project’s goals aren’t met then money never changes hands, which minimizes risk for all parties. Each fundraising page has a video, a goal and a deadline. Backers are given rewards based on their contribution, which can be anything from a credit on the company’s website to a prototype of a product.
The creators of Coffee Joulies raised $306,944 (about 32 times their original goal) on Kickstarter. Because they raised so much money they were able to manufacture their product in the USA.
Lucky Ant Lucky Ant puts a hyper local spin on crowd funding by focusing on local businesses. Every week the site features a small business that needs money in order to expand or offer new services. The idea is that by supporting local businesses, people are investing in their own neighborhood. Currently Lucky Ant on serves New York City.
How it works:
Similar to Kickstarter, Lucky Ant campaigns each have a goal and a deadline. Business owners can also offer rewards for different pledge amounts, such as free products or services.
Manhattan based fitness studio, Bari raised $5,000 in order to trademark their unique workout program. Without funding the owners had no way to protect their brand, but now, who knows–Bari may become the next P90X or Zumba.
Unlike crowd funding sites, Quirky doesn’t help fund good ideas–they actualize them. Anyone with an idea for a product can post it on Quirky for a chance to turn it into a reality.
How it works:
Anyone can post an idea, which then gets evaluated for 30 days by the Quirky community. Behind the scenes, the site is constantly tracking which ideas are the most popular. If the Quirky staff finds a popular product that they think might actually succeed, they’ll mark it “under consideration.” Every week at least 2 ideas are chosen to go into production. Ideas that aren’t chosen can be resubmitted to Quirky or taken elsewhere.
Every product in the Quirky Shop is a success story. Innovative new products like Digits texting gloves and Cordies started as ideas on Quirky.
Cool Material is a hobby-turned-profession for online publisher, Tim Jacobsen. After starting a top 300 Internet retailer and holding a couple of SVP positions, his passion for social media, online marketing, and entrepreneurship drove him to branch out on his own. Started in 2008, the men's lifestyle blog covers everything from entertainment and technology, to art and style. Cool Material reaches out to over 600,000 readers each month, but the site’s hip, of-the-moment content and honest reviews continues to grow that number daily. Outside of his Internet world, Tim enjoys bicycling, poker, and traveling with his family.