One of the most popular of the reward-based crowdfunders is Kickstarter. Founded by a trio of friends in New York City, the 3-year-old company claims it launched nearly 28,000 projects in 2011. Its website is a bazaar of half-baked films, books, fashion accessories, nifty gadgets and high-tech marvels. Kickstarter offers creators the chance to share their idea with a curious, sometimes generous online audience in exchange for a 5 percent cut of the donations. That formula has led to some spectacular successes.
Kickstarter pays off only if the funding goal is reached.
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