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Startups Using Crowdfunding

window-with-turbineTwo friends have started businesses, one for profit and one a non-profit, that combine crowdfunding with other techniques. One in the US and one in Europe, and in totally unrelated fields.

The first concerns nature conservation and the second concerns the maker movement. What is interesting is how both have used the process of social media and crowdfunding to go about changing the world in their separate spheres.

Just like how manufacturers of wind turbines use similar techniques to airplane manufacturers when designing their turbine blades. Thanks to the University of Washington’s Conservation magazine for the image above.

 The Natural Capital Network

naturalcapitalnetwork-logo-smallThe Natural Capital Network has been established by a former MBA student of mine, Galen Guerrero-Murphy. It’s all about capitalizing conservation. Galen set it up to to advance land conservation efforts throughout the United States and beyond.

He says, “Our mantra, Capitalizing Conservation, speaks to our commitment to further land conservation and ecological preservation with innovative capital solutions and project networking.” They aim to collectively reverse trends in declining biodiversity and ecosystem health and positively transform our relationship with the Earth and our communities by connecting with the land and supporting ecological conservation.

What is specially interesting is how the Natural Capital Network has brought crowdfunding to the service of non-profit goals. Rather than simply raising money for land conservation, the Network acts a funding platform for land conservation projects. They exist to help people invest and engage in land conservation efforts . The first project in Bali, offers backers different levels of reward, just as in a standard crowdfunding project.


crowdroosterCrowdrooster is an amazing combination of crowdfunding and the maker community. Founded in 2013 by my friend Francesco Gatti, an Italian working in London, Crowdrooster is the new place to crowdfund tech products. From wearables to home tech everything we own is about to be reforged and become part of the Internet of Things. The Maker Movement, a passionate army of modern inventors, is out there right now working to unleash this wave of reimagined products.

Based in London’s extraordinary Makerversity, a huge new making and learning space in the historic Somerset House, Crowdrooster went live in April 2014. Crowdrooster has launched with a crowdfunding service and plans to steadily roll out functions to become a comprehensive online, hardware creation tool.

The first product is Cromatica, which creates an ambient experience by fusing light and sound. It is a hybrid digital product: table lamp and speaker, controlled through a gestural interface and remotely through an App. The makers’ ambition is to create synesthesia between light, sound and gesture. With 40 days to go, Cromatica has already raised nearly its targeted 20,000 Euros.

PLEASE NOTE: There is tons of useful stuff on Startup Owl, a site that’s been going for a dozen years. So keep browsing, but know that the founder, Will, now devotes most of his time and energy to his new website that you should definitely visit:

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