The Best Crowdfunding Campaigns

Posted on: 03/09/2014

www.alleywatch.comCrowdfunding has quickly become a massive industry, which was worth around $5.1billion in 2013. This figure will only increase as more and more businesses, organisations and entrepreneurs move to Crowdfunding to fund their ventures. I look at some of the most effective crowdfunding campaigns.

New and exciting products and inventions tend to capture people’s imaginations and can really make for profitable crowdfunding campaigns. Of course the product alone, however amazing, isn’t enough to persuade people to prise with their valuable cash. A crowdfunding campaign is only as good as its video as this is what really lures people in.

Pixelstick is a brilliant example. The short video brilliantly and engagingly demonstrates how the product reimagines the opportunity of light painting. In layman’s terms the product allows users to capture moving light through long exposure photography and manipulate and combine it with your own images.

Pixelstick 1

In 90 seconds their video shows the visually stunning possibilities that the product allows users to make. It shows the end product before simply explaining what it is and how it works. This makes for a more engaging opening as it excites the viewer immediately and then explains (in a nut-shell) how it works, why it’s unique and how people can help realise the product.

They mention that they have a fully functioning prototype and manufactures lined up and just need funding from the general public to realise the project. This is a comprehensive and clever way to use Crowdfunding. The only thing standing between the creators, Steve McGuigan and Duncan Frazier, and their end goal is the cash that you (the general public) can give them. People love the idea of helping a brilliant new product or technology being created and they also offered a range of enticing rewards to donators. For instance a $250 donation will guarantee you one of the first pixelsticks to be made.

They raised $628,000, which far exceeded their $110,000 goal!


The Tile App is another example of a new product capturing people’s imagination and more importantly their donations. This is a small key-ring that can be attached to valuables and tracks their whereabouts. So the frantic morning search for your keys or wallet could be a thing of the past.


This is a great example of finding a universal problem and creating a simple product which solves the problem. Simplicity is the key to great crowdfunding campaigns and business in general.

The Tile earned $2.6million from their 49,586 backers on their crowdfunding campaign. The sheer volume of backers, who were each rewarded with the product, has caused huge shipping delays. By huge I’m talking around a year, and by this time the market has been flooded with similar products, which are trying to tap into this market.

Co-Founder of Tile, Mike Farley was interviewed about the pitfalls of crowdfunding and how they’re working to meet the huge demand. So, hitting your goal is just the start and you need to be prepared for what comes afterwards.


3Doodler is mainstream, portable 3-D printer that they have re-imagined as a pen. 3-D printers are all the rage within manufacturing, either small-scale or industrial scale, and finding a way to recreate the effect of a 3-D printer in an affordable way was a stroke of genius.


Wobbleworks are the company behind 3Doodler, and the product allows people to draw 3-D structures. The pen works by letting you draw with quick-drying, heated plastic that solidifies almost instantly. This brings to life any doodle you draw and creates immediate and distinctive sculptures.

Again they had a catchy video, which showed the possibilities of this product before issuing their call to action. They raised $2.4million, far outstripping their $30,000 goal.

I think the reason for this crowdfunding success, was how they allowed anyone to achieve the effects of a 3-D printer for a very affordable $99.


Finally, and closer to home for us Brits, was indie film Third Contact’s campaign to be premiered at BFI Imax. Director Simon Horrocks made Third Contact using one camera for around £4,000. The quality of the teaser trailer and the stills, made the tiny budget very impressive, which inspired people to donate.

Third Contact

Also, securing the UK’s largest cinema screen for the premiere was a massive fillet. This crowdfunding campaign successfully raised its £15,000 goal. The premiere was also screened globally online, with a live Twitter feed available for the Q&A afterwards.

I interviewed Simon Horrocks at the time for ONIN London about his proactive Twitter campaign, in which he spent months starting conversations on Twitter about the campaign. There were also a series of enticing rewards available to donators.

I think all of these crowdfunding success stories show the need to make people feel part of something exciting and worthwhile. You need a very strong, engaging video that shows the potential of the project and quickly explains what you will gain from donating. Also, if you can find a universal problem that you are able to solve with donations, when you’re well on your way to crowdfunding success.

Do you agree or have you got other crowdfunding stories that you’d like to mention. Please comment below or Tweet us and we’ll get back to you. Please share this post on the social media links below if you enjoyed it.