CASH FOR an­swers

Crowd-fund­ing’s driv­ing many of tech’s Big Ideas, but the Indiegogo big-wig says it’s now about sourc­ing in­for­ma­tion as much as money

Australian T3 - - OPINION -

From per­sonal drones and 3D print­ing to fit­ness bands and the in­ter­net of things, the cur­rent big trends in tech­nol­ogy aren’t orig­i­nat­ing in mas­sive firms, they’re the prod­ucts of start-ups and crowd-fund­ing. There have never been more in­ter­est­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for the lit­tle guy or gal with a great idea to play side by side with the big boys.

There’s a real punk ethic to this move­ment, with in­di­vid­u­als mak­ing huge in-roads into ar­eas that have pre­vi­ously been con­trolled by a hand­ful of very big play­ers. It’s open, like YouTube or An­droid is open, cut­ting down the gate­keep­ers and get­ting money and power down into the hands of the people. It’s also not for noth­ing that 40 per cent of suc­cess­fully funded projects are started by women; crowd-fund­ing is re­as­sur­ingly demo­cratic.

But while it’s al­ways nice to meet a fund­ing tar­get quickly, there’s a wider so­cio-eco­nomic pic­ture here, and crowd-fund­ing must evolve. With more than 190,000 Indiegogo projects to date and grow­ing, we have seen in­creas­ingly pro­fes­sional se­rial en­trepreneurs re­turn and pros­per. But we are also see­ing more fresh-faced fundrais­ers with eyes wide, say­ing, “Wow, we raised all this money, now we have to ac­tu­ally make some­thing.”

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