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Crowdfunding for Startup Capital — And Market Intel

Crowdfunding for Startup Capital — And Market Intel

Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms, where entrepreneurs and other creative professionals can raise money from consumers, have become a popular way for entrepreneurs to get funding without giving up equity. But these platforms can also provide valuable market insights and other benefits.

Tom Gerhardt (on left) and Dan Provost raised more than $130,000 in one campaign on Kickstarter. But the market-research insight they received from the process made the experience all the more valuable.

Just ask Dan Provost, 28, co-founder of Studio Neat, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based product-design studio that recently launched two successful Kickstarter campaigns — raising more than $250,000.

In Studio Neat’s first campaign, which sought to raise money to manufacture an iPhone 4 tripod mount and stand called the Glif, backers who pledged $20 or more received a Glif. Backers who pledged $250 received a Glif, plus dinner in New York City with the creators and recognition on the website as an executive contributor. When Studio Neat launched the campaign in October 2010, it hoped to raise $10,000 and sell about 500 Glifs. Instead, it attracted more than 5,000 backers and received more than $130,000.

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