Top startups that have used crowdfunding succesfully

Top business ideas using crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a relatively novel way for startups and entrepreneurs to raise money to support their fledgling companies - and sometimes it actually works.

Like most online endeavours, it isn't particularly hard to set up a crowdfunding campaign and start raising small bits of capital from thousands of individuals who find your idea intriguing.

It isn't hard to set up, but it is very hard to raise significant amounts of cash. The truth of the matter is that most people who try crowdfunding don't succeed. For every success story, there are a thousand failures.

You can browse through any number of ideas on two of the better known crowdfunding sites:

You'll notice that a few have raised a fair amount of capital, but most are struggling to make more than a few dollars. So what is it about the ones that succeed that turn them into multi-million dollar smash-hits?

  • Compelling idea: Things that people immediately go "that's cool"
  • Great perks: Offering contributors perks that are fun, valuable, unusual, etc
  • Existing fan base: Doesn't hurt to have a few thousand people in your corner to start with
  • Well presented & professional: Let's face it, we're generally not going to invest in something that looks like a dog's breakfast (unless it's actually a new type of dog's breakfast)

There's more to this list, but really, if you are planning on trying out crowdfunding to raise money for one of your own ideas, then the best thing to do is look at the top earning campaigns and work out what they did right.

So, with further delay, here are the best performing crowdfunding campaigns to date...

1. Coolest cooler

Coolest cooler is the world's most successful crowdfunded campaign

Raised: $13,285,226

Backers: 62,642

2. Ubuntu edge

Ubuntu edge is the most successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo

Raised: $12,814,216

Backers: 27,635

3. Pebble: ePaper watch

Raised: $10,266,845

Backers: 68,929

4. Ouya: Game console

Ouya is a games console that raised over $8 million in crowdfunding

Raised: $8,596,474

Backers: 63,416

5. Pono music

Pono music succesfully raised over $6 million in crowdfunding finance

Raised: $6,225,354

Backers: 18,220

I guess there's one additional attribute of the most funded campaigns that we could add to our list, and that is:

  • Choose the right crowdfunding platform: Kickstarter has 4 out of the top 5 campaigns, and 8 out of the top 10

So, looking at the top 5 business ideas that have, or are, being turned into a reality through crowdfunding, what is that you think makes them stand out from the thousands of other campaigns that aren't as successful?

Share your tips and experiences in the comments.

Tips and advice to save money for small business entrepreneurs. Pic by GotCredit

Starting and running a small business almost inevitably means that money is going to be tight at some stage - often for a prolonged length of time - until the business can start generating a decent stream of revenue.

I'm a strong believer in growing earnings above every other strategy. Saving money doesn't put money on the table, so it is more important to earn faster than to save. But, without efficient use of your financial resources it may be that your startup never makes it to profitability, and that's where money saving tips can be useful.

Small Business Accounting Software Reviews. Pic by Matthew Hine

Bookkeeping, taxes, accounting, and a host of other financial and administrative tasks are vital to keep your small business running smoothly and profitably - even if you hate having to spend countless hours doing it.

In order to stay competitive, companies (in particular, home businesses or small businesses without the resources to hire a dedicated accountant) need to make use of cutting-edge online accounting systems (i.e. cloud based) that offer huge potential for integrations that can save a lot of man-hours.

Working from home to make money online

Selling online is getting easier and easier every day, from a technical point of view, because the technology to handle online transactions (like online shopping cart builders) is fast, easy to use, and cheap.

Home office furniture. Pic by Joey Parsons

The humble home office desk and chair have come along way. Now we have adjustable ergonomically designed swivel chairs that do everything but make the coffee. In fact, it can't be too long before we get a smartchair - an iChair - that can control the coffee machine.

But, as it turns out, making yourself as comfortable and supported (in all the right places) may not be as good for you as it seems. In fact, the less our bodies have to do the weaker they can become and more susceptible to injury and other problems.

Our favourite blogs for entrepreneurs. Pic by jakeandlindsay

Despite spending most of my time working on my own startups, I find myself drawn to reading about what other people are up to, or making use of - whether it is new ideas, new marketing strategies & tools, or even inspiring stories. I can't help it. I have to keep tabs on who's doing what and what the latest trends, gadgets & tools are.