Monday, February 3, 2014

Best in Crowdfunding: February 2014

I've found some more really incredible products and campaigns that are currently seeking crowdfunding. If you have any crowdfunding projects you'd like to see featured, please submit them for future posts!


I personally am not a coffee drinker, but this is still a project I can get behind. The international coffee industry is mindboggling. With the millions (billions?) of people who drink coffee everyday, you'd think that coffee farmers could earn a decent living. Unfortunately, within the current system, there are too many stops between the coffee farmer and the consumer to make it a lucrative trade for the farmers. There are a number of fair trade coffee companies springing up trying to remedy the situation, but this project takes it a step farther. Bonaverde has developed a machine that will allow users to roast and process their own coffee from raw beans. They can purchase the beans directly from the farmers, skipping all of the middlemen that usually come in between. This shorter process will enable farmers to ask for a fair price for their product, while also getting better prices for consumers. It's a win-win for both parties. Bonaverde is also setting up an online interface that will connect users directly with the farmers, providing a market place for the buying and selling of raw coffee beans. I was surprised by how affordable the machine is. It seems like a no brainer for any conscientious coffee lover. Check out the video below.
Campaign Goal: $50,000
Deadline: Feb 14
Platform: IndieGoGo

Heatworks Model 1

Tankless water heaters work by instantly heating the water when the faucet is turned on, rather than keeping a large tank of water hot all the time. It's easy to understand why these heaters are more energy efficient than traditional hot water tanks. But they're still pretty expensive, and the options and requirements one has to understand before purchasing and installing such a tank are pretty overwhelming. The Heatworks Model 1 is relatively inexpensive. It uses state-of the art water heating technologies and apparently it can fit in just about any home. Check out the video for more info.
Campaign Goal: $125,000
Deadline: Feb 16
Platform: Kickstarter

Keepod Unite

Here's a fascinating little USB device that will house an entire operating system. The idea is to give people access to personal computing capabilities without forcing them to buy a computer or learn how to use multiple systems. Creators of the device hope to launch a pilot program in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Sponsoring the device for someone in Mathare is very affordable ($17) and the Keepods are also available to backers. Backers also have the option to get five and give five. These devices could be great tools for empowering people here in our own communities, so I love that option!
Campaign Goal: $38,000
Deadline: Feb 14
Platform: IndieGoGo

Keepod software could be life-changing for people without access to their own computers!

The Love Mark

This one is super fun and, if you're looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gesture, super timely. (Even if you're not into V-day, it's still pretty great.) The LoveMark will be an architectural monument to the best thing in the world: Love. Funders will have a cube inscribed with their personal love message. The cubes will be used to build the monument itself. Take a look, because the design is really gorgeous. Obviously the message of love is a positive one, and art is a wonderful tool for inspiring people to be better to one another. But if that wasn't enough, the creators of this project are going to donate a portion of the funds to charity. The best part about the project is that the creators haven't chosen a location to build the monument yet. It's up to the contributors to suggest locations and then vote! How great would it be to see this awesome structure built right here in Buffalo? It could be the BuffaLoveMark! So I hope my fellow BuffaLovers will contribute and suggest a building location right here in the Queen City. Check out the video below for details about this project.
Campaign Goal: $175,000
Deadline: Feb 15
Platform: IndieGoGo

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