Smart cities
Smart cities

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Smart cities

4.3.2 Crowdfunding

Described image
Figure 13

Crowdfunding – it’s not a new approach but it has been revolutionised in recent years by the creation of online crowdfunding platforms. It’s a great way to raise finance – you ask a large number of people to fund your project by each contributing just a small amount of money. There are more than 1,250 crowdfunding platforms worldwide, and in 2014 the total amount raised globally through crowdfunding [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] was $16.2 billion (Canada Media Fund, 2015).

Crowdfunding platforms range from international ones such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo through to locally based ones such as Spacehive. Some target specific markets. Symbid is a global equity crowdfunding platform and BitGiving helps social organisations and individuals.

Crowdfunding can play a vital role in DSI where access to finance is a big barrier in getting project ideas off the ground.

These are the stages in the crowdfunding process.

  • Pitch – you pitch your idea to the crowdfunding platform. You’ll need a project idea, funding target, supporting materials like a video, a clear return for funders, funding deadline, etc.
  • Screening – the platform checks that your pitch meets its criteria. If it’s approved, it goes live on the website.
  • Pledge – people pledge to your project within a set deadline. It could be money or something else like time or an item.
  • Deadline – if you don’t meet your funding target when you reach this some platforms return what you raised to your pledgees, but on other platforms you get what was pledged.
  • Delivery – if you get funded you need to deliver your project.

If you want to find out more about crowdfunding, Nesta’s report is a good start: Working the Crowd: A Short Guide to Crowdfunding and How it Can Work for You (Nesta, 2013).

Activity 4.5

Research some crowdfunding websites and make some notes about the most interesting project you find that has a link to smart cities.

You’re almost at the end of Week 4. Next, try the quiz that wraps up the week.

OUFL_22

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus