Smart cities
Smart cities

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

3.2 Crowdfunding

Described image
Figure 10 Crowdfunding.

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 5 Exploring crowdfunding

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

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

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

You’re almost at the end of Week 5. Next, try the quiz that wraps up the week.

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 50 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, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 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 prospectus371