Startup alternatives to Kickstarter?
November 23, 2011 12:57 PM   Subscribe

Kickstarter is out: I'm not an American, and don't know any that can front my project. What's the best alternative?

Project context: relevant in finding the right home, possibly –– The project in question is a fairly ambitious attempt to “game up” creative writing: a Web site where users can battle each other in head-to-head writing contests, where they’re given random challenges and 30 minutes to write. As the timer counts down, site visitors can watch their stories get written live on the site.

At the moment, it's made it as far as beta: the bare functions work, but the site is kind of ugly, and we need development money to really push it from a barely functional site to something with league creation options, badges, levels and rewards – in short, to turn it into something that attracts and excites gamers with an interest in writing.

Kickstarter was the obvious go-to for this. But it's out of the question: I'm Canadian, as is my partner (the programmer). Options seem to include RocketHub, Ulule, Indiegogo, and 8-Bit Funding.

Do you have experience with any of these sites; if so, does one of them seem to be a better fit for my project?


Is there an even better, more successful, crowdfunding option that I've somehow totally overlooked?


Is there a Kickstarter hack that can get me around this stupid Amazon Accounts limitation, without having to subject a U.S. friend to the organizational and tax nightmares of having thousands of dollars flow their bank accounts?
posted by Shepherd to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
IndieGoGo is the most popular alternative to Kickstarter I've seen and they'll wire you your money in Canada for $25.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:21 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My partner is a board member for Awesome Foundation Calgary which is one of many Awesome Foundation groups around North America and the rest of the world. You're in Quebec? They have foundations in Montreal and Ottawa. $1000.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 1:52 PM on November 23, 2011

Seconding Montreal Awesome Foundation.

I have also heard about ulule: "Anybody, of any age or nationality, living anywhere in the world can join and participate".
posted by bru at 2:32 PM on November 23, 2011

Best answer: Currently using indiegogo and love it. Several BIG advantages over Kickstarter which make me recommend it even for US-based people:

1) You keep the money whether you reach the goal or not, and you can withdraw it within a week of donation.

2) In partnership with Fractured Atlas, donations can be tax deductible (at least in the US, not sure how this works for overseas)

3) Money can we wired right to your bank account, no horrific Paypal experiences
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:40 PM on November 23, 2011

Response by poster: You're almost certainly wasting your time with any of them unless you have a model to monetize this and can trade equity for funding.

I understand the first half of that sentence, but not the second. There's a monetization plan in place for when the site is up and running, but by "trading equity for funding" are you just talking about the rewards system these sites usually provide?
posted by Shepherd at 9:06 AM on November 24, 2011

"trading equity for funding" -- think stock market. People provide working capital in exchange for partial ownership of the company and its profits.
posted by artlung at 12:16 PM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

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