Crowdfunding and Education Technology…is it for YOU?


crowd fundingOn Wednesday night I attended an event put on by the Mass Innovation Night folks called “Crowdfunding Innovation.” There were a bunch of entrepreneurs there who are using crowdfunding to raise money…with varying degrees of success.

Many of us have received a crowdfunding appeal.  I’ve been considering it myself for my new business.  I don’t know a lot about it yet, but I do understand that the different platforms have very different rules, not only for what kinds of products and projects can be crowdfunded, but how the whole money part works as well.  But you can pretty much find a platform to match your needs, regardless of what you want to crowdfund.  You can even send yourself on a trip or pay for your college tuition by crowdfunding.

Of course, you know my interest is always ed tech, so I thought I would poke around on a couple of different platforms and see what kinds of interesting products I could find…who knows, maybe we can help get them funded!

Kickstarter: The product I’m highlighting from Kickstarter is an app that guides students through designing a science experiment. The creator made this app based on her dissertation research and teachers and students have been using the first version for several years. Now Kelly is seeking funds to update the app…it’s very functional, but not very pretty, and she has some user change requests to address. One of the things I like best about Kelly is that she knows that the word “data” is plural, not singular! 🙂  With Kickstarter, if Kelly doesn’t raise her target amount of money, she gets NONE of it! So help her out…she only needs $400 more by Tuesday!

Indiegogo: The product I’m sharing from Indiegogo is an app called “Feeling Great” from the Fred Rogers Center.  These guys are working on a language and early literacy app for young children. Since the app isn’t made, I obviously can’t recommend it. But I think the Fred Rogers Center does good work.  And these guys only have 10 more hours as I write this for their fundraising.  They have a ways to go, but luckily, with Indiegogo, they can keep whatever they make, even if they come up short of their goal.

What I learned from this exercise (and this is part of what the entrepreneurs at the Crowdfunding Innovation event shared as well) is that it simply is not easy to just stumble on a product or project you want to fund.  Even using keywords like “education” and “technology” and “kids” didn’t help.  It took me two hours to find the two projects I mentioned….and I don’t know the people doing them, so I have no vested interest in whether or not they get funded.  Companies or individuals that decide to crowdfund need a great marketing plan and a lot of persistence.

Are you crowdfunding an ed tech product or project?  How has your experience been?  Share what you’re doing with us all….maybe we can help!

About karen mahon

i am a behavior and learning scientist. i hold an ed.d. in educational psychology and am trained as an instructional designer. i have spent more than 15 years working in education and instructional software design.
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One Response to Crowdfunding and Education Technology…is it for YOU?

  1. Erin Hommeland says:

    Kelly’s Kickstarter project was funded! YAY. Still 8 hours left of her campaign. She can still use all the help she can get since her goal was only half of what she really needs. The more she gets here, the less she has to raise independently.

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