- In April, three-person startup Pebble Technology sought to raise $100,000 to make 1,000 wristwatches that can be programmed with different clock faces. Donors on Kickstarter showered them with more than 100 times that amount: $10.3 million.
- Kickstarter is the largest of dozens of sites devoted to crowdfunding, in which donors contribute small sums of money to get a project off the ground.
- Inventors, artists and entrepreneurs post their projects on a Kickstarter page, usually with a video presentation.
- Usually, the contributors get something beyond the satisfaction of knowing they helped turn a dream into reality like a ticket to a theater production, or in the case of Pebble, a programmable watch.
- Starting a project is free, but Kickstarter takes 5 percent of contributions if a project is funded, and Amazon.com Inc. takes another 3 to 5 percent for processing the payments. The funds are usually subject to taxes as well.