In the late 1990’s, crowdfunding made its debut in the music and arts communities. Bands utilized the internet to get fans to fund overseas tours and filmmakers acquired the capital necessary to finish projects through donations solicited from fans online. By 2013, the the United States saw over $5b of annual startup investment raised through crowd source funding efforts.
Today, an ever-growing number of environmentally-friendly and exceptionally innovative projects are taking advantage of crowd sourced funding platforms to build prototypes and try and become the next world-changing product. Below are 5 inspiring examples of green technologies that have achieved their funding goals and then some on the Kickstarter crowdfunding network:
1. Lifepack: Solar Powered & Anti-Theft Backpack
- Over $100k raised of $20k initial goal
- Project funding date: April 28th, 2016
The traditional backpack gets a makeover in this innovative design. Featuring solar-powered USB charging ports, built-in speakers, hidden pockets, and an integrating locking system, the Lifepack provides renewable energy, entertainment, organization, storage, and security for the enterprising and eco-friendly man or woman on-the-go.
Woah. This is kind of overwhelming. We're 100% funded. We raised $20k and I haven't even left the cafe. Thank you!! https://t.co/UQrSGUwfte
— Solgaard (@Solgaard_co) February 29, 2016
2. WindPax: Portable Wind Turbine
- Over $84k raised
- Project funding date: June 7th, 2014
Hikers, campers, and festival goers alike jumped at the chance to become early adopters of WindPax’s portable wind turbine. The promise of a portable and 100% clean energy source, even if only capable of powering small electronic devices, clearly has a strong market. Sadly, as one commenter recently observed on the project page, after “625 days since this campaign was funded (and) 539 days since the estimated delivery date”, the project still has yet to ship to backers. Here’s hoping that things work out, as this project shows big potential.
3. The New Garden Tower – Powering a Fresh Food Revolution
- Over $430k raised
- Project funding date: December 8th, 2014
What do you get when you mix an extremely innovative yet simple design, and equal parts soil, compost, and red wriggler worms? Apparently an astoundingly successful crowd sourced funding effort for starters. The New Garden Tower markets itself as the “world’s most advanced container garden.” With the ability to house 50 healthy plants in just 4 square fee of space, that claim may not be hyperbole at all.
Green Business People and Planet Award by Green America: Garden Tower Project https://t.co/FPVFSq8ZIf
— Small Garden Ideas (@getgardenideas) March 8, 2016
4. Soma: Beautifully innovative all-natural water filters
- Over $147k raised
- Project funding date: January 11th, 2013
Do a search on Google today for “Soma Water Filter” and you’ll find results from Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and other major retailers. This water filtration system got launched via Kickstarter, and takes a fresh take on filters. Featuring coconut shell carbon and a plant-based casing, the filters of this system are fully biodegradable.
5. Ellum Solar: Light Different
- Over $122k raised
- Project funding date: March 23rd, 2016
Solar-powered lights are not a novel idea, but one that promises 6 months of use from a single day’s charge is certain to capture people’s attention. The Ellum Solar light suggests a breakthrough in the quality of such products with motion-detection technology, an adjustable dimmer, and a magnetic wall attachment.
— Ashley T (@ashleyasker) March 2, 2016
Know of any other great green inventions getting exposure through crowd sourced funding platforms today? Let us know in the comments!