Imagine this: You’ve just come up with a neat idea and you want to make it a reality. The very first thing you need, though, is money. And if you don’t have it, your dreams and ambitions will probably never come to fruition. That was then—now, your chances of success have increased.
Kickstarter—an innovative funding platform—is the new way to go for getting your projects funded. You need to be a United States citizen, have an Amazon account, a clear goal, and benefits (rewards related to your project) for the people contributing to your cause.
The way it works is you put up your idea, goal, a set deadline for when you need the money, and the amount you need. If you are successfully funded by the deadline, you get the money, and Amazon and Kickstarter each receives 5% of the total. If you don’t make it, however, nothing happens, and you can refine your idea and goal, and keep trying again.
Five radio-based Kickstarter projects received the funds they needed and are on their way to expand. Here they are:
Radio Ambulante is a radio program. It is like This American Life, Snap Judgement, or Radiolab. Its main objective is to tell moving stories of people around Latin America and America in Spanish, and share them with the world. Radio Ambulante needed $40,000 and was able to raise over 46. You can listen to different stories each month by downloading the podcasts or visiting their website here.
Radio Tanzania is like Radio Ambulante in a way, because it’s trying preserve culture. It is ultimately aiming to digitize over 100,000 hours of Tanzania music—music that remains in deteriorating reel tapes. After that, they want to share the music with a compilation CD of the best songs and a website focused on the history of the music, because most of the music was produced after Tanzania’s independence from colonial rule in the 1950s. Though the reel tapes have been forgotten and stowed away in a room, they show the significance in Tanzania’s struggle to become a modern African nation. Preserving them lets people understand and learn about Tanzania’s past. They raised over $17,000 and are on their way. To learn more about Radio Tanzania click here.
In the center of DeKalb Market in Downtown Brooklyn, BBOX Radio sits inside a recycled shipping container and broadcasts live online. Their mission is to make the station a place to share ideas, art and music locally—to bring the community together. They are constantly looking to work with anyone in the neighborhood. Even though they’re a radio station, they also offer a live performance venue for all kinds of events. They even have a gallery space that displays the work of Brooklyn artists. They play a variety of music and it’s not limited to popular artists and bands; local artists air live online too. They raised over $15,000, and continue to broadcast live every day. To tune in, click here.
Mutiny Radio sits in the corner of street deep in the Mission district of San Francisco. While it sounds like it’s just a radio station, it’s not; it’s also a café. Inside you can order coffee, tea, and pastries; if you look to the side, you can see DJs broadcasting to the ‘Net. Their goal is to help people who don’t have enough money broadcast without having an expensive radio license and to inform the public of events that the public wouldn’t normally know about. They continue to survive by DJ membership dues and by fundraising. While there are different DJs broadcasting their own materials, Mutiny Radio often hosts live interviews with a lot of guests and keep the programs eclectic and interesting. They successfully raised over $5,000, and you can check them out here.
Unlike the rest of the projects, Hidden Radio isn’t a radio station at all. Instead it’s actually a radio—a radio that can also function as a speaker for your portable devices. The creators of Hidden Radio wanted to create a radio-speaker that is both innovative and intuitive, and they made it. At first glance, the radio looks like a metallic cylinder, but if you twist and lift, it turns on. The more you twist upward, the more volume you get; it can reach volume levels over 80dB. The thing that makes it stand out is that you can connect your portable devices to it with Bluetooth, making it wireless and hassle-free. If you don’t have Bluetooth on your device, you can use the line in cable to connect it. It also has approximately 30 hours of listening time before it runs out of battery. When that happens, you can recharge it. Hidden Radio was aiming for $100,000 and instead it raised over $900,000—an overwhelming amount.
Kickstarter gave these projects the boost they needed, and there are new projects being added daily. If you have an idea for something amazing, you might want to give it a shot.