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Audio: Panel on using Kickstarter to raise money for startups and creative projects

Posted by Scott Kirsner  April 22, 2012 11:01 AM

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I moderated a panel last Thursday at the Cambridge Innovation Center featuring four Kickstarter case studies: musicians, filmmakers, artists, and entrepreneurs who'd used the crowd-funding site to raise substantial sums of money. ($114,000, in Bill Lichtenstein's case, for a documentary about the glory days of the Boston radio station WBCN.)

Here's who participated (along with links to their Kickstarter pages)

- Cambridge singer-songwriter Ariel Rubin, who funded her EP "Big Spoon" on Kickstarter

- Journalist Bill Lichtenstein, making a documentary film called "The American Revolution"

- Brad Geswein (pictured at right holding a prototype) and Slava Menn of Gotham Bicycle Defense Industries

- Coulter Lewis of Quinn Popcorn

We talked about some of the factors that get people you don't know contributing to your campaign; the right length for Kickstarter campaigns, and the right target amount; how you can get blogs and other media to help promote your campaign; and some of the headaches that can arise when you're dealing with hundreds or thousands of donors. And Rubin started things off by singing a great song.

The audio is below. You can stream it here, or click "mp3" to download it for later listening. (Related content: "How Supermechanical raised $550,000 for a new wireless device — without VCs or angel investors.")

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Above, from left: Scott Kirsner, musician Ariel Rubin, Brad Geswein and Slava Menn of Gotham Bicycle Defense, filmmaker Bill Lichtenstein, and Coulter Lewis of Quinn Popcorn. (Photo above courtesy of Keith Spiro Photography.)

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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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