Big-ideas seeker hits town

Central Station | 1 Sep 2016

Crowdfunding site Kickstarter made its Asia debut yesterday with launches in Hong Kong and Singapore, giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to raise funds from global investors.

An early standout among new projects was a self-watering indoor planter invented by a 13-year-old boy that had 183 backers by last night.

Anyone wanting to put up products on the site previously had to collaborate with people in the United States or Europe - the only markets the site operated in. But backers for a Kickstarter project could come from anywhere, and more than 100,000 from Hong Kong and Singapore made 600,000 pledges for projects over the last seven years.

Kickstarter is not, however, on its own. It faces competition with local crowdfunding sites like Hong Kong's FringeBacker and Singapore's MoolahSense.

Since Kickstarter's launch in 2009, more than US$2.5 billion (HK$19.4 billion) has been raised for more than 110,000 ideas through the site. Famously, an Ohio man received US$55,000 in 2014 after asking for US$10 to make a potato salad.

Backers pledge money to projects but only pay up if the funding target is reached.

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