Kickstarter Endeavors – The Best of the Best

Kickstarter, pioneer of the crowdfunding model, was launched on April 28, 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler. Sites like Kickstarter allow for people without funding to take a good idea and generate the funding they need to turn it into a finished product. It has served as the launchpad of several successful businesses, especially technology based ones.

These are the 10 most heavily crowdfunded projects to come out of Kickstarter so far.

1: Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android

Company: Pebble Technology
Category: Design
Launched: Apr 11, 2012
Goal: $100,000
Backers: 68,929
Total Pledged: $10,266,845

The Pebble E-Watch is the watch built for the 21st century. This watch is easy to customize with apps such as heart rate monitoring, exercise tracking, and more. Pebble connects with smartphones using Bluetooth, and alerts you to incoming calls, emails and text messages. It’s probably where Apple got the idea for the iWatch from…

2 : Ouya: A New Kind of Video Game Console

Company: Ouya
Category: Video Games
Launched: Jul 10, 2012
Goal: $950,000
Backers: 63,416
Total Pledged: $8,596,474

OUYA is a new game console for the TV, powered by Android. OUYA’s world-class controller, console, and interface come in one beautiful, inexpensive package. All the games on it will be free to try. Developers will have access to OUYA’s open design so they can produce their games for the living room, taking advantage of everything the TV has to offer. They designed the controller to be a “love letter to console gaming“, and it will even employ a touchpad for any games making the trek from mobile or tablet to the TV. They are calling it the “Stradivarius of controllers’.

3 : Project Eternity

Company: Obsidian Entertainment
Category: Video Games
Launched: Sep 14, 2012
Goal: $1,100,000
Backers: 73,986
Total Pledged: $3,986,929

Project Eternity is an RPG set in a new fantasy world developed by Obsidian Entertainment. As veteran developers of computer role-playing games, the team says that there is still nothing they love more than making and playing RPGs. The Kickstarter community is eager to play as well, donating nearly 4 million dollars to the cause.

4 : Reaper Miniatures Bones: An Evolution Of Gaming Miniatures

Company: Reaper Miniatures
Category: Games
Launched: Jul 23, 2012
Goal: $30,000
Backers: 17,744
Total Pledged: $3,429,235

Since the original launch of Bones in March, demand for the Bones miniature figures has exploded! Fans are after the awesome sculpts at a terrific price, but as it turns out, they’re also really expensive to produce. The mold costs alone are “astronomical.” In order to expand the product line, the company used Kickstarter to launch a whole lot of new figures in a relatively short time, to the delight of the fans.

5 : Double Fine Adventure

Company: Double Fine and 2 Player Productions
Category: Video Games
Launched: Feb 8, 2012
Goal: $400,000
Backers: 87,142
Total Pledged: $3,336,371

Double Fine Adventure is a brand-new, downloadable “Point-and-Click” graphic adventure game for the modern age.

Big games cost big money, which is why Double Fine turned to Kickstarter! Even something as “simple” as an Xbox LIVE Arcade title can cost upwards of two or three million dollars. For disc-based games, it can be over ten times that amount. To finance the production, promotion, and distribution of these massive undertakings, companies like Double Fine have to rely on external sources like publishers, investment firms, or loans. It’s the kind of creative luxury that most major, established studios simply can’t afford. At least, not until Kickstarter.

6 : FORM 1: An affordable, professional 3D printer

Company: Formlabs
Category: Technology
Launched: Sep 26, 2012
Goal: $100,000
Backers: 2,068 Backers
Total Pledged: $2,945,885

An affordable, high-resolution 3D printer for professional creators who are frustrated that low-end 3D printers don’t have the quality to make the true beauty of their designs real. This has the power and resolution of a truly professional machine right on your desktop It is an easy-to-use system that rivals the output of high-end printers at a fraction of the cost.

7 : Wasteland 2

Company: InXile Entertainment
Category: Video Games
Launched: Mar 13, 2012
Goal: $900,000
Backers: 61,290
Total Pledged: $2,933,252

Wasteland 2 is a sequel to the amazingly popular 1988 RPG Wasteland and the post-apocalyptic predecessor to the Fallout Series. IGN named it one of the top 25 PC games of all time, Computer Gaming World named it the Adventure Game of the year in 1988, and it was short-listed for inclusion in the Smithsonian Institution’s current “Art of the Computer Game” exhibition.

8 : Elite: Dangerous

Company: Frontier Developments
Category: Video Games
Launched: Nov 5, 2012
Goal: £1,250,000
Backers: 25,681
Total Pledged: £1,578,316

“Elite: Dangerous” is the latest installment of a long series of epic space games, starting with “Elite” – one of the most successful games of the 1980s. It was the first ‘open world’ game in which the player can freely roam a vast space. It was the first true 3D game too, and set many other benchmarks. The creators were sick of games with three lives then a new life every 10,000 score, and they wanted something new, so they developed it themselves. Thanks to Kickstarter, they can fund the sequel.

9 : Homestuck Adventure Game

Company: MS Paint Adventures
Category: Video Games
Launched: Sep 4, 2012
Goal: $700,000
Backers: 24,346
Total Pledged: $2,485,506

Homestuck is an illustrated, semi-animated story on the internet. It is not a comic that just happens to be hosted on the internet – it was specifically designed to exist there, to explore the potential of the medium, and evolve through reader participation. The readers, through their participation, have helped make Homestuck what it has become. With such a strong community, it’s no surprise that this Kickstarter was so successful.

10: Oculus Rift: Step Into the Game

Company: Palmer Luckey
Category: Technology
Launched: Aug 1, 2012
Goal: $250,000
Backers: 9,522
Total Pledged: $2,437,429

The Oculus Rift is the next step towards a virtual reality gaming system. Like a pair of goggles worn on the head, the gaming environment is totally immersive and makes for one exciting time! Kickstarter contributors were granted special thank you gifts and access to the SDK developer kit for this gaming platform.

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Avatar for Will Mitchell
Will Mitchell

Will Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of StartupBros. You can learn more about him at the Startupbros about page. If you have any questions or comments for him, just send an email or leave a comment!

  • Avatar for Isaiah Coe Isaiah Coe says:

    Didn’t know Oculus Rift and the 3d prineter started on Kickstarter. Amazing how things can be started now a days. Won’t need big investors to get something started!

    • Avatar for Kyle Eschenroeder Kyle Eschenroeder says:

      Yes, sir! Start now!

    • Avatar for Will Mitchell Will Mitchell says:

      I didn’t, but that’s awesome. 3d Printers will eventually change the world once they become cheap and efficient enough. It seems Kickstarter has solidified their place in the history books 🙂

  • Bros, nice collection, when are your names going to hit that list?

  • Avatar for Roniet Berci Roniet Berci says:

    Will you be doing an infographic for 2013? I can recommend Pressy and PowerUp3. I loved the videos done by Tross Creative House 🙂

  • Avatar for Tristan Tristan says:

    Kinda forgot Star Citizen, which raised over $2 million on its kickstarter, and has continued to raise nearly $40 million via crowdfunding on its own site since.

  • Avatar for Shannon Jacobs Shannon Jacobs says:

    Such articles need to include dates, since this kind of information changes quite rapidly. Can only guess that as of early 2015 it must be at least two years out of date… What I was really looking for was data on how successful or unsuccessful these projects have been, not in terms of raising money, but in terms of accomplishing something significant…