CFB Weekend edition, Crazy CrowdFunding ideas
One of the oddest examples of crowdfunding largess is one of the most recent. Zack Brown, co-founder of Columbus Web development start-up Base Two Interactive, achieved nationwide notoriety in July for his crowdfunding efforts to make a potato salad. Initially seeking just $10, he has raised more than $55,000 from close to 7,000 backers.
Roaches are pretty disgusting creatures, so you wouldn’t expect a lot of support for a crowdfunding project built around transformingthe insects into cyborgs. But this product defied the odds. Using the technology created by neuroscientists to help patients of Parkinson’s disease, RoboRoach lets users wirelessly control the movement of a cockroach by microstimulation of the antenna nerves.
The DIY cyborg kit contains tiny circuit boards, aka backpacks, that users must surgically insert onto the common cockroach—really!—allowing than $12,000
You could kill pests with a flyswatter or rolled-up magazine, but where’s the fun in that? This miniaturized shotgun is meant to take down flies, mosquitoes and other pesky insects. The weapon shoots table salt, killing bugs within three feet, and claims to be an excellent tool for getting rid of creepy crawlies on windows, ceilings and corners. The creators were hoping to raise $15,000. They ended up with more than $577,000. (The “A-Salt/assault” pun alone is worth the price of elimination.)
Insects, in fact, are becoming a crowdfunding cottage industry of sorts, as good at attracting capital as roach motels and flypaper are at attracting … well, you get the idea. But for those who are interested in more ways to work with bugs than just eliminating them …
It started with a tongue-in-cheek tweet to Detroit’s mayor, noting that since Philadelphia had a Rocky statue, Detroit should erect one based on its biggest cinematic hero: RoboCop. When former Mayor Dave Bing replied that it wasn’t in the plans, the Internet assembled.First came the Facebook page; then Brandon Walley, director of development at the nonprofit Imagination Station, decided to take the reins and launch
Lionel Richie’s head
Fans of the onetime Commodores front man found themselves dancing on the ceiling when
this Kickstarter project hit the Web. The idea:
Create a giant inflatable balloon in the shape of Lionel Richie’s head, which would debut at the 2013 Bestival music festival on the Isle of Wight in England.
Power nappers, it seems, are looking for a little privacy; simply laying your head on folded arms as you did in grade school is too 20th century.Then throw in the peculiar posture of the ostrich, among evolution’s more famous flightless birds, and a person who doesn’t want to fly off anywhere, or even move, might have thought up the Ostrich Pillow, a shell that goes over your head, offering alone time in public.
The Remee (a lucid dreaming mask)
The ability to control—and remember—your dreams is a pretty powerful lure. So when Bitbanger Labs introduced the Remee, a sleep mask equipped with six LED lights that its creators said would let users do just the response was staggering. More than 6,500 people donated nearly $573,000.
Jamaican bobsled team
The Jamaican bobsled team, which charmed the world in the 1988 Winter Olympics with its unlikely appearance in the Olympic Games
—and was even immortalized by Hollywood in “Cool Runnings”—almost didn’t make it to Sochi this year, due to financial issues. That led to a grassroots campaign from fans on several crowdfunding sites.