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Crowdfunding” is a way that startups can raise money to get a project or enterprise off the ground without company founders having to surrender ownership, secure a loan or approach foundations for elusive grants.
Earlier incarnations of the practice didn’t have the advantage of instant access to a global fan base that can grow exponentially through social media. The Internet created that access, and crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter.com and IndieGoGo.com created platforms where people could pitch their projects.
Aqua Research, a resident company in the BioScience Center incubator in Albuquerque, is using IndieGoGo to raise $50,000 by May 10 to finance production of its H2gO water purifier, which can turn up to five gallons of unsafe water at a time into potable water using a solar-powered rechargeable cell-phone battery.
QueLab, an Albuquerque nonprofit raised twice as much money as it needed on Kickstarter to secure the materials to build a three-dimensional printer for its “maker-space,” a creative workspace where people collaborate on innovations “at the intersections of science, culture, art and technology.”
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