Business Management

Crowdsourcing Innovation: Highlights 2015

It’s less traumatic than Dragon’s Den and cooler than IPOs and Angel Investors… it’s Crowdfunding! We’ve featured plenty of interviews with companies looking to find favour and fortune online - over 30 this year - so here’s a rundown of our favourites.

Most popular

Canadian startup Voltera made an impressive $500,000 for their Voltera V-One PCB-prototyping maker. They’ve also just won a Dyson award. Good job guys!

Hats off to VR-headset maker FOVE and manufacturing-factory-on-a-desktop MakerArm for both raising well over $400,000. Spend it wisely.

Most fun

Tough one to pick, but I’ve gone for the PowerUp FPV because it combines drones, paper planes and Virtual Reality. Actually it was pretty easy.

Second prize goes to Bitsbox for making coding fun. Why would kids want football stickers when they can have cards with coding activities instead?

Most noble

We like it when tech companies try to help the world, and we covered a few this year. EyeControl wanted to help people with ALS and other locked-in conditions better interact with tech, while both Widernet and Endless Computers looked to crowdfunding to help them bridge the digital divide.

Most modular

Project Ara is still in development, but there’s a couple of companies looking to make the humble phone cover more exciting in the meantime with modularity. Nexpaq seemed more exciting and useful than MODR, which is probably why it raised nearly ten times as much. [Although we didn’t feature them, Blocks and Puzzlephone are pretty exciting too].

Most portable

A 3D printer in a snazzy suitcase? Yes please. The Focus was a simple but classy upgrade on the humble desktop design.

What’s with all the keyboards?

There’s something wrong with the QWERTY keyboard. Why else would we have covered three startups looking to shake up the keyboard industry? HERO wanted you to write in circles, WRIO thought hexagons were the answer, while TouchOne wanted to make text input on smartwatches actually possible without wanting to rip out your eyes and snap off your stubby fingers.

Success stories

We’re not the type to cover once and abandon. No sir. So we were very pleased to see that #Charity – a marketplace for IT pros to give up time to help NGOs - had received some funding, and Finnish IoT device manufacturer Haltian has been seeing some success as well. Expect more to come in the New Year.

We’ve also talked to Crowdcube co-founder Luke Lang about why tech companies should consider equity crowdfunding and got some tips on how to find crowdfunding success.


« Looking back at tech pioneers we lost in 2015


Highlights 2015: A ranting good year »
Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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