SXSWORLD February 2013


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EVENT PLANNING & PRODUCTION Charlie Faye January as a way to field test its live 3D video capture technology and find new ways it could be used. The money raised, said company founder and CEO Chris Slaughter, was looked at as a secondary benefit of the campaign. "We wanted to see what people could come up with and needed a big component to engage contributions for applications we could never dream of for this technology," said Slaughter, who used funding from winning an international business competition and a National Science Foundation grant to get off the ground. "You have a successful Kickstarter, and it shows that people have paid to get the demo of what we're creating, and that it's something worth getting involved with." While all segments of the crowdfunding market have experienced explosive growth in the last three years,'s report found that sites that helped facilitate equity investing in startups are growing fastest and raise the larger per-campaign amounts than rewardbased funding. Still, that doesn't mean reward-based campaigns are second-rate at raising cash. Just ask the founders of OUYA, an Androidbased open source game console maker that launched its Kickstarter campaign last year seeking $950,000 and raised more than $8 million. Along with the benefits of crowdfunding comes responsibility for founders and expectations from the public that can backfire if trust is betrayed. Gifts and incentives need to be delivered to donors, of course, but there's a danger in asking for too much. As evidence, look at musician Amanda Palmer, who raised more than $1.2 million for album recording costs – she only sought $100,000 – but earned scorn and lots of bad press after recruiting fans to volunteer to play as her backing band on her accompanying tour. When properly utilized, though, passing the hat to fans is a way to build long-term loyalty that doesn't come with grants or deep pocketed producers. "It has definitely become the standard tool for an independent filmmaker. Most people give around $20 or so, but that's great because now it's easier to get a lot of people doing that than going to (PBS subsidiary) ITVS and saying, 'Please give me $85,000' to make my documentary,' "said filmmaker Andrew Garrison, who raised more than $10,000 on Kickstarter for Trash Dance, which won Special Jury Recognition for the Louis Black "Lone Star" Award at the 2012 SXSW Film Awards. "You do it right and you've got 200 people who are rooting for you and following you for a long time." ■ PLAN YOUR SXSW 2013 OFFICIAL PARTY! High Beam, the Official Party Planner of SXSW, has been producing innovative networking events and parties at SXSW since 2005. Call us today at 512-419-9401 or email to find out how we can put our creativity and experience to work for you! SXSWORLD / FEBRUARY 2013 21

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