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Kickstarter home page
US website Kickstarter enables creative projects — from films and art installations to consumer products and scientific research — to be funded using a crowd-sourcing model.
Each project sets a funding target and has a finite amount of time in which to raise the money. People can pledge as much money as they like; in return they receive rewards of various kinds from the project, depending on how much they pledge.
If a project reaches its funding target by the deadline, the money is deducted from investors' bank accounts; if there's a shortfall, the project's creators must return to the drawing board.
The site, which was launched in 2009, takes five percent of all funds raised via the site. According to the New York-based company, more than $27m (£16.5m) was pledged via the site in 2010.
The website uses Amazon's Flexible Payment Service to process funds, which means people outside the US can contribute. However, at present, international users are unable to initiate a Kickstarter project unless they have a US bank account. The company says it will allow international projects at some point in the future.
The following pages outline some of Kickstarter's most interesting projects, from those that are seeking funding to those that have met and exceeded their targets via the site.
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