Kickstarter to launch in the UK on October 31st

Alex Masters

kickstarter logo final 300x225 Kickstarter to launch in the UK on October 31stMove over Dragons’ Den, there’s a new kid in town. Kickstarter is heading to the UK! For those of you that are unfamiliar with Kickstarter’s crowdfunding concept, the site enables entrepreneurs to pitch ideas, products, services and creative projects to the site’s users, in a bid to gain enough funding to make their projects a reality.

Projects must have an end goal in mind, for example the recording of an album or the production of a physical item, such as a book or gadget. In order for a Kickstarter project to succeed, the project must reach its predetermined funding goal within the time limit set by the entrepreneur. If let’s say, an artist wants to raise £5,000 to record an album, then they will need to meet that funding goal within the time limit set, or the project will expire and the backers will not be charged.

On the other hand, if the project successfully reaches its funding goal, then Kickstarter processes the funds, debiting each project backer and passing the money on to the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur then uses that money to complete their project.

Different funding amounts can be set, and this usually leads to a variety of packages that a user can opt to receive, based on how much they pledge. You might offer signed copies of your finished album for a small pledge, a personalised thank you letter for a medium pledge, and even a personal performance for a very large pledge. It’s completely up you.

In Kickstarter’s own words: “Thousands of creative projects are funding on Kickstarter at any given moment. Each project is independently created and crafted by the person behind it. The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have complete control and responsibility over their projects. They spend weeks building their project pages, shooting their videos, and brainstorming what rewards to offer backers. When they’re ready, creators launch their project and share it with their community.”

“Every project creator sets their project’s funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers’ credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.”

Currently Kickstarter only supports US-based projects, but from October 31st, Kickstarter will be opening its doors to UK entrepreneurs for the first time. Instead of building separate sites for each country, all Kickstarter projects will be displayed together. Presumably more countries and regions will join the party in the future.

That doesn’t mean you have to accept funds from foreign backers however. If you wish, you will be able to restrict funding to just one country. Ideal if you don’t want to ship physical products all across the globe. If, on the other hand, you want to distribute an album digitally, then a global audience would be more suitable.

In the US all fund transfers are handled through Amazon but in the UK, funds will be processed securely using a third-party service that is yet to be announced. There have been several Kickstarter success stories and many failed pitches that didn’t reach their funding goal. Hopefully UK entrepreneurs will show the US how it’s done!

If you’ve funded any successful or even disastrous Kickstarter projects, let us know in the comments.

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  • DaLaconic

    It’s meant for artists and creative projects not entrepreneurs. You know, people who want something more than just money? Why do you use the word ‘entrepreneur’ half a dozen times when they don’t and never would?

  • ianegner

    Plenty of physical products have gone to market via kickstarter too. I think most of the artists on there would consider themselves entrepreneurs anyway

  • DaLaconic

    It’s true that plenty of physical products have launched there. My point is that this is not mentioned or encouraged by THEIR language but it is by this writer. It is their grey area because they have made the most money from the projects where people are effectively buying a product rather than backing a project. I approve of the latter because then ideas which are good but not designed for making money are encouraged rather than just businesses (like dragon’s den) whose meaning derives solely from the making of money and are therefore artless by definition

  • Penny Haywood Calder

    Businesses just in it for the money at the start-up level don’t usually last – most are creating work because they have an idea that seems to offer hope that they can make a living doing something better than the available work options. And if it works out, great. They can create work for people they think they’ll like working with.

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