Forget about Kickstarter, try IndieGoGo in Canada UK Australia Asia?

Sept 24, 2013 update: Kickstarter has finally launched in Canada earlier this year and you can find some Canadian projects here.

July 15, 2015 update: Since my 2013 update, I’ve used Indiegogo and like it. Worth investigate it for yourself and decide for yourself if it is a good enough crowdfunding site for your use.

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After waiting for close to three years and trying to push a little, I am giving up on the idea of waiting for Kickstarter to come to Canada! Unfortunately, no more illusion for me. Kickstarter’s inaction/inability to find an alternative payment solution for Canada or non-US countries is inexcusable and can only be put as they don’t give a beep. To them, US is a big enough market for them to serve? After three years of waiting, I’ve given up caring. Quoting Kickstarter’s FAQ (emphasis added)

Am I eligible to start a Kickstarter project?

To be eligible to start a Kickstarter project, you need to satisfy the requirements of Amazon Payments:

Be a permanent US resident and at least 18 years of age with a Social Security Number (or EIN), a US bank account, US address, US state-issued ID (driver’s license), and major US credit or debit card.”

I am NOT paid by IndieGoGo to write this article! Judging from IndieGoGo‘s press articles and mention, they seem to be legit (I don’t know). A local friend has used IndieGoGo and I haven’t seen any complain from him.

I am sadden to write this article but then again, three years of Kickstarter inaction is inexcusable, enough is enough.

Can you share your experiences using IndieGoGo?

If you have used IndieGoGo to raise funds, can you please share your experiences good and bad? Both good or bad experiences are very much welcomed at this point. May be take a look of projects on IndieGoGo. And if they are worthy of your support, give them a try and let us know how things go? And if you are going to use IndieGoGo to raise funds, tell us how successful (or not) your experiences are.

P.S. To be fair, Kickstarter is doing good for permanent US resident. Even though I love my US friends, I just think Kickstarter sucks in helping projects initiated by non-US citizens around the world.

17 Responses to Forget about Kickstarter, try IndieGoGo in Canada UK Australia Asia?

  1. Tom says:

    Hi there! I totally share your frustration at the limitations on non-Americans using Kickstarter and believe everyone deserves the opportunity to make awesome things happen by fundraising from their community. I’m one of the co-founders of StartSomeGood.com, a Kickstarter-like platform for social good projects which is open to anyone with a paypal account (and therefore serving 110+ countries). Please check it out and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch: tom@startsomegood.com.

    Cheers!

    Tom

  2. kempton says:

    Hi Tom, Thanks for leaving your comment. I haven’t heard of startsomegood. I think the challenge with any fund raising sites like yours is the effort needed to establish creditability and trustworthiness which are very difficult and takes time.

    Kickstarter and IndieGoGo have gained some measure of “trustworthiness” via traditional and well known media coverage, etc.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing my frustration with Kickstarter.

    • Tom says:

      Hi Kempton,

      You are exactly right. That’s why we have partnered with the world’s leading social entrepreneurship organizations, who effectively endorse us to their networks, organizations like Ashoka, Compass Partners, Teach for America, The International Youth Foundation, e-Sprout (in Canada), etc (http://startsomegood.com/Help/Partners). So far 40 ventures have raised over $250,000 on the site, so certainly not at the Kickstarter level yet but it’s early days and so exciting to be working with so many inspiring social entrepreneurs all around the world. You can see some of our success stories here if you’re interested: http://www.scribd.com/doc/79611396/Let-s-Start-Some-Good-What-s-Next-in-2012.

      Thanks for your interest in this space and good luck with any future fundraising endevours you pursue! Remember: it’s not about any particular site, it’s just about accessing a set of tools that allows you to mobilize your existing community.

      Cheers!

      Tom

    • kempton says:

      Thanks Tom for your further explanation. Again, trust isn’t easy to build and may take a long time. And from personal experience, I have seen online fund raising site that seem legit on the surface but then later it became part of the focus of an investigative report. Eventually being exposed of its messy accounting books, unethical financial arrangements, and tax department concerns. So I am just saying users of the online fund raising websites (not just yours) need to be extra careful.

  3. Ken says:

    Yeah I have worked on several projects that have been funded by indiegogo over the past couple years. I actually heard of it before kickstarter. So I do personally trust indiegogo however projects don’t seem to get nearly as much funding as kickstarter.

    As for Tom’s startsomegood… I always VERY weary about people promoting their sites on comment sections of blogs/ news articles/ ect… There are much better ways of getting out to the public.

  4. kempton says:

    Ken, thanks for your feedback re Indiegogo. Jeff, a filmmaker I’ve known for 2 years, is using Indiegogo,
    https://kempton.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/jeff-chiba-stearns-mixed-match-doc-interview-mixedmultiethnic-peoples-additional-challenges-when-dealing-with-life-threatening-blood-diseases-such-as-leukemia/
    so it is one more +ve for me with them.

    I agree the promotion of a competing site in a comment did feel a bit off.

    • tomjd says:

      Apologies if it felt werid guys, it seemed relevant and something you’d be interseted in, given that part of our motivation in founding it was exactly the issue being discussed here. I’m just a fan of the crowdfunding space so like to participate in these sorts of conversations. I would hope given your interest in the area you’d check the site out and base your judgements on that

      And IndieGoGo actually pre-dates Kickstarter, which is why you would have heard of it first. :)

      Cheers!

      Tom

  5. The only problem … IndieGogo charges between 7 and 12%, depending on exactly how you set up your fundraising campaign. That’s a LOT more than KickStarter.

    • kempton says:

      Thanks for your comment John.
      I’ve just checked their full pricing & fees on their site (see fine print there)
      http://www.indiegogo.com/learn/pricing
      Fixed funding: 4% + 3% = 7%
      Flexible Funding:
      Reach your goal: 4% + 3% = 7%
      Don’t reach your goal: 9% + 3% = 12%
      The above fees don’t look as bad as it is without the explanation.

      Of course, if Kickstarter gets off their butt and actually help Canadians to raise funds, then it will be more competition, a good thing!

  6. Turcotte Jean-Pierre says:

    I find that there is just too much diversity in Indiegogo and Crowfunding. I would be more interested in a site which would specialize in Art and INNOVATION.

  7. Turcotte Jean-Pierre says:

    Kickstarter now available international.

  8. Turcotte Jean-Pierre says:

    The guidelines posted above for Kickstarter are out of date. Unfortunately, other crowd funding such as Indigogo and Tricot are not as well formatted for my ‘project’…and tooooo many charities and the like. Not sayin’ that they should not be there, but I prefer a place without all this.

  9. Turcotte Jean-Pierre says:

    To confirm, go to Kickstarter and see the projects and where they are from – don’t know about all the hype about intro to UK.

  10. tendim says:

    The reason why Kickstarter is not available in Canada, is because they are not allowed to be. It is illegal to fundraise through crowdfunding in Canada at the moment. A good paper can be found here:

    http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/research/is-crowdfunding-right-for-you/

    I had nothing to do with the paper, but it does outline many of the challenges in Canada. Long story short: the government currenlty does not allow it.

    • kempton says:

      Thanks for sharing the paper from U of T. Mind you, as I wrote in the post, Indiegogo has been used by many Canadian and international projects so it is not “illegal” to crowdfund in Canada.

    • CLS says:

      The paper mentions equity-based crowdfunding being illegal. This is very different of the common donation-based crowdfunding which is perfectly legal.

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