From dreams to reality, by way of Kickstarter

The SEC has loosened some restrictions on how start-ups raise money. Under the new rules, companies will be freer to raise capital. They can even use crowd-sourcing websites.

"I can't believe it." Those were the first words that came out of Kai's mouth when we got off the cab in front of 155 Rivington Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. 

I didn’t quite get why he was so shocked, so I asked.

His answer amounted to this: that the “it” fundraising model of the world didn’t come out of Wall Street, or Midtown, where a lot of the financial services companies call home, but this young, hip part of New York City. It kind of says it all, no?

The Kickstarter headquarters is housed in a three-floor walkup that was once an apartment building. The second floor is where Yancey Strickler, one of the three cofounders of company, and the editorial team he heads, are stationed. It’s an open-floor kind of space: no cubicles, no offices. But there are three rooms, with words like Zen, and Hooray! on the doors--places where the staff can go to get a private moment to themselves.

During our interview, Strickler kept returning to the point that folks go on Kickstarter not just to fund their projects, but to also fund their dreams. Turns out, Strickler and other members of Kickstarters are serial backers themselves. Here’s an extended interview, where Yancey walks Kai through some of the projects the Kickstarter team have funded, and the stories behind them.

About the author

Fiona Ng is an Assistant Producer at Marketplace.

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