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Kickstarter Sets Off $7 Million Stampede for a Watch Not Yet Made

But he couldn’t even get a foot in the door, let alone secure any money for what he called the Pebble watch. So he turned to Kickstarter, a site where ordinary people back creative projects. Backers could pledge $99 and were promised a Pebble watch in return. Less than two hours after the project went up on the site, Mr. Migicovsky and his partners hit their goal of $100,000. “By that night, we were at $600,000,” said Mr. As of Friday afternoon, nearly 50,000 people had pledged close to $7 million — and there is still two weeks left before the fund-raising window closes. Pebble is the latest — and by far the largest — example of how Kickstarter, a scrappy start-up sprouted in the New York living room of its founders three years ago, is transforming the way people build businesses. The large amount of money that Pebble has raised — equivalent to what a young company would get in a second round of venture capital financing — also signifies a coming of age for Kickstarter. Mr. Mr. Mr.

2011: The Stats » The Kickstarter Blog 2011 was a year of milestones. In April we celebrated our second birthday by announcing $50 million in pledges. In July we reached 10,000 successfully funded projects. And in October we reached $100 million in pledges and had our one millionth backer. Let’s look at some statistics for 2011: Launched Projects: 27,086 Successful Projects: 11,836 Dollars Pledged: $99,344,382Rewards Selected: 1,150,461 Total Visitors: 30,590,342 Project Success Rate: 46% Here’s 2010: Launched Projects: 11,130 Successful Projects: 3,910 Dollars Pledged: $27,638,318 Rewards Selected: 322,526 Total Visitors: 8,294,183 Project Success Rate: 43% Total pledges were just shy of $100 million in 2011. How do those dollars and projects break down by category? The most popular rewards of 2011 were the Cosmonaut (variable price, 5,623 backers) and the Coffee Joulies ($40, 4,246 backers). The mobile game Zombies, Run! It wasn’t just projects registering big numbers. *A Kickstarter employee

KissKissBankBank Peer Lending Grows as Small Biz Option NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- When John Good, owner of the Bubbles Galore Car Wash in Davison, Mich., went to his local bank last year to get a $16,000 loan to expand into the self-serve dog washing business, he was denied. First Place Bank, a subsidiary of First Place Financial in Warren, Ohio, already held the note for Good's original $500,000 Small Business Administration start-up loan, but the bank required massive documentation and fees -- requirements Good felt were too costly, time consuming and frankly, annoying, given the amount. "The amount of money we were requesting didn't merit the amount of work and back-end costs," Good says. That's when Good heard about peer-to-peer lending. Peer lending is not necessarily new, but there are a growing number of business borrowers turning to them -- in part because, as interest rates remain near record lows, investors are looking for options that will make decent returns.

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