Tag Archives: indiegogo

Grenelabs and its indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for a handheld diagnostic device

Grenelabs has just started anindiegogo campaign to raise money for its lab-on-a-chip handheld diagnostic equipment or as they call it, ‘Lab-on-a-chip: Diagnostics in the Palm of Your Hand‘. I received a Nov. 19, 2013 news release (as happens more frequently these days) about the effort,

Thomas Warinner, head of Grenelabs, seeks crowdfunding to raise $75,000 by December 20, 2013 (11:59 pm PT), www.indiegogo.com/projects/lab-on-a-chip-diagnostics-in-the-palm-of-your-hand, to support the completion of the technologically new, lab-on-a chip diagnostic tool. This device, small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, is designed using reliable scientific knowledge coupled with breakthrough technology. It enables users to diagnose diseases within minutes without electricity and costly upkeep, making it ideal for use in developing countries around the world and by independent research labs whose funds are oftentimes limited.

“Imagine a world in which developing countries can have access to technologies in order to diagnose and prevent the spread of diseases,” said Thomas Warinner, creator of the lab-on-a-chip device. “The importance of these chips is not to just open up research, but to identify illnesses in people who could otherwise not be diagnosed.” Many of these are illnesses that could be contained and treated, if caught in time, rather than allowing them to run rampant, sickening or killing people and/or animals.

So how does it work? Basically, the lab-on-a chip manipulates liquids in capillary tubes within the chip based on the science of microfluidics. For example, a drop of blood is sent past biomarkers that change when positive. Although disposable, the lab-on-a-chip is designed to be accurate over multiple uses. Grenelabs developed the ability to perform diagnostic testing in any setting, making it useful in disaster situations, remote areas, and developing countries. “This technology will change the world,” Warinner said of his innovative tool that measures half the size of a credit card. But, in order to move forward, funding is needed.

In an effort to raise funds, support levels have been created. Choose a dollar amount and receive the assigned perk. For instance, a $55 donation will give the donor a digital copy of a huge modern art mural with DNA sequencing; a $125 donation will reward the contributor with a lab-on-a-chip engraved with the contributor’s name to be given to an area in need; a $500 donation gets the supporter a special work of art with an individualized DNA sequencing as the focus; and a $1200 donation allows givers to conduct their own genetic experiments with an electrophoresis unit deliverable by January 2014.

While the initial goal is to collect $75,000 for finalization and production of the chip, more money is needed to improve the lab-on-a-chip’s reach. With $200,000, an upgraded software system will allow all users, inexperienced and experienced, to utilize the chip. With $500,000, the number of diseases and infections that can be recognized by the device would increase. And imagine having a personal diagnostic system at home; with $1,000,000, that would be a possibility.

Support the campaign through monetary donation or by simply sharing the lab-on-a-chip’s fundraising page with others through word of mouth or social media sites. With support, the lab-on-a-chip will soon be making a positive difference in the world.

About Grenelabs

Grenelabs is founded by Thomas Warinner. With a mission to provide affordable and accessible learning tools to researchers around the world, the company developed the lab-on-a-chip device to be a convenient, affordable and useful tool for people around the world.

It seems like a well-intentioned project but its a little hard to tell what makes it different from all of the other hand-held diagnostic projects. I did take a look at the Grenelabs website and was not able to get any more information about the folks behind this project or about any other projects they may have underway. It’s early days yet and I’m sure they’ll refine their pitch (perhaps a find a distinctive name for their project?) as they continue to seek funds.

Interestingly (to me) the news release for this campaign,was written and sent by L&C, a company devoted to the promotion of crowdfunding campaigns according to its About Us page,

We are obsessed with great design & quality content and that’s one of the reasons L&C became successful in the first place. Each crowdfund project we publish goes through quality control and has to be approved by L&C’s crowdfunding experts in order to get showcased. By following this strategy we’ve managed to showcase 100′s of crowdfund projects to the public.

“We showcase the coolest crowdfund projects of the web”

We’ve helped entrepreneurs and innovators turn brilliant ideas into realily and are proud of that. We are dedicated in finding the coolest crowdfund projects of the web and in making your life easier, that’s our goal, that’s our passion and 1000′s of visitors per day must mean we are doing something right.

If you want to:

  • Reach a wider audience
  • Inspire people to visit your campaign page
  • Convince people to back your crowdfund project
  • Promote your project across multiple channels
  • Use the very latest marketing methods that are proven to produce results

If any of the above sounds familiar, L&C Media Buzz is the team for you.

Who We Are

Our team at L&C draws on years of promotional and marketing experience in the online and physical communities. We make it our job to keep up to date with cutting edge techniques so that you can always be sure your project is being presented in the very best light to your target audiences.

We know how important it is to focus on presenting the right message to the right people at the right time. Our professional team of copywriters and marketing experts have all the crowdfund promotion tools you could ask for and more.

What We Do

Whether you are trying to fund an exciting new product or pay for a family member’s medical expenses, there are people out there that will be willing to help. But in order to help, those people need to know about your project.

By employing a combination of proven marketing methods executed with the flare and panache of marketing veterans, L&C Media Buzz can instantly improve your crowdfunding project’s visibility. Some of those proven techniques include:

  • Content Optimization
  • Professionally Written Press Releases with Global Distribution
  • Content Marketing
  • Multimedia Web Promotion
  • Headline Display in Time Square

With our helping hands, you can reach out to a wider audience and really showcase your campaign in all its glory.

Not for Everyone

Some people might think that having a campaign on the internet and writing an article about it will do the job. If the project is good then the people will come… won’t they?
The truth, unfortunately, is no. Just because something is there, doesn’t mean people will see it.

More than that, even if you have the most amazing cause or product to raise funds for, people still might not want to make a financial investment in you.
Why? Because investing in somebody is a risk. Especially if you don’t know that person.

In order to fulfill your campaign goals, you will need a crowdfund promotion plan that isn’t just seen by potential backers, but one that inspires investors to take a chance on you. This takes skill and expertise. The skill and expertise that that not everyone possesses. The skill and expertise that L&C possesses.

  • Professional writers will craft press releases that will be distributed worldwide to attract potential backers.
  • Copywriters will carefully design engaging blogs about your campaign that highlight exactly why people need to invest in your dream right now.
  • L&C will post blogs on our very own blog page (blog.lncdeslet.com) which, with a little help of our SEO experts, gets visitors from all over the world.
  • In short, we cover all marketing angles to help drive targeted traffic to your crowdfunding campaign.

Easy for You

Here at L&C we understand that your main priority should be focusing on bringing your project to life. That’s why we offer to take all the hard work and stress out of crowdfund promotion.

Using our professional, effective marketing services couldn’t be easier. We use packages which combine various marketing components from social media promotion to crowdfund consultation. Whichever package you choose, you will have a personal campaign manager who will oversee your crowdfund promotion plan from beginning to end to ensure excellent continuity across all marketing channels.

We at L&C don’t believe in hidden fees which is why each package is paid for up front with a one off fee. Once you have chosen the package that best suits your campaign’s needs, you can fill out the details in the forms provided to make sure your promotional material fits your unique goal, pay the fee and then sit back and let us work our marketing magic.

Our crowdfund promotion packages raise your campaign up on a pedestal for your investors to see clearly.

Based on what I see for Warriner’s campaign, I hope L&C will help the Grenelabs folks to better understand the audience for what appears to be a well intentioned project.

Origins of Pacific sea life: crowdfunding a scientific expedition to the Danajon Bank

The Danajon (pronounced Dana [as in dada] hon) Bank, a reef  in the Philippines, is believed to be where much of Pacific marine life originated. According to a March 5, 2013 University of British Columbia news release, a team of researchers and photographers have started a crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo to document and raise awareness of the beautiful and endangered Danajon Bank,

Marine scientists and the world’s top nature photographers are teaming up to reveal for the first time the beauty of a rare double-barrier reef in the Philippines – and the imminent threats it faces – with the help of citizens around the world.

One of only six double-barrier reefs in the world, Danajon Bank is an important evolutionary birthplace of fish and other animal species found all over the Pacific Ocean today. However, Danajon Bank suffers from overfishing and other human pressures, and is home to nearly 200 threatened species.

Expedition: Danajon Bank will send a team of conservationists and award-winning photographers to document this “centre of the centre” of biodiversity, with the ultimate goal of legally protecting the fragile reef system.

“Not many people have heard of Danajon Bank. We plan to change that,” says Prof. Amanda Vincent, director of Project Seahorse, a UBC-Zoological Society of London initiative. “Crowdfunding is a fantastic way to raise funds and inspire the public to take ownership of issues such as marine conservation, so we thought: why not start there?”

“There really is no better way to communicate the urgent need for marine conservation than through images that hit you in the head and the heart,” says Thomas P. Peschak, an International League of Conservation Photographers Fellow and one of the expedition photographers. His résumé includes multiple BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and World Press Photo awards.

The team is requesting $30,000 to fund their expedition, which will take place April 5 – 15, 2013, and each level of donation promises rewards, all of them photographic in nature (wordplay intended).

Sample photo by ILCP photographer Luciano Candisani, who is part of Expedition: Danajon Bank. (Photo: Luciano Candisani/ILCP) [downloaded from http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2013/03/05/ubc-scientists-nature-photographers-launch-philippines-expedition-with-crowdfunding/]

Sample photo by ILCP photographer Luciano Candisani, who is part of Expedition: Danajon Bank. (Photo: Luciano Candisani/ILCP) [downloaded from http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2013/03/05/ubc-scientists-nature-photographers-launch-philippines-expedition-with-crowdfunding/]

Here’s a little more about the team from the University of British Columbia (UBC) news release,

The Expedition: Danajon Bank team also includes world-renowned photographers Luciano Candisani, Claudio Contreras, and Michael Ready. Project Seahorse co-founders Amanda Vincent (UBC), Heather Koldewey (ZSL [Zoological Society of London]) and Nicholas Hill (ZSL) will act as scientific advisors.

In April, the expedition team will blog from the field at danajon-bank.tumblr.com, and you can follow their exploits on Twitter @projectseahorse and @ilcp.

Beginning in June, the photographs will be shown in a series of public exhibitions in Chicago, Hong Kong, Manila and London and published in a new book.

I wonder why Vancouver is not included as a stop for one of the public exhibitions. After all, Vancouver is between Hong Kong and Manila to the west and Chicago to the east. As well, it is a little unexpected to note the involvement of Project Seahorse as the campaign notes don’t make the reasons for that group’s participation obvious but the campaign video clarifies matters somewhat,

As of today, March 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm PST, they have raised $225 towards their goal with 28 days remaining. Surprisingly, the team doesn’t offer any ‘science’ rewards. You can get photographs, the project’s book of photographs, postcards, etc. but not a single reward features a chat with one of the scientists, or a special visit to a facility such as the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, or an opportunity to be a member of the expedition.

In any event, I wish the expedition the best of luck both with raising funds and with their work.

Crowdfunding nanotoxicology research and determining the results in advance

A Feb. 7, 2013 news item on Nanowerk highlights an initiative by a not-for-profit agency, As You Sow, to crowdfund nanotoxicology research (Note: Links have been removed),

“Slipping Through the Cracks: An Issue Brief on Nanomaterials in Food” was released yesterday by As You Sow, a nonprofit organization that promotes corporate responsibility and environmental health. The brief includes results of a survey of 2,500 food companies about their use of nanomaterials in food products, as well as laboratory results showing titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles in the white powdered sugar that coats Dunkin’ Donuts Powdered Cake Donuts and Hostess Donettes.

Intent on testing more common food products, As You Sow has simultaneously launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. “We plan to raise enough money to test M&M’s, Pop-Tarts, and Trident gum for nanomaterials,” said As You Sow CEO Andrew Behar.

The organization’s Slipping Through the Cracks: An Issue Brief on Nanomaterials in Foods can be found here. Clicking on the publication’s  Download the report (PDF) link produces a form which needs to be filled out prior to receiving it.  From the ‘Slipping Through the Cracks’  webpage,

Slipping Through the Cracks is designed to inform companies, investors, and consumers about the emerging use of engineered nanomaterials in food and food related products. It highlights the potential risks of nanotechnology for companies who are knowingly or unknowingly using it in their products and for public health.

As You Sow and other leading investors surveyed 25,000 food manufacturers and tested a range of popular donuts; the results of both inquiries proved that nanomaterials are currently being used in food products. [emphases mine]

The terminology “leading investors” is an interesting choice. Is that because activist or civil society member is considered more pejorative? From the As You Sow About Us page (Note: Links have been removed),

Founded in 1992, As You Sow promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. Our efforts create large-scale systemic change by establishing sustainable and equitable corporate practices.

As You Sow was founded on the belief that many environmental and human rights issues can be resolved by increased corporate responsibility. As investor representatives, we communicate directly with corporate executives to collaboratively develop and implement business models that reduce risk, benefit brand reputation, and protect long term shareholder value while simultaneously bringing about positive change for the environment and human rights.

How does this work and from where do they get their funding? It’s hard to imagine an investor in IBM or Proctor & Gamble or Facebook or Monsanto or … contacting these folks and asking them to ensure corporate social responsibility and investigate nanomaterials in food. Alternatively, which food or other type of company asked them to check for nanomaterials in donuts? The whole endeavour does seems a bit odd.

In any event, As You Sow’s Feb. 6, 2013 news release about the Indiegogo campaign makes some largely unexceptional comments,

Nanomaterials have been heralded as having the potential to revolutionize the food industry – from enabling production of creamy liquids that contain no fat, to enhancing flavors, improving supplement delivery, providing brighter colors, keeping food fresh longer, or indicating when it spoils. Yet few, if any, studies adequately demonstrate the safety of nanoparticles in food. In fact, scientists are still investigating how nanoparticles will react in the body and what testing methodologies are appropriate to determine this.

“There has been a lot of buzz about the potential for nanomaterials in food, but very little information about the risks to public health,” said Danielle Fugere, As You Sow President and co‐author of the brief. “Much deeper scientific inquiry is needed to prove nanomaterials are safe before they continue to be sold commercially.” [emphasis mine]

“Deeper scientific inquiry” sounds like an excellent idea unfortunately the folks at As You Sow seem to believe that the ‘scientific inquiry’ finding proof of a predetermined outcome, from the Protect Kids from Nanomaterials in Sweets crowdfunding campaign page on Indiegogo,

Kid-friendly foods like M&Ms & Pop-Tarts may contain dangerous nanoparticles, which we found in Dunkin Donuts. Help us test more foods & keep your family safe.

As You Sow found nanomaterials in Dunkin Donuts as noted in their Feb. 6, 2013 news release. Strangely that news release does not contain any information about research proving that the nano titanium dioxide on the donuts is dangerous to anyone’s health. There is not a single piece of research or expert cited. This seems less like a scientific inquiry and more like pseudo-science. The fact that there are some dangerous nanomaterials means that all nanomaterials are dangerous and and, if upon testing, any nanomaterials are found in a foodstuff that means the foodstuff is dangerous to our health.

From a semiotic perspective, there’s a wealth of imagery and signification to work with, far too much for this post.

Shockingly, this group has raised almost 25% of the funds they’ve requested with 33 days left in the campaign.

Darwin meets Chaucer off Broadway, Baba Brinkman’s latest off Broadway show is looking for impresarios (financially speaking)

Mentioned here several times for his various ventures into hip hop, rap and science (my Nov. 23, 2012 posting  for his Ingenious Nature show in New York City; my May 24, 2011 posting about his Rap Guide to Evolution show at the Prince Charles Cinema in London, England; and my April 25, 2011 posting about the première of his Chaucer/Gilgamesh/Beowulf mashup rap in Vancouver, Canada; amongst many others) Baba Brinkman strikes again.  From Brinkman’s Jan. 24, 2013 newsletter,

Darwin Meets Chaucer Off-Broadway

Crowdfunding An Extension, and A Unique Experiment

Two weeks ago we finished up the initial run of Ingenious Nature, and immediately an offer came up to extend not just that show but all three of my shows, at a better-located theatre right on NYU’s main campus in the heart of Greenwich Village. The producers of Rap Guide to Evolution, Canterbury Tales Remixed, and Ingenious Nature would have to combine forces to make this happen, and they are now ready to partner on the project, but we have to raise the funds first. That’s where you come in.

I’m starting a crowdfunder drive with IndieGogo to get this never-before-tried theatre experiment launched. You can watch the pitch video here. If successful, we’ll run all three productions in rotation for one month off-Broadway, with two performances of The Rap Guide to Evolution and one each of the other two shows every week. And if that month goes well, we can extend this run indefinitely.

Here’s more from Brinkman’s indiegogo project page,

Help produce the first-ever hip-hop theatre cycle in New York!

Baba Brinkman and Jamie Simmonds have co-written (lyrics and music) and performed three critically-acclaimed hip-hop plays off-Broadway over the past two years. This crowdfunding drive will launch a never-before-tried concept, presenting all three plays in rotating rep for a one-month initial run right in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village, with the possibility of extending indefinitely.

Located amidst the NYU downtown campus, the Player’s Theater offers a rare opportunity to showcase these original and groundbreaking works, each of which transforms a traditionally academic subject into a thrilling entertainment event. The 200-seat Player’s Theater is available for us to rent beginning in March, four shows per week for an initial four weeks, at $1,000 per show. To cover this $16,000 rental cost, plus the overhead for (your!) funder perks and Indiegogo’s 4% fee, we need to raise $20,000.

With turntablism by DJ Jamie Simmonds setting the mood, Baba’s skillful wordplay uniquely interprets the writing of scientists, literary scholars, the classics, and modern psychology, smoothly merging today’s most important ideas and stories with comedy, theatre, and hip-hop: cutting-edge intellectual entertainment at its best!

First and formost, [sic] contribute whatever you can! Even the lowest funding amount gets you an amazing (and hilarious) live album, recorded off-Broadway in January 2013. Above that the perks just get more and more interesting.

Second, please help us to spread the word! Use the share tools and post the YouTube video to your Facebook and Twitter sites. The more this crowdfunding drive goes viral, the more chance we have of sharing these performances with the widest possible audience, including future tours of your area.

At this point (Jan. 25, 2013), they have raised $1,215 and have 31 days left to reach their $US20,000 goal.  Here’s a sampling of incentives, from the project’s indiegogo page,

$10+

Digital Download

Exclusive digital download of Baba Brinkman & Mr. Simmonds brand new live album, Ingenious Nature, delivered in a personal Thank You email.

Estimated delivery date: February 2013

$50+

VIP Tickets & CD

Two tickets to one of the shows (same parameters as above). Includes a signed Baba Brinkman CD of your choice and a digital download of the new album.

Estimated delivery date: March 2013

$2,000+

Full Performance With DJ

…Full performance from Baba and DJ Jamie Simmonds at any venue of your choice (up to one hour in length, subject to both of their availability, travel and other applicable expenses not included). Includes ten tickets to any of the shows and a t-shirt, signed CD, and digital download.

Estimated delivery date: December 2013

Good luck Baba and company!

Crowdfunding Qii, a foldable, soft keyboard made of a carbon nanotube/fullerene hybrid

Canatu Ltd. is a Finnish company that’s trying to crowdfund its foldable, soft keyboard, Qii, on indiegogo. Here’s more about Canatu’s keyboard project from the Nov. 24, 2012 news item on Nanowerk,

Canatu Ltd., a developer of a new class of versatile carbon nanomaterial based custom films and sensors for flexible and formable touch devices, is launching Qii – the world’s first, truly mobile, rollable touch accessory.

The company appears to be creating a new class of product under the Qii brand name. From the indiegogo campaign description,

With Qii, your smartphone and your imagination, any surface can be effectively turned into a touch surface and any “dumb” object can be turned into a “smart” object. Nanotechnology and organic electronics make it possible. The idea is simple, but the applications are endless.

As our first Qii product, we’re offering a full QWERTY computer keyboard, including a number pad and function keys, wirelessly connected to your smartphone. Because its ultra thin and flexible, Qii is both full sized and pocket sized, so you’ll be able to effortlessly type and surf anywhere you go, be it in a café, the woods, or a car, train, bus or plane. It has an anti fingerprint coating to keep it clean and a textured surface for easy touch typing. It’s dirt and water resistant, so you don’t have to worry about spilling and it’s easily washable with soap and water. And, since Qii’s rollable electronics are printed, it’s tough.

Qii’s case is also a touchpad, allowing you to point, tap and scroll for easy surfing and graphical editing. You can use Qii on most any surface, so you can check your email on your friend’s belly, update your Facebook on your pet, or write your next novel on your pillow.

Some keyboards claim to be rollable, but you can’t roll them up and fit them in your pocket. We use a new kind of flexible transparent electronic film together with a new kind of touch sensing technology that can sense both position and force to create a compact and portable and programmable touch surface.

Qii will work with iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and Palm phones according to each platform’s available QWERTY keyboard and pointer standards.

Intriguing, non? You might want to watch this video for a demonstration,

There is a very brief description of the technology in the campaign material,

Our team has been working for years with our partners to bring Qii to life. Together we have developed new carbon based nanomaterials, new dry printing manufacturing techniques and now new, ultra-high transparency, flexible, bendable, stretchable, rollable and foldable touch technologies and unique touch algorithms to make Qii possible. It starts with our flexible, transparent, electrically conductive film made with a new carbon nanomaterial connected to state-of-the art sensing electronics to make a flexible, transparent touch sensing surface that determines both your finger’s position and force.

We’ll introduce the Qii in pliable hard coated plastic, but, in the future, the sensor can be printed on most anything, even paper, rubber or fabric.

I took a look at the Canatu website and found this information about a material they’ve developed and named, NanoBuds® and which I believe forms the basis for the company’s proposed Qii keyboard,

Canatu has developed a new material, the Carbon NanoBud®, which is a hybrid of Carbon Nanotubes and fullerenes. The hybridization is achieved directly in the material synthesis process and the resulting material combines the best features of both fullerenes and nanotubes.

Canatu’s first products focus on taking advantage of the high conductivity, high aspect ratio, low work function, chemical stability and mechanical flexibility of NanoBuds® to make the world’s highest performance carbon based transparent conductive film for transparent conductors in touch, haptics, displays and photovoltaics. These films, consisting of randomly oriented deposits of NanoBuds on polymer or glass substrates, are flexible, bendable, stretchable and have excellent transparency conductivity performance as shown below. [emphasis mine]

David Brown, the company’s Chief Technical Officer (CTO) originally announced the crowdfunding Qii campaign would take place on Kickstarter in Dan Rogers’s Oct. 10, 2012 article for Plastic Electronics,

An accessory using a novel nanomaterial touchscreen will be launched via the Kickstarter project in the coming weeks, according to nanotechnology developer Canatu.

Based in Finland, Canatu supplies carbon NanoBuds that can be used as a conductive layer alternative to indium tin oxide, which is considered too brittle for flexible electronics.

I’m not sure what happened with the ‘Kickstarter’ plans but the indiegogo campaign has 41 days left as Canatu tries to raise $1,850,000 by Jan. 6, 2013. The company must raise the entire amount requested or it receives nothing.

Good luck to the folks at Canatu. Qii looks like a product which would make moving around much easier. Imagine not having to lug your laptop or tablet around while enjoying the benefits of a full size keyboard.