In 2012 I decided to pursue an idea I had to develop a surfing journal app called Surfr.

At that time, I already had one app on the App Store called Promtr that was self-funded and generating some revenue. However, I knew that Surfr was going to cost considerably more to develop and it was pretty unclear how I was going to afford to fund the project. After reading about a project on a website called Kickstarter, I decided to dive into the world of crowdfunding and successfully navigated my way through tutorials, best practices and the application process.

Spoiler alert: the crowdfunding campaign was unsuccessful in terms of funding and semi-successful in terms of tribe building (We’ll save that story for another post). I was able to successfully fund the project by raising a seed round of $80,000 post-Kickstarter.

Awards-based Crowdfunding

For those of you who aren’t familiar with awards-based crowdfunding: It’s a way to bring your idea to life by incentivizing your friends, family and strangers to part with their hard earned dollars in exchange for a reward of some sort like a t-shirt, digital high five or promise to ship the product once it’s completed.

Now, you may say that sounds silly. Why would someone want to give you money to help develop your business if they’re not getting a piece of the action? Well here are five reasons why they may choose to do so:

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