Do you have a great idea for a product or business, but lack the funds to bring it to life? Especially for you less-seasoned entrepreneurs who may not qualify for traditional loans or have a flush network of investors to tap, crowdfunding may be the perfect way to get your project off the ground. It certainly worked for Pebble, a watch that connects wirelessly to an Android phone or iPhone and lets its wearer run apps and see who’s calling from her wrist. Last year, the entrepreneurs who created it aimed to raise $100,000 through crowdfunding site Kickstarter. They managed to wrangle almost $10.3 million. Not bad.
A bonus of submitting ideas to the public online is that innovators can get a feel for how popular their concepts might be with consumers. Gauging market interest is one of the primary reasons that Phu Nguyen, 26, and Peter Seid, 23,