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‘Sightline Maps’ Tries Kickstarter — 1 of 565,000 Startups per Month

With Kickstarter crowdfunding having successfully raised $2.6 billion for 111,772 start-ups, “Sightline Maps” is out to raise $40,000 to build a topographical app for 3D printers.

Over 565,000 new companies are formed in the U.S. each month, and they start with an average of $78,406 each. Of the $531 billion in total annual startup funding, about one-third is funded from personal savings and credit, about 10 percent from family and friends, and just 4 percent from venture capitalists.

If you are not rich, don’t have rich friends, and are not discovered at Stanford or Harvard, you might be one of the increasing number of entrepreneurs that are trying their luck at claiming part of the $5.1 billion that will be raised from Kickstarter and other crowdfunding websites this year.

Currently, as this article goes to publication, there are 4,176 live Kickstarter projects trying to raise a total of $31 million. According to the company’s on-line stats, about 35.79 percent of the projects will raise their goal, which currently averages about $7,000. But 190 companies have raised over $1 million on Kickstarter.

One of the companies looking for Kickstarter cash in September is Sightline Maps, founded by Navy veterans Jason Ray and Ben Judge as a software platform to make 3D printed topographical maps as a tool for military operations.

The company’s business opportunity mushroomed when the founders demonstrated it to a couple of K-12 schools and the teachers and kids loved it. Other potential markets Sightline is investigating include land planners, architectural firms, agriculture and extreme sports enthusiasts.

Sightline’s CEO Ben Judge told 3DPrint.com, “This Kickstarter will help us build a community that is using the Sightline platform every day for school projects, lessons, and all sorts of other activities. That is the really exciting thing about this Kickstarter: it’s not simply marketing a product, but building a community.”

Kickstarter has assembled a spectacular investor community that has generated about 32 million “backers.” Sightline launched a 30-day Kickstarter funding drive on September 7, with the goal of raising $40,000. By late on September 10, the startup had raised $10,673 from 59 backers, or an average of about $181 per backer.

To make Sightline Maps more real to backers, the company will donate a free one-year download to a school of the backer’s choice, or a 3D-printed model of any location on the globe that the backer chooses.

Having raised over $10,000, Sightline Maps is already in the top 20 percent of successful Kickstarter raise-ups by dollar amount, and would be in the top 12 percent if it raises more than $20,000.

But by just trying to crowdfund, Sightline Maps has managed to generate tremendous visibility for the company and its products through the Kickstarter “ethosphere” of millions of backers, 3D industry players and national media.

Disclosure: Chriss W. Street has no financial interest in Sightline Maps.

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