On Jan. 9, 2012, we profiled Sprout, a pencil-turned-plant that was named by Boston.com as one of the most successful Massachusetts Kickstarter campaigns in 2012. At least three other alum-created campaigns made the list, capping off a successful year from entrepreneurial alums who used crowd-sourcing to build their companies and products.
The three Institute-connected campaigns are listed below. Have we missed any other successfully completed MIT Kickstarter campaigns? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.
Twine is a wireless device (smaller than a drink coaster) set up with onboard sensors that can detect moisture, temperature change, and other irregularities, and alert you via text, e-mail, or Tweet. Twine can be programmed to let you know when your basement is flooded, your pipes or frozen, or if your teenager sneaked out the back door.
Creators David Carr SM ’11 and John Kestner AR ’10 raised $556,000 and sold more than 5,000 Twines in their first run.
Form 1 is a high-resolution 3D printer priced for less than $3,000. (Most 3D printers can cost more than $10,000.) Developed by Formlabs, a Media Lab research team, the desktop-sized printer aimed to build a low-cost stereolithography 3D printer that meets the standards of a professional designer.
Formlabs includes Natan Linder SM ’11, Maxim Lobovsky AR ’11, and graduate student David Cranor. The group raised $2,945,885 from 2,068 backers, far exceeding its initial $100,000 goal.
Gotham Bicycle Defense, which was profiled by Slice last year, combats the growing problem of bicycle light theft. The aluminum LED light—known as the Defender—requires a special tool to lock and unlock it from handlebars.
The Defender was created by Bradley Geswein SM ’11, MBA ’11 and Slava Menn MBA ’11, who were inspired in part by Batman and a friend who was hit by a car shortly after his bike light was stolen. The duo raised $84,728 and have since sold more than 2,000 lights.
Slice profiled additional alum campaigns in 2012, all of which exceeded their initial goal. From a banana keyboard to a space-age dress shirt, these quirky projects highlight MIT’s uniqueness and entrepreneurial spirit.
- The Roominate, a dollhouse construction kit marketed specifically to girls ages 6–10. [Alice Brooks '10]
- Makey Makey lets users reassign the arrow keys, space bar, and left mouse click to objects like bananas, Play Doh, and noodle soup. [Jay Silver SM ’08 and Eric Rosenbaum SM ’09]
- The Ministry of Supply created a dress shirt that utilizes NASA-grade technology to adjust to your body temperature. [Kevin Rustagi ’11, Gihan Amarasiriwardena ’11, and MBA candidates Kit Hickey and Aman Advani]
- The ReadySet Solar Kit uses renewable energy to power up to 10 cellphones or provide lighting for over 30 hours on a full charge. [Brian Warshawsky SM ’98]
- One Day I Too Go Fly, a documentary that follows students from Tanzania, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe as they seek to become engineers. [Arthur Musah ’04, MNG ’05]
- Reader Jonathan Hunt ’97 tipped us off to another alum campaign, The Solar Pocket Factory, which is working to make microsolar more accessible and affordable, was created by Shawn Frayne ’03 and Alex Hornstein ’07, and raised more than $77,000.
- Tamra Johnson ’01 alerted us to Ruff Guide to the United States, which profiles 365 places to visit with your dog in all 50 states, by Melissa Haliburton ’00 and Flipcase, a collapsible sunglasses case, by Alison Wong ’03.