A Better View of the Future

When the National Endowment for the Arts was formed in 1965, Congress called on society to support “cultural activity in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future.” Today, as news breaks that the National Endowment for the Arts faces elimination, that better view of the future just dimmed.

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Finding a Way Forward on Kickstarter: BeeLine

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Thomas Edison famously observed, "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration."  Sometimes, perspiration is even the genesis of that inspiration.

In 2014 a sweaty Mark Jenner arrived late to meet his friend Tom Putnam after getting lost cycling through the circuitous streets of London, England. He was hot, frustrated, and determined to figure out a better approach to bike navigation. This led the two of them to go to work on BeeLine, a handlebar-mounted gadget that eschews traditional turn-by-turn directions in favor of a simple, compass-like arrow that points to a destination, giving riders the freedom to explore and set their own routes.

Now that BeeLine is out in the world and garnering rave reviews from the likes of Wired, the Guardian, and Engadget, we asked Tom and Mark to reflect on their journey and the many people who helped them along the way. There were engineers and designers who refined their initial prototypes into a functional, beautiful device; production partners who guided them through their first manufacturing experience; and more than 3,000 backers who supported their Kickstarter campaign, providing the financial resources and collective vote of confidence they needed to move forward. 

"We made some good human connections with the backers," Mark notes. They even hired their current CTO, Chet, after first meeting him as a backer of the campaign. (Chet's job is just one of an estimated 29,600 new full-time creative careers Kickstarter projects have created, according to a report last year from the University of Pennsylvania.)

Check out the video above to learn more about how these two friends found their way to success with a clever idea, some hard work, and a lot of helping hands.

Do you live to ride? Explore more creative bike projects or start your own.

See what BeeLine's up to now.

Best Practices for Translating your Project Page

One part of running a Kickstarter campaign is figuring out how to reach the people that will be interested in supporting your idea. This usually involves sharing a compelling story around what you’re making and figuring out how you’ll reach out to people about your project. But it’s important that your project page is inclusive of the community that you’re trying to reach and available in their language. Here are some tips for translating your project page and adding subtitles and captions to your project video. You can also read it in French, German, or Spanish.

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Southern Charm: 11 Kickstarter-funded Films to Play SXSW 2017

Update: We’re thrilled to congratulate director and screenwriter Peter Vack on winning the Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award at the SXSW Film Festival. The award honors a filmmaker "whose work strives to be wholly its own, without regard for norms or desire to conform.” Learn more about the film below.

Starting this weekend, eleven Kickstarter-funded films are set to play SXSW 2017. More than 23,000 backers pledged more than $1.6 million to help bring these film projects to life — not counting the one that’s currently live!

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All in 1 — The First Fifty

If you’ve been sitting on a project idea, why not make like these creators and launch a project as part of All in 1? You have until the end of March to put a one-week project in the mix — head right over here to get started.

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Enter the Kickstarter Games Castle at PAX East

There’s only one place we know of where you can vanquish dragons and goblins, explore the furthest reaches of outer space, and battle an army of devious infants, all under one roof: the Kickstarter Games Castle at PAX East.

From March 10–12, game publishers, developers, and players will gather in Boston for PAX East, one of the largest games events in North America. We’re back at the event this year with an out-of-this-world mix of Kickstarter-funded video and tabletop games for you to peruse and play.

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