A new crowdfunding website, SkyFunder.com, has launched, focusing on projects in the aerospace and aviation industries.
SkyFunder was developed as the starting point for a new generation of aviation and aerospace inventions around the globe, including those in technology, research, training and manufacturing, according to its developers.
Projects that need funding can also include educational opportunities in the target industries, company officials said.
SkyFunder provides an opportunity for individuals to crowdfund their aerospace or aviation-focused college and training goals. Backers are invited to help students cover the cost of tuition, books, materials and living expenses.
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. It emerged in an organized way as a method for raising capital in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and has become a multi-billion dollar global industry. With government funding for aviation and aerospace projects drying up, private investments are critical to finance innovation and growth in these areas, company officials said..
“Research, education and manufacturing are the foundation of great nations,” said SkyFunder CEO Mickey Russell. “By helping these companies, individuals and students, backers are not only giving all of them a better opportunity for life, they are investing in making the world more stable.”
Each SkyFunder project is required to offer rewards to its backers – anything from a simple thank you on a website to insider access to the finished product. The creativity of the rewards are often the key to successful crowdfunding campaigns, officials noted.
Like many other crowdfunding sites, SkyFunder makes its money from a percentage of the funds raised by the project. Creating and starting a campaign on the site is free. No fees are due until funds are raised.
After registering, the project creator chooses from one of two funding options available.
The Elastic Funding option allows the creator to keep all funds raised, even if the financial target is not reached. The fees for that option are 9% of the total raised, plus payment processing costs.
The Inelastic Funding option, the all-or-nothing campaign, refunds all donations to the backers if the financial target is not reached. If the target is reached, the fees for that option are 4% of the total, plus payment processing costs.
Payment processing and donations are handled by Stripe.com.
“We believe that the fee structure will motivate project creators to more actively promote their projects,” said Russell.