Paper Airplanes and Retro Cameras Led NY Kickstarter Campaigns in 2014

There is plenty of ambition to be found on Kickstarter. The Brooklyn-based crowdfunding platform is used around the country to help new ideas get off the ground.

But how do New York-based innovators fare when trying to raise cash?

In recent years, top New York-launched campaigns have raised large amounts of funding for a horror-themed board game, backed by $2.05 million, as well as a Spike Lee indie movie that brought in $1.4 million in pledges.

There was a diverse mix last year among Kickstarter campaigns from New York. The ten that raised the most money for tech-related innovations included smartphone-controlled paper airplanes and a device for pet owners to remotely watch and entertain their cats.

Here is a look at them:

1. The PowerUp 3.0 campaign raised $1.23 million on a $50,000 goal. The battery-powered modules add propeller power to paper airplanes that people pilot via a smartphone app.

LomoInstant_San Remo_with lenses2. The Lomo’Instant Camera from Lomography drew $1.12 million in pledged funding, well above its $100,000 goal, for its film-shooting camera. In an age dominated by digital cameras, Lomo’Instant is analog with a variety of camera lenses and features for taking different style photos.

3. For folks who want to rough it and keep their gadgets charged, there is the BioLite Stove, which raised $1.03 million on a goal of $45,000. This wood-burning stove cooks meals and its heat generates power that can be used to charge mobile devices, lamps, and other gadgets.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

4. Art lovers looking for a digital spin on their décor may turn to Electric Objects, which raised $787,612 on a $25,000 goal. Electric Objects is a high-definition display screen that shows art from the Web by using an integrated computer. The team behind Electric Objects also demoed their idea last July at the New York Tech Meetup.

5. Taking a page from other online retailers, Leonard & Church offers a way for consumers to buy luxury-style watches without price markups from middlemen and others. They raised $470,279 on a goal of $75,000.

6. Though not technology per se, “Hello Ruby” is a children’s book by Linda Liukas for teaching the fundamentals of programming to kids. She raised $380,747 on a goal of $10,000.

7. SmartScope, developed by LabNation, raised $322,697 on its goal of $50,000. This lab instrument, aimed at hardware makers, is designed to be used with smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers.

8. The Gramofon music streaming system uses smartphones as the remotes and links to stereos and speakers to play songs from cloud-based services such as Rhapsody and Spotify. The campaign raised $315,295 on a goal of $250,000.

Pet owners can load Kittyo with treats they control.9. Kittyo, a smartphone-controlled dispenser of treats for cats, raised $271,154 on a goal of $30,000. In addition to releasing snacks while watching via the smartphone app, pet owners can remotely activate and control a laser pointer to play with their cats.

10. The ODIN smart projector campaign, by Dos Owls, raised $268,192 on a goal of $250,000. The Android-based device projects online content from such sources as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, allowing others to watch with the user. It can also access files from the cloud, browse the Web, and project the action from Xbox games that are being played.

Though it missed the top ten, honorable mention goes to the CA7CH Lightbox from Catch Motion, which raised $249,419 for its tiny, live streaming camera that works with smartphones and is no larger than a plump strawberry.

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