49. Kickstarter

Crowdfunding site

Charles Adler, Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler (left to right), founders of Kickstarter
Source: Kickstarter
Charles Adler, Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler (left to right), founders of Kickstarter

Founders: Charles Adler, Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler (CEO)
Date launched:
2009
Funding:
$10 million
Industries disrupted:
Consumer Goods, Investing, Venture Capital
Disrupting: Amazon, Wells Fargo
Competition: AngelList, IndieGogo, Quirky

There's a good chance that the new indie record you heard over the weekend or the quirky art installation you saw downtown was funded by Kickstarter. This Brooklyn-based company, originally funded by angel investors, is part of the growing collection of donation-based crowdfunding platforms.

Kickstarter specializes in creative projects such as films, games, music, art and design. Project creators set a funding goal and a deadline for raising the money. Creators receive money only if the funding goal is reached by the deadline.

Read MoreFULL LIST: 2014 CNBC DISRUPTOR 50

Kickstarter believes this "all or nothing" feature adds a sense of urgency and momentum to a project and actually helps more creators get funded. They may be on to something. Since the company's launch in 2009, 6.4 million people have pledged $1 billion, which has funded 63,000 creative projects.

On the company's disruptive impact:

"Look at the way the investment industry works. Someone gives you money and hopes that they will make money themselves. I think the art world works by different rules. I love the idea of things existing just because people want them to." -Yancey Strickler, co-founder and CEO


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