How crowdfunding drove innovation in 2015

What a year it’s been for crowdfunding: Here are some of the highlights

2015 saw a number of record breakers, with the Coolest Cooler becoming the most crowdfunded project of all time, though it was swiftly toppled by the Pebble Time.

We also saw plenty of wearables (for both humans and their pets), new ways to travel, and more cycling accessories than you can shake a bike pump at. But what’s more revealing is the effect crowdfunded projects have had on tech products in general.

Now they’re competing with people welding new products together in their garages, traditional gadget-makers have had to up their game or face the consequences. Sony and HTC in particular have had tough years, and it’s not because they make sub-par products. They don’t. Rather, the rate of progress has escalated to such a degree that if you’re not innovating, you’re yesterday’s news. That’s largely down to crowdfunding’s effect.

Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are bringing the entrepreneurship back to tech, and proving that the big boys don’t have a god-given right to be here.

Related: 10 British crowdfunding success stories
Coolest Cooler

For every Apple Watch, there’s a Pebble Time breathing down its neck. For every Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, there’s a Shenmue 3 generating 10 times the buzz.

You can help celebrate the start-up spirit by voting in our first ever award for Crowdfunded Project of the Year.

It’s a strong field, filled with a real working hoverboard, an actually stylish pair of Bluetooth headphones, a revolutionary smartwatch, innovative cameras, and perhaps the ultimate picnic accessory.

If you’re really keen, you could even head to their crowdfunding pages and back one or two. Let’s show the big companies they can’t rest on their laurels!

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