Canadian Crowdfunding Campaigns You May Want to Fund This Week

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Sensorian Shield: The Physical World Meets Cloud Computing

There are a lot of Raspberry Pi-focused projects on crowdfunding sites but this one seems pretty cool. It’s a shield that adds a whole host of sensors to the device, which allows for easy prototyping of internet of things projects. It can be programmed using both Python and C and has an open API.

The shield costs $45 or $55 with a LCD screen. The campaign is looking to raise $7,5000 and it’s already surpassed its goal.

Leather Messenger bags and satchels by Ben Katz

Finding a leather messenger bag that isn’t super expensive can be tough. This campaign wants to change that, its creator wants to make pretty stylish bags that look “like a postman bag Indiana Jones would love to own.”

The creator has been making leather accessories for 13 years and selling them at trade shows, so there’s some experience behind the campaign.

Bags start at $98 and go up to $140. That campaign is looking to raise $5,000 and it’s over 60 per cent of the way there.

Genetically Modified Information: A science-based GMO film

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about GMOs. Health food fans and the big organic food companies think – or want you to think – the technology is dangerous. But the scientific consensus seems to be that GMOs are safe.

This movie, which is part of an academic thesis, wants to cut through the noise. The creator says it will be fiercely independent and focused entirely on scientific accuracy.

It plans to feature leading experts from the scientific community as well as farmers from around the world. The campaign is looking to raise $22,000. So far it’s got a little over $3,000. $20 gets a digital copy of the film.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

 

SmartMirror

The interactive mirror is something of a sci-fi trope so it’s actually a bit of a surprise that it doesn’t exist already. Well, if this campaign is successful, it will. It’s a mirror that displays the type of information you might usually get from your phone – the weather, your news feeds, messages, calendars or anything else, really – all while looking at yourself.

It could actually be pretty useful, after all the bathroom is the only room where most of us don’t have our phones. A prototype has been built so the campaign is to turn it into a product.

It’s looking to raise $100,000. Right now it’s at about 10 per cent of that. Early backers can get the smart mirror for $349. After that it’s $399.

A Small Wind Turbine for a Big Difference

When I think of wind turbines, I think of the giant wind farms. This is the opposite. It’s a small, portable turbine that gives just enough power to charge small electronic devices. It looks like it would be perfect for charging things on the beach, while camping or anywhere else there’s wind but no outlets.

It’s simple and portable and the parts are 3D-printed, so production is faster than traditional methods. There’s also a social benefit to this – the creators of the campaign plan to bring 50 turbines to rural Nicaragua, where electricity is unavailable.

For $60 backers can get the files to 3D print their own turbine or for $149 they can get the whole thing – though there’s only a limited number available. The camping is looking to raise $40,000 and it’s more than a third of the way there.

Satanic Panic

The 80s were a weird time. For almost a decade people really believed that satanic cultists were everywhere, eating children or whatever. And they believed that heavy metal, comic books and (worst of all) Dungeons and Dragons would lead teens into the grips of the satanists.

It all seems rather silly now but people at the time took it very seriously. This book is all about the panic and where it came from. Could be an interesting read.

The book costs backers $20. The campaign is looking to raise US$7,500. It’s almost halfway there.

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Breathe – The Meditation Lamp

Meditation is a good way to relax but getting in the right frame of mind can be a challenge. This lamp looks to make it easier. Users breathe in and out along with the lamp as it brightens and dims. It’s pretty simple and straightforward, which means it should be easy to use.

It also uses blue Himalayan salt which looks pretty cool.  The lamp is $59 but there are several lower price points for early backers, though numbers are limited and some have already been completely snapped up.

The campaign is looking to raise $8,500. So far it’s at around a quarter of that.

MODR: The world’s most powerful modular case

Most cell phone cases are just a case – this one is a lot more than that.

It’s a lens mount, wireless charger, allows you to add a projector or a solar battery and has a built-in USB hub, allowing for more options. It also protects your phone.

Right now it’s just for the Samsung Galaxy S4, S5 and S6 but other plans are in the works to add other phones. Cases start at US$59 and, depending on the options, go up to US$119. The campaign is looking to raise US$70,000. It raised just shy of $25,000 in the first three days.

Project Orion

The whole space-combat genre of games used to be pretty big back in the days of Wing Commander but now its sort of fallen by the wayside. This game promises big battles, with customized spaceships and strategy, through the command of allies and energy management.

The creators say they’ve already put in a lot of work and they just need a bit more money to get the game across the finish line. They’re trying to raise $7,500, right now they’re approaching $2,000 with three weeks to go.

$15 gets a digital copy of the game.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Peeps Magazine Issue One

There’s something a little funny about a crowdfunding campaign for a print magazine but this one seems like an interesting concept. It’s an anthropology magazine for non-anthropologists, a magazine about culture and context rather than events.

Despite the name, the design of the magazine looks pretty slick with nice photography and layout and a lot of the people involved have experience making magazines.

They’re trying to raise $16,521. A few days into it, they were about one-tenth of the way there. $25 gets backers a copy of the magazine.

Enigmaze – Secure Password Manager

This is a codebook for your passwords. Using transparencies and invisible ink laid over a grid, it allows people to create unique hard-to-guess passwords for every account and find them again when they’re needed, without having them out in the open. It’s based on the same cryptography concepts that were used in World War II and it will make you feel like a spy every time you log-in to Facebook.

$18 gets the book, transparencies and a UV pen. The campaign is looking to raise $3,000 and its already surpassed that with several weeks still to go.

Stickman Stronghold Defense

In this game, you have to defend your stronghold against waves of attackers with a twist, you have to draw the defenders (don’t worry, they’re just stickmen) and the faster you can draw, the better you’ll do. The whole thing is the concept of a 15-year-old kid and the out-of-focus video for the campaign is just him detailing the different levels of the game but he has thought of some important things.

He’s planning to hire a professional app-development company to do the actual work, so it seems likely that if the money gets raised, the game will actually be made.

The campaign is looking to raise $75,000, which is a lot but you gotta admire the ambition this kid has.  $25 gets backers the game.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

 

NEA 3D: Stylish & Upgradeable 3D Printing for All

It’s kind of crazy how many 3D printers and 3D printing accessories launch on crowdfunding sites. But there’s clearly a demand for it.

This 3D printer comes in three sizes and has a stylish design that’s reminiscent of a fancy coffee maker. The creators say it will be easy to use and it’s modular, so it can be upgraded as new upgrades come out.

Early backers can get the NEA Pro Mini for US$495 (about $600 Canadian), the Pro for US$845 (about CAD$1019) or the Pro+ for US$1095 (about CAD$1319).

The campaign is looking to raise US$75,000. It shot past that in one day – reaching $88,999.

Fibonacci Clock: An open source clock for nerds with style

This is a pretty impractical clock unless you’re good at math. But either way, it looks nice. It’s a clock that uses colours that correspond with number and the first five numbers in the first Fibonacci sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3 and 5.

You have to know which number the colours on the clock go with and then do some math to figure out the time and in a world where many people no longer know how to read an analog clock, you gotta admire something even more obtuse. Honestly, though, it would probably get pretty easy after a while and the thing looks really cool.

$115 gets backers a fully assembled clock while $75 gets the do-it-yourself kit. There’s also a middle tier and for $15 you can get the circuit board and a list of parts to really do it DIY style.

The campaign is looking to raise $5,000 and was almost halfway there after a couple days.

LOUD on Planet X

This looks pretty cool, it’s an arcade-style rhythm game featuring Canadian bands like Fucked Up, Metric and Tegan and Sarah and some other ones that I don’t really know but who are probably popular with the kids these days.

It looks like fun, it seems pretty original and the fact that it’s all about Canadian indie bands is pretty neat. The game will be available for PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Steam, iOS and Android.

$10 gets the game. Other backer levels have things like guitar picks, t-shirts and vinyl records.

It’s looking to raise $50,000. With 30 days to go it was at $17,807. 

 

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

NodeUSB:Low cost,’Eat Your own dog food’ WiFi DevKit for IoT

This is a wifi-enabled internet-of-things dev kit that’s designed to be used every day. While most dev kits out there are focused on teaching people about hardware, this one is also about being used on real projects. It uses USB so projects can easily connect to consumer products and the nodes are modular, so multiple nodes can be combined. A single NodeUSB is $9. There are also a lot of different kits with multiple NodeUSBs and or other features, like sensors.

The campaign was looking to raise $1,000. Its blown past that goal, with two weeks to go, it has raised $7,385.

Research Dinosaur Tracks in Northeast BC, Canada!

The exclamation mark in the title of this crowdfunding campaign is well-deserved because dinosaurs are awesome.  A group of researchers at a small museum in B.C.’s Peace Region has found out about a large site that is covered in dinosaur tracks. The only problem, they don’t have enough money to go to the isolated area in order to document the tracks.

It’s the largest site of it’s kind ever found in Canada and it’s the first track site to be discovered in the region since the 1970s when all the known track sites were flooded after a damn was built, so it’s a pretty big deal. The perks are mostly for people in the local area, they include things like passes to the museum, but it seems like a pretty cool cause.

They’re looking to raise $190,000 and six days into it, they still had a long way to go – having only raised $400.

Filastic – The Flexible 3D Printing Filament

Seems like filament is one of the biggest pain-points in 3D printing. It’s expensive or poor quality (and sometimes both) the creators of this campaign say their new filament will be neither of those things.

They say BotFeeder Filastic is flexible, strong and consistent.

$55 gets backers a 700 gram spool. There are some discounts at higher pledge levels. The campaign is looking to raise $10,000, so far it’s at just over half that with a few weeks to go.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

The Palette: 3D Printing Evolved

This 3D-printer add-on allows users to print with multiple colours at the same time and use materials that they otherwise would be able to use, like conductive, carbon fibre infused, stainless steel infused and wood fill filaments.  The idea is that it will allow users to upgrade their 3D printers without the need to buy a new printer and the creators say it’s simple to install and works with a variety of printers.

With discounted rewards for early backers already snapped-up, the Palatte nows starts at $849. The campaign has already raised more than twice it’s goal of $75,000 in just a couple days.

Ultimate Chicken Horse

This looks like it could be a pretty cool twist on the platformer genre. It’s bases around a multiplayer mode where players build the levels as part of the game. There’s lots of jumping and lots of traps. There’s also a puzzle-solving single-player mode and the graphics look pretty cool.

There’s a demo out and the team behind the game is looking for more money to finish and polish the final product. $15 gets the game. The campaign is a little more than halfway to their $25,000 goal with a couple weeks to go.

OSS Mentality – Live Online Combat Sports Training

Remember I Mother Earth, the Canadian 90s rock band? Well their singer (not the first one, the second one) is now really into MMA and he’s trying to launch a new app aimed at the combat sport community. The idea is to connect amateurs with pros who can give them private lessons through videoconferencing.

There’s an integrated payment system, which will allow professional fighters to make additional income by providing lessons through the app. There are a whole bunch of different perks – at almost every price-point include discounts on fighting gear, t-shirts, hats and that sort of thing.

The campaign is looking to raise $30,000. In three days they were a little short of $1,000 – so still a long way to go but on their way.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

The Palette: 3D Printing Evolved

This 3D-printer add-on allows users to print with multiple colours at the same time and use materials that they otherwise would be able to use, like conductive, carbon fibre infused, stainless steel infused and wood fill filaments. The idea is that it will allow users to upgrade their 3D printers without the need to buy a new printer and the creators say it’s simple to install and works with a variety of printers.

With discounted rewards for early backers already snapped-up, the Palatte nows starts at $849. The campaign has already raised more than twice it’s goal of $75,000 in just a couple days.

Ultimate Chicken Horse

This looks like it could be a pretty cool twist on the platformer genre. It’s bases around a multiplayer mode where players build the levels as part of the game. There’s lots of jumping and lots of traps. There’s also a puzzle-solving single-player mode and the graphics look pretty cool. There’s a demo out and the team behind the game is looking for more money to finish and polish the final product.

$15 gets the game. The campaign is a little more than halfway to their $25,000 goal with a couple weeks to go.

OSS Mentality – Live Online Combat Sports Training

Remember I Mother Earth, the Canadian 90s rock band? Well their singer (not the first one, the second one) is now really into MMA and he’s trying to launch a new app aimed at the combat sport community.

The idea is to connect amateurs with pros who can give them private lessons through videoconferencing. There’s an integrated payment system, which will allow professional fighters to make additional income by providing lessons through the app. There are a whole bunch of different perks – at almost every price-point include discounts on fighting gear, t-shirts, hats and that sort of thing.

The campaign is looking to raise $30,000. In three days they were a little short of $1,000 – so still a long way to go but on their way.

 

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

 

Outward – The Adventurer Life Sim

Most open-world RPGs present a pretty unrealistic world and I’m not just talking about things like magic and fantasy creatures but rather the basic mechanics of the whole thing, if your character can eat, it’s more likely so they can heal not so they can survive.

This open-world game wants to take the genre in a bit of a different direction, it’s trying to present what life would really be like for an adventurer in a fantasy world. Players are going to have to deal with changing weather conditions, build fires and boil water to survive and rather than being a dot on the map, they’re going to have to use geographic landmarks to find themselves.

It also promises a different sort of experience, rather than being a legendary hero, who eventually becomes extremely powerful, players are just ordinary adventurers trying their make their way through a dangerous environment.  Seems kind of neat and, unlike a lot of projects like this on crowdfunding sites, the graphics look pretty good.

The campaign is looking to raise $150,000. Within a week it had raised over $30,000. $20 gets backers the game.

LOST and FOUND product – Universal Locator

This is a pretty straight-forward project, it’s a beeper that attaches to things you might lose – like a remote, your keys, a bag or even a wallet. You press the button on the main device and they others and the small tags that attach to the easily losable items beep. 

One device with two of the tags goes for $25 or it’s $40 with the Lost and Found device and five tags. The campaign is looking to raise $15,000 and it’s over halfway there with a couple weeks left to go.

Decibite: Hosting for the Internet Entrepreneur

Have you ever dealt with a business and thought, if I was running things, they’d be different. Well that’s the thought that seems to have crossed the minds of these Calgary-based entrepreneurs when they were dealing with their web hosting providers. So they’ve decided to start their own.

They’re promising fair prices, transparent pricing policies, high quality customer service, better security and no arbitrary site shutdowns. Unsurprisingly, the perks all come in the form of web hosting. Shared hosting, an SSL certificate and a new or transferred domain starts at $65 for backers.

It’s looking to raise $6,000 and after a little over two weeks it had reached $1,700.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Charger. Cable. Memory in the Size of a Lighter.

Maybe you have a friend whose phone is always dying on them. Maybe you’re that friend. If you’re on the go, it can be hard to charge and you’re probably not carrying a charger around in your pocket.

There have been a lot of solutions for this problem showing up on crowdfunding sites lately but this one is impressive just for its size – it’s less than half-an-inch thick and just over an inch wide making it something that you could carry around in your pocket.

The creators say it will boost a phone’s battery life by 45 per cent. It comes in both micro USB, for Android and Windows phones and Lightning for iPhone 5s. It also acts as a USB thumb drive, because why not, coming with 8, 16 or 32 gigs of storage.

$35 gets early backers the 8 gig version. After that it’s $45. The campaign is looking to raise $20,000 and it got to over $1,400 in just a couple days.

Onion Omega: Build Hardware with Javascript, PHP, Python

This campaign is worth checking out for its video alone. But it’s also a really cool project, Onion is building a tiny wifi-enabled computer that runs Linux and is Arduino compatible.

The idea is that it will allow software developers to create internet-of-things devices easily using languages that they already know – like Python, Javascript or PHP. It certainly promises one of the easiest ways to create connected devices and easily prototype at home.

There are also several stackable add-ons which can add ethernet capability, allow it to directly integrate with existing Arduino devices or control up to 16 servo motors simultaneously.

The campaign is surging past its fundraising goal. Less than a week in, it had already raised  $122,520 almost 10 times its $15,000 goal. The Omega, with a dock to easily connect to projects, costs backers $25. Accessories are $15 each or backers can get the Omega with four accessories for $65.

List2Share: the New Alternative to Boring Social Media Apps

There are a lot of social media apps on crowdfunding sites and most of them don’t have a lot of potential. But this one might be on to something.

It’s a list-based social network. Now that might sound kind of boring but it allows users to create “lists” made up of photos and videos, it looks like more of an array than a list, but what it makes it interesting is that those “lists” can be shared and added to by other users. By using hashtags they can be sorted by subject or location – so strangers at an event could all contribute to the same public photo or video “list,” or friends could create a gallery together of a party or a trip.

Now, as with an new social networking tool, everything is pretty uncertain – the keyword is social. Even if it does work, it might still fail to connect with much of an audience (remember Ello?).

The campaign has already surpassed its $10,000 goal, with almost a month left it’s already raised $15,000 – so its clearly connecting with some people. It’s going to be a free app so perks are in the form of t-shirts ($29) and things like that.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Briefpack Utility XL

This is a briefcase that doubles as a messenger-style bag or backpack, which is pretty cool, because when you’re walking around it’s easier to sling your bag across your shoulder(s) but when you walk into that business meeting, it can look a little juvenile. This is something I have actually thought about.

It also expands, so that it can be used as a carry-on luggage bag. Venque, the Toronto-based company behind the bag has already done two successful bag-related Kickstarter campaigns, so it’s likely that they can deliver.

$199 gets the bag in grey or black. It’s already raised over four times its $10,000 goal but supplies are limited.

SpyFrame: Turn your iPhone into a wireless hidden camera

This is definitely one of those projects that could only come to life in SkyMall or through crowdfunding.

It’s a picture frame that conceals an iPhone – allowing it to be used as a spy camera. It will use wifi to transmit the video to another iPhone, tablet or computer.

It does rely on the phone’s battery to stay active, though it can use motion-detection to trigger recording, so it’s not on all the time. But that does mean you can’t send a lovely picture to your enemies that’s secretly also a spy camera which does limit its application somewhat. Still, you could put it in your house or office to covertly monitor kids or employees or be creepy.

The campaign needs to raise $8,000 to get funded. And it’s still got a long way to go, its yet to break the $1,000 mark, but its still got weeks left. $20 gets early backers the frame. Which is a pretty cheap way to get a spy camera if you’ve got an old iPhone kicking around.

lynk: Protect your mobile digital identity

We all keep a lot of personal info on our smartphones. Even if you don’t really think you do, you’re probably logged-in to your email and a social network or two right now and if your phone got stolen, the thief could get right in. And with the rise of mobile payments, the risks are multiplying.

This device aims to stop that. It’s a small fob that uses Bluetooth and near-field communication to pair with your phone and if the two devices get out of range, your phone is locked-down and unable to be accessed without the lynk device. But while it should protect against random theft, which is probably the biggest threat to most people, there is the possibility that it could open additional vulnerabilities to targeted hacks taking advantage of that Bluetooth and NFC connection.

The campaign is looking to raise $40,000 and it’s almost a quarter of the way there. Early backers can get the device for $59.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Lumo Interactive Projector

This projector turns floors into interactive games. It seems like a pretty interesting idea and one that hasn’t really been tried before. Right now, it’s mostly aimed at kids but there are over 100 games for the device and it ships with software to design simple games. It runs on Android, so it’s possible to play existing Android games using a Bluetooth controller or for developers to port them to the device and it’s motion sensor using its SDK. The device also doubles as a regular projector.

$549 gets backers the device. The campaign is looking to raise $80,000 and it hit $37,000 in just four days. 

Jesse Brown is creating CANADALAND podcasts

There aren’t a lot of podcasts that have had quite the impact that Jesse Brown’s Canadaland has had. The former Maclean’s writer and CBC radio broadcaster puts out two entertaining and informative podcasts every week, focusing on Canadian media.

Brown looks at a lot of things that might be open secrets in the industry but aren’t public knowledge. He’s also had some fascinating interviews with journalists who are facing lawsuits – or worse – at home and abroad. While most of shows are long-form interviews or conversions with other journalists, Brown also breaks stories – he’s probably best-known for exposing Jian Ghomeshi. He’s also got thousands of listeners.

Now he’s taking that to the next level.

A few months ago, he launched a Patreon campaign. Thanks to that, Brown now does two episodes a week. Next, he’s going to turn Canadaland, which already has a couple other people working on it, into a full-fledged media organization, that will publish stories everyday and do more original reporting. It’s pretty ambitious but it could be really good.

Brown’s next goal is to get $12,000 a month, at that point he’ll be able to afford libel insurance and have a lawyer on retainer – pretty important if you’re going to be reporting hard-hitting stories without the help of a major media organization. There’s not a lot in the way of perks – $4 a month gets subscribers access to a Google hangout with Brown while $10 a month gets a pretty cool t-shirt designed by Raymond Biesinger but the real reward is supporting a pretty great project.

Milan, New Mexico

This is a pretty weird project but it’s kind of neat. Frederic Bigras-Burrogano and his friend Matt want to travel around North America taking pictures of towns that are named after foreign cities, like the one where it all started, Milan, New Mexico. They’ve already travelled 16,000 km and have visited 45 communities – places like Milan, Georgia; Newcastle, Wyoming; Belgrade, Montana and Venice, Florida.

The goal now is to raise money to travel through Quebec and the Northeastern United States and to make a magazine documenting the different cities and their search for connections between these North American cities and their namesakes.

It really does seem like the type of project that could only be achieved through crowdfunding. So far, they’ve raised a little almost half of their $3,690 goal. $20 gets backers the magazine.

 

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

DNA Tinker Studio

This kit claims to be the “most accessible life science learning tool available.” It’s a kit that allows users to do genetic engineering at home. It’s like those old chemistry or circuit board kits but for DNA.

The company behind it, Synbiota has already made products that allow users to create florescent microbes or create a bacterium that turns sugar into violacein, an antibiotic. This kit takes that a step further, it allows to not only create those projects but also design their own genetic constructs.
It’s “like an Arduino for living things” or “real DNA parts that fit together like Lego.”

The campaign is looking to raise $10,000 and it’s more than halfway there. The whole studio kit itself will cost backers $995. There’s also simpler kits for $395 while for $45 backers can get a kit that will allow them to genetically engineer E. Coli bacteria to glow florescent red – something it doesn’t naturally do.

The Action Pack by Mosher Originals

Mosher Originals got its start making jackets for dogs now its making backpacks for humans. The Action Pack is literally handmade and “is built to be used and it is as versatile and capable as you are.” It’s made from a variety of materials and has a bunch of additional features that make it great for things like camping and hiking as well as every day.

The line also includes a simpler, smaller backpack called the GOTO that probably could have been a Kickstarter campaign in it’s own right. It’s also durable and water resistant. They both are also pretty stylish.

The Action Pack costs backers $250, while the GOTO goes for $140. There were some early bird deals, but they’ve already been snapped up. There are also some accessories, like a bandana and a wallet at lower prices.

The campaign has already surpassed its goal of $10,000. It’s almost double that right now, with weeks to go.

The Bottle Holder

So, it’s almost summer and, if you’re like me, you’ll probably be travelling more and more on your bike. And, if you’re like me, often enough you’ll be heading somewhere with a bottle of wine, or something like that, and you don’t necessarily want to bring a bag, because all that’s in it is some wine and then you have an empty bag on the ride home, which seems kind of silly.

Well, this campaign seems likely to solve that. It’s a bottle holder for wine or beer that attaches to your bike. It has wooden pieces to hold the bottle in place and it attaches to the bike with leather straps. It’s all pretty stylish too.

The bottle holder is $95. There are a few other perks, like a personalized leather dog collar ($50) or a personalized leather iPhone case ($40). The campaign is looking to raise $3,500 and it’s about two-thirds of the way there with quite some time left to go.

Neptune Suite – Your Computing Life, Now Seamless

Most smart watches are peripherals, they’re accessories for your phone, this one turns that on its head. It’s an Android computer all based around a wrist computer, the Hub, that allows users to do all the things they normally do on their phone and many of the things they normally do on their computer.

It also comes with a phone-size pocket touchscreen, with cameras facing in both directions –  which is really just a controller for the Hub. There’s also a tablet-sized screen, also with a built-in camera, and a keyboard as well as a dongle (a word that really sounds much dirtier than it should) to pair any other screen with the device. Neptune has already built a smartwatch that seems to have won over a lot of fans, so it seems like they could just pull this one off.

Early backers can get the suite for US$599. The campaign is surging past its goal – it’s raised almost nine times the $100,000 it was looking for just four days into the campaign.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Ryan North is creating Dinosaur Comics and books

Normally in this space we mostly focus on the big “traditional” crowdfunding sites, but there’s some pretty cool stuff going on on some of the others. You’ve probably seen Dinosaur Comics, you know the one with the T-Rex stepping on a house and a lot of (often funny) text.

Well, the creator, Ryan North, is turning it into a career on Patreon. It’s a little different, because it involves a regular, monthly contribution – rather than backing it a single time. But for $3 a month, backers get the next day’s comic early and for $10 a month, patrons get a monthly Q and A with North.

Right now, he’s getting $2,519.99 a month, once he hits $3,000 all the existing patrons get a secret surprise.

 

CellMate: Engraved Wood Phone Cases

Most cellphone cases are made of plastic or rubber, maybe a mix of the two, a few are metal but this iPhone 5 and 6 case is something else. It’s made of wood. It looks pretty cool and best of all, it started as a class project for a group of girls in grade 10 and 11. While it might have began as a business simulation it’s now a very real business.

For $25 backers can get their own CellMate case. So far the campaign has only raised one-tenth of its goal but there’s still plenty of time left to go.

 

Pebble Time – Awesome Smartwatch, No Compromises

If you’re not one of the people who spent last Monday talking about how their smartwatch is superior to Apple’s, this is you chance to become one of them.  The Pebble Time builds on the previous Pebble design with a new interface, colour display and a microphone. Its also slimmer and has other new features, particularly for developers. Plus, it works with all existing Pebble apps.

The Pebble Time will cost backers $179. And, as you’ve probably heard, it soared past all the existing crowdfunding records. So far, it’s raised over $18 million from over 70,000 backers – and while that’s starting to slow down it’s not over yet.


Touchpoint 2.0: the Coolest and Smartest Leather Gloves

Using a cellphone with gloves on can be tough. I know we’re all hoping winter is over but it’s still chilly enough (at least in some parts of the country) that even though you’re tempted to take off your gloves to text, your fingers still get cold.

The problem with a lot of gloves designed for use with touch screens is that they’re not very nice. These glove are intended to be stylish and warm as well as useful. They’ve the successor to a previous, successful, Kickstarter campaign and incorporate near-field communication technology allowing hands-free control of some apps.

The gloves cost backers $55. So far it’s raised $15,218, well over the goal of $2,000.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

i Ready O – Retrofying your iPhone

This iPhone speaker has the style of an old clock radio. And the clock is provided by the iPhone itself. Phones fit inside the device, with their screen doubling as the clock screen. The phone can then be controlled with buttons on the clock radio itself. It’s built for iPhone 4, 4s, 5 and 5s – so if one of those is your current phone, you can pop it in and out, or, if you’ve upgraded, now you have a use for your old iPhone.

The campaign has a goal of $60,000 and with over two weeks to go it had raised over $10,000. The i Ready O box costs backers $88.

Iconic Grain Elevators and the Life in Western Canada – Expo

The grain elevators of Western Canada are pretty stunning and they’re disappearing.

When Jayaram Varada, who is originally from India, moved to Saskatchewan he was particularly taken with them and started taking pictures to document iconic beauty.  Now, he’s turned to Kickstarter to fund a trip to show his photos in art galleries back in his native India.

It’s a pretty unique and neat project.  Also, the perks are pretty cool. $10 gets a print of one of his photos on a postcard while $25 gets a high-quality 8 by 10 inch print. His goal is $6,500 and with just over two weeks to go, he was still a ways off – having only raised $424.

Pebble Time – Awesome Smartwatch, No Compromises

This campaign for a new Pebble smartwatch, continues to blow through crowdfunding records. In the past week, backers have pledged almost $6 million – bringing the amount raised to over $18 million. By the time you read this, that might be even higher.

The Time builds on the previous Pebble design with a new interface, colour display and a microphone. Its also slimmer and has other new features, particularly for developers. Plus, it works with all existing Pebble apps.

The Pebble Time will cost backers $179.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Moving Forward: Data-driven journalism

Journalism projects are relatively common on crowdfunding sites but they’re usually hindered by a lack of experience and a pretty obvious agenda. This one looks different—it’s got some serious experience in the form of both researchers and journalists and its looking to report on the Metro Vancouver transit referendum in a new way.

The goal of Discourse Media is to use data to explain the issues at play in a highly complicated system and make that data understandable to the public. It’s looking to raise $20,000 and is around a quarter of the way there. The perks aren’t great, but that’s not really what this is about.

Prime4orm: A shirt that can change your life

A lot of people have bad posture – modern life involves a lot of sitting and people are often hunched over their desk (I am right now) or while driving. This shirt “uses gentle tensions to re-engineer your form” and fix bad posture. It uses a foam material to push the shoulders back to strengthen the wearers back muscles.

It’s looking to raise $60,000 and is almost a third of the way there. Early backers can get the shirt for $75. After that it’s $90.

Pebble Time

This campaign for a new Pebble smartwatch has already set a new crowdfunding record. 

It builds on the previous Pebble design with a new interface, colour display and a microphone. I’ts also slimmer and has other new features, particularly for developers. Plus, it works with all existing Pebble apps.

As of writing, the campaign had raised over $10.7 million from almost 50,000 backers but by the time you read this that will probably be even higher. The Pebble Time will cost backers $179.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

 

Pixelles Montreal

There’s no doubt that it can be tough for women to break into game development. This Montreal-based group has been helping women learn to make games both as a hobby and a career, through an incubator program, various events and mentorship. The group want to offer two free six-week incubator programs in the coming year where women will make their first game.

But they need more money. The group is looking to raise $5,000 and was almost at $1,000 before the end of the first day. Perks include stickers, pins and the games made in the program.

Pigeon: the ultimate wifi frame

This digital picture frame is wi-fi enabled and allows users to change the picture through a smartphone app. The idea seems to be that users can share photos with their not-so-tech-savvy parents and grandparents quickly and easily.

Unlike social networks, it’s private and the creators say its easier than email. It also plays video.

The campaign is looking to raise $50,000. So far its raised over 10 per cent of that. Frames start at $119.
 
Rhino Industrial Grade 3D Printer

There’s no shortage of 3D printers on crowdfunding sites. But this one says it’s going to be something different. The creator, a McMaster University PhD student, who’s developing a controller for surgical robots for school, says he was disappointed by unreliability of lower-priced 3D printers.

The promise of this campaign is industrial-grade quality at a lower price. The printer itself has an all-metal chassis and extruder, built for durability.

A self-assembly kit will cost backers $390. All put together it’s $490. The campaign is looking to raise $50,000. So far, it’s doing pretty well, having raised over $15,000.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Tonki: Print your Instagram pics on our eco-friendly frames

It’s funny, people take more pictures than ever but odds are they’re not putting them up around the house the way they used to.  Printing digital photos never really quite caught on and nowadays who even has a printer anymore?

This project is looking to solve that. Users upload a picture and a few days later the photo arrives, printed directly onto a box that folds into a frame.

It looks pretty cool. The campaign is looking to raise $12,000. A week and a half into the campaign, they’d raised just shy of $4,000.

$15 gets a photo printed on a Tonki frame.

The Floor Is Made of Lava

I was a sucker for the floor is lava when I was a kid, well this 2D side-scroller is looking to bring the feeling of that classic game to your computer. Since the floor is made of lava, it’s probably safe to expect a lot of jumping puzzles.

The team behind the game is a little untested but they have so far seems pretty interesting – it’s all in a style that references old-fashioned action platformers without being retro.

They want $60,000 to do it. While reaching that goal could be a big challenge, they managed to raise almost $2,000 in the first 24-hours. The first 600 backers get the game for $10, after that it’s $14.

Rolopower Bag: Generates USB Power As You Walk

Skymall might be dead but its spirit lives on. This is a suitcase that charges your phone as you walk.

The energy is generated from the wheels and there’s a small see-through holder on the top of the suitcase for phones – with a USB charge. Not sure if this is brilliant, ridiculous or a little of both. But then again, a lot of airports do make it pretty hard to find power and if you’ve got a long layover or delay, you’re probably going to be walking around looking for an open power outlet anyway.

It’s got a bit of a steep price tag, though suitcases aren’t cheap. $175 gets a bag. The campaign’s goal is $50,000, so fart they look to have raised $6,435.

Vintage EFX

Ottawa’s Luc Desrochers has been making guitar effects pedals by hand and now he wants to make them for other people. In the video they sound pretty good. They’re handmade, which means no manufacturing and shipping delays but quantities are limited.  They aesthetics have a vintage military-style, which looks good.

There are several pedals everything from a bypass looper to overdrive to tremolo. Pedals start at $60 and go up to $175. There’s a combo pack for $300. The project is looking to raise $2,000. With over two weeks left to go, it’s more than halfway there.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Mixology: A Volume Mixer for Gamers

If you like music and you play a lot of games, there’s a pretty good chance that sometimes you want to listen to some different tunes while you play. Or maybe you’re playing Grand Theft Auto and you hate how the music stops when you get out of a car to cap someone.

There’s a lot of other reasons you might want to change the volume of a program you have running in the background but they all have one thing in common – you don’t want to minimize the game to turn down something else if, say, things are getting heated any you need to pay attention.

This solves that problem, by giving you a mixer that will allow you to change the volume of up to five different programs without having to switch what’s on your screen. It’s looking to raise $24,000 and while it’s getting off to a slow start there’s quite a bit of time to go. $200 gets early adopters a mixer.

Help UTS students get into space

A group from the University of Toronto Schools, a private high school affiliated with its namesake university, want to get some experiments they’ve designed on the International Space Station. They’re entering a contest for students where the winning experiments will be conducted in space by real life astronauts.

But getting to space is expensive (have you ever tried to break free of gravity?) so they need money. The campaign is looking to raise $11,500. With a few weeks left to go it’s well on its way. The perks aren’t great – but that’s not why you’re backing this one.

A tech vibrator

This Montreal-base app and wearable is pretty unique. Miss On the Go is a combined vibrator and Kegel exercise device for women that’s controlled through a mobile app.

But the also has some additional features – like letting another user control the device at a distance. The creators say it can help couples keep their sex life hot while they’re travelling. There’s also a social networking feature, allowing users to play with strangers, share photos and it has a Tinder-like geolocation feature.

The campaign is looking to raise $40,000, in the first two weeks it raised just over $5,000 – so it seems like there’s a market for it. Canadian early adopters can get the device for $95.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Sleev: Protect your wires from damage

You might have had this problem, when the joint where the wire of your charger connects to the part that plugs into your device (technical terms, I know) starts to break. This campaign is looking to create a tool to prevent that. Called Sleev, it’s a cover that gives those joints an extra wraparound.

And, because it extends the life of chargers, reducing the amount of waste created, there’s an environmental benefit too. It’s also very reasonably priced. $3 gets supporters a pair of Sleev protecters. The campaign has already surpassed its goal of $2,500.

Night Map: An interactive documentary

This is a neat idea for night owls in Toronto. Sure, there’s lots to do at night in a big city, but what if you want to go beyond the bars? This project aims to find the city’s hidden nighttime gems. The creators say they’ll make an interactive website that’s part map and part documentary, with vignettes about the places they discover. They say its a long-term project and that after the site launches they’ll let users submit their own discoveries to the map.

The backer perks on this one aren’t great, downloads of the films for $25, a DVD for $50, but it’s more about supping a local media project. So far, it’s off to a bit of a slow start but they’re only looking to raise $1,000.

A phantasmagorical film with live score

This film appeals through name alone – He Hated Pigeons. There’s more to it than pigeon hatred, though; in fact the reason for the film’s name isn’t exactly clear but it sounds like an interesting project.

Writer and director Ingrid Veninger has made four feature films before and they’ve shown at film festivals around the world. The film will be filmed in Patagonia but that’s not what sets it apart. Two different versions of the film will be created, one with a recorded score, the other without. The idea is that when the film plays different cities, it can be accompanied by different musicians playing live.

It’s an interesting and ambitious idea. The project is looking to raise $25,300. Just three days after launching, it was almost halfway there. $25 gets backers an early copy of the script. 

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

1 Power Outlet…2 Speakers…3 USB Charging

Want to plug something else in while your phone is charging? Or maybe you want to listen to some music but it’s on your phone and it’s plugged into the wall? This crowdfunding campaign has you in mind.

The Ellipsis device is a phone speaker that plugs in to the wall but it also does a lot more than. It has a traditional outlet built in – meaning that other things can be plugged-in while the device is in use. It also has a USB plug for phone charging – so you can listen to a song, charge your phone and have something else plugged in all at the same time. For early birds, the two watt version of the device will cost $19. The campaign is looking to raise $40,000.

Igneos: The Last Phoenix – Aerial Combat Adventure Game

This game already has a playable demo out and it got the green light from Steam. The game started as a student project and has moved forward due to the support of fans.

While a lot of work has been done, the creators need some more money to finish it and they want to improve the graphics. They deal with the legal aspects of setting up a new company and acquire some licenses. The game itself is a flying action adventure game where players play as a Phoenix.

A contribution of $15 gets the game. The campaign is looking to raise $40,000 and is well over 10 per cent of the way there with several weeks left.

QUEUE inline power bar

This power bar doesn’t look like any power bar you’ve ever seen. For starters it’s made of wood. There’s also no visible outlets on the exterior – just gaps in the wood. It looks pretty slick but there’s still a lot of work left. The device will also need approval from regulators.

$75 gets backers a Queue. The campaign is looking for $40,000. It still has a long way to go.

Save B.C. Wolves

The British Columbia government is allowing the hunting of wolves by helicopter, according to wildlife conservation group, Pacific Wild Alliance. It’s a move that the group says has been undertaken in an misguided effort to save endangered caribou.

According to the group, the caribou are threatened by habitat loss and the wolf slaughter will do nothing. The group is trying to raise money to launch an awareness campaign and hopefully put pressure on the B.C. government to stop the hunt. There are a variety of wolf-themed rewards for backers. The campaign is looking to raise $50,000.

 

Domus

2015 is starting to look like the year that the smart home really takes off. But one of the biggest things holding the concept back so far has been that people don’t want to replace a whole house full of appliances with smarter ones. Now, Vancouver-based Domus Living is getting around that problem by turning ordinary appliances into smart, connected devices.

It does that through a connected plug. Appliances and electronics plug into Domus’ “iPlug” which plugs directly into the wall outlet. After that, the appliance can be controlled through its app. It also has an IR device, which allows user to control anything that requires a remote using their phone. But it’s not just control and automation, Domus is also gathering data, allowing users to see how much electricity they consume. It also notifies users if an appliance has been running for an unusually long period of time.

A single plug runs backers $39. A set of three plugs and the remote control device is at an early-bird rate of $99.

KIAC’s ODD Gallery and Artist in Residence Program Fundraiser

Dawson City, Yukon is a pretty unique place. There aren’t many towns of 1,500 with art galleries, especially towns that are located 800 kilometres from the nearest city (and Whitehorse isn’t a particularly big place). The Klondike Institute for Art and Culture is one of the main promoters of art in the region and hosts an artist in residence in the old gold rush town but it’s running short on the funds it needs to keep its programs running.

It’s a very cool group in a very cool (and sometimes very cold) place. Since its a campaign to support art, it should be no surprise that the perks are art. $15 gets a handmade art card. $200 gets supports a full work of art sent to them.

BidOkee

This Vancouver group says they’re building the world’s first gamified crowdfunding campaign but first they’re crowdfunding development of the game. The creators say game they’re planning will be free-to-play and will give players real, physical rewards, rather than just in-game achievements. for free. The game will also be integrated with an auction-type e-commerce platform.

But while the e-commerce element is done, the game still needs some work. So they’re looking to the crowd. Unlike traditional crowdfunding campaigns, this campaign gives backers points for their contributions. Those points can then used to bid on items in the e-commerce platform once it launches. There are also other ways to get points and for participants to potentially win prizes.

If it’s successful, the creators say they’ll also start sort of white-label crowdfunding platform that would allow users to create more flexible campaigns with fewer rules.  It’s a pretty ambitious campaign, looking to raise $1.8 million. If it’s successful, that would make it the most-funded crowdfunding campaign in Canadian history. But with only a few hundred backers, there’s still a long way to go.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Identity

This open world massively-multiplayer online roleplaying game sounds like a cross between Grand Theft Auto and Second Life.

Players will be able to play as criminals and commit crimes or play as the cops and track them down; or they could do something totally different and start an in-game business or go hunting in the woods. The Ottawa-based group developing the game says there will be little AI in the persistent world and as much as possible will be controlled by players.

It’s extremely ambitious but John VanderZwet does have some experience, having worked on MMORPGs before. The campaign is trying to raise $150,000 and with some time to go, it’s raised a big chunk of that. A $10 contribution gets game access with higher contributions getting various in-game perks.

My Memory App

Medical apps are becoming more and more prevalent but the developers behind this campaign say there’s nothing out there for people suffering from the short-term memory impairment that comes with severe autism, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.This app isn’t just aimed at people with those conditions, it’s intended to help them.

Though simple exercises and customization, the app’s Toronto-based creator says it can be targeted to a specific user and improve their memory. The app is developed and the proceeds of the crowdfunding campaign will go to cover the cost of translating it into additional languages, creating an Android version and adding additional features.

The campaign has already surpassed its modest goal of $800. $5 gets backers the app.

smrtGRiPS: World’s First Connected Bike Grips

Connected bikes are staring to appear but they’re very expensive and a lot of cyclists are pretty attached to their bikes and wouldn’t want to replace them. That’s where these connected bike grips come in, turning ordinary bikes into connected ones.

The device slides into a bikes handlebar. From there, it guides riders to upcoming turns through vibrations – the left grip vibrates before a left turn and the right for right turns, allowing riders to directions from a navigation app without taking their eyes off the road.

If the navigation app being used has information about upcoming road hazards, the rider will be notified about that as well, through sounds and vibrations. The app also has a tracking feature – which could be particularly useful in cases of bike theft – there is a bit of a catch, another smrtGRiPS-enabled bike has to come within a hundred metres of the missing bike in order to find it.

If a user’s bike is closer, but they can’t find it – say its parked in a large bike rack outside a big university – they can use the app to have their bike make a sound and signal its location. The campaign is looking to raise $50,000 and is making some good progress. $64 gets early birds the grips. 

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Lucidream eXo-Skeleton : Premium iPhone Case Reinvented

Most iPhone cases are bulky plastic things that go around the entire phone. This minimalist skeleton case takes the opposite approach.

It’s made of steel and uses integrated springs to absorb and defuse the shock from falls and drops. Because it’s small, never more than 3 mm thick, it doesn’t add a lot of weight or bulkiness to the phone, it also leaves the touch screen, camera and camera flash unobstructed. Right now, the campaign is only for an iPhone 6 version of the case. Though, if its successful, it will be made for other iPhones.

While the campaign is doing quite well, it’s still a long way from its goal of $50,000. Backers who contribute at least $100 will get the device.

The Soular Backpack

McGill University student Salima Visram grew up in Kenya, while her parents were successful business owners, many of her neighbours weren’t so lucky, living without basics like electricity. Visram is a big believer in the power of education to change lives but homework and reading can be a challenge in the dark, and while kerosene lamps are an option, that can be dangerous and costly.

Visram’s solution is a backpack with a solar panel, which charges a battery while wearers are on their way to school or even just outside. After three to four hours of charging in the sun, the battery can then power a LED light for seven to eight hours.  The goal is to raise $40,000 to distribute 2,000 backpacks in Kikambala, a village near Mombasa, where 90 per cent of the population has no access to electricity.

While this is a charity campaign, so the perks aren’t as important as in commercial ones, there are some cool rewards at the higher levels. A $2,000 contribution gets a stay at a safari lodge in Kenya, while $4,000 gets a week’s stay at a beachfront hotel on the country’s North Coast.

ecojotCONNECT

For a lot of artists, writers, students and others writing or drawing things on paper is still a better way to get their ideas down than using a computer. But while that’s a great way to get those initial ideas down quickly, when it comes time to share or organize them, digital has all the advantages.

This free app works with specially-designed notebooks to make scanning, organizing and sharing quick notes and sketches easier than ever. $25 gets backers a notebook optimized for the app.

Jurassic Fossils

We all know dinosaurs are super cool, so wouldn’t it be great if you could have a realistic dinosaur skeleton at home? Well, the creators of this campaign say that’s what they want but finding something that looks as good as a museum specimen is impossible without paying a lot of money.

So they’ve gone ahead and made their own. It’s a high-quality, detailed Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton that’s about a foot high and looks pretty cool. They’ve also made a velociraptor claw that looks just like the one Dr. Grant uses to scare that annoying kid in Jurassic Park.

The claw goes for $30, while $109 gets early birds the full T.Rex – though that might run out an earlier bird perk at a lower price point has already been entirely claimed.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

NOSP – The No-Spill Food and Beverage Holder

Coffee in bed always seems like a great idea but often enough, that lazy morning is ruined by a spill – and the need for a quick cleanup.

This Kickstarter campaign wants to eliminate that risk with a bowl and beverage holding tray that’s intended to prevent spills.

The NOSP has room for three beverages or two drinks and a bowl, allowing users to have a drink and a snack close at hand while sitting on the coach, making it ideal for watching a movie or game.  The device is designed to hold a variety of different beverages, with a space for a mug handle that cleverly doubles as a wine glass holder. $25 gets backers a stainless steel NOSP, while $29 gets it with a wooden base.

The campaign is getting off to a slow start but it’s getting going and still has quite a bit of time left.

Pinć VR – A Virtual World in Your Pocket

Remember that scene in Minority Report when Tom Cruise straps on a pair of gloves and controls a computer just by waving his hands in front of the screen? Well, this Toronto-based group is bringing that into the real world.

Pinć is a virtual reality headset that allows users to control their phones through a gesture-based interface.

The device doubles as a smartphone case and unfolds into the headset. It comes with “integrated rings” that allow users to control it through gestures. The creators say it will make web browsing and video watching far more immersive.

The campaign has a rather ambitious goal of $50,000 but its already well over halfway there with a quite a bit of time left.

Chefx: Cook amazing meals with our gourmet DIY recipe kits!

Ever want to cook a gourmet meal but not quite sure how to go about it? Maybe you found a nice sounding recipe but don’t have the right ingredients? This Ottawa-based group wants to make cooking gourmet meals easier by delivering recipes developed by some of the top chefs in the city in the same box with all the ingredients.

“Chefx is about different things for different people: customers tell us they love the inspiration it provides to mealtimes, the discovery of new ingredients and cooking techniques, and the fact that they don’t have to shop or search for specialty ingredients,” the creators write.  Chefx has been up and running in Ottawa for 14 months and now they’re turning to Kickstarter to help take it to the entirety of the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor, Canada’s most densely-populated region, which includes Toronto and Montreal.

$50 gets backers one meal for two – with a recipe and all the ingredients – delivered to their door, though it is limited to the region.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

CrowdSolve – CrowdSourcing Adnan’s Investigation

The podcast Serial has become a huge phenomenon, telling the true story of a murder and raising the possibility that the wrong person went to prison. It’s also inspired scores of armchair detectives, trying to solve the case on their own and on social networks.

CrowdSolve wants to take it all a step further by “applying crowdsourcing to crime solving,” specifically cases where someone was wrongfully convicted. CrowdSolve plans to give users access to any publicly-available case files and evidence, tools to help sort it all out and the ability to share theories with other users. While the project will start by trying to solve the murder of Hae Min Lee, the victim in the Serial podcast, it plans to take on other cases where the real criminal might still be at large.

Access to CrowdSolve will be free. A $20 donation gets supporters a branded cereal bowl (get it, like Serial), $35 gets early access to the evidence.

Ben & Lea – Interactive Adventures – iOS iPad App for Kids

The people behind this parent-created app for kids say that the current offerings out there just aren’t good enough. Either they’re not fun or they’re not educational. Ben & Lea – Interactive Stories wants to be fun, smart and collaborative, so parents can spend time with their kids while their using it. The app will launch with three interactive stories, in French and English. Children can use the iPad’s camera to interact with the stories and add their own characters

Early birds can get the app for $5, after that its $8. It’s still got a ways to go to get to its goal of $20,000.

ProtoCycler: Free, Sustainable 3D Printer Filament

Two of the biggest problems with 3D printing are the high cost of filament – the plastic thread that printers use – and the plastic waste printers produce. This project is looking to solve both of those by recycling the plastic waste created by 3D printers into new filament. It can also turn plastic pellets into filament at around one-tenth of the cost of a standard filament spool.

Early bird perks are already sold out but there’s still a discounted ProtoCycler available through the campaign. At $699, its not cheap but the creators say that it pays for itself after between 10 and 20 spools of filament.

Hegemony III: Clash of the Ancients

Toronto-based Longbow Games wants to make a sequel to its first two real-time strategy games set in the ancient world and wants to do its without any middlemen. This one takes place when early Rome was trying to conquer the rest of Italy.

The game promises an enhanced engine, from earlier Hegemony games, and bigger battles. The previous Hegemony games have been noted for their attention to historical detail and the ability to zoom directly from the tactical map to the strategic map.

$20 gets backers the game.

 

 

 It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Next Keyboard – The Perfect Keyboard for iPhone

This keyboard promises to let users type faster, with one hand and pick the right emoji with a single click.

Developed by Toronto-based Tiny Hearts, which has already developed some successful apps for the iPhone, this third-party keyboard app has a smart cursor for fast editing, lots of themes and not only does it suggest the next word, it suggests the next emoji.

Best of all, it’s not expensive. A $5 contribution gets the Next Keyboard as well as two earlier Tiny Hearts apps. Anyone who shares the campaign on social media can also get those two earlier apps for free.

KEYCHARGE Power Charger

I’m sure it’s happened to you, you’re out somewhere and your phone is dying. Maybe you don’t have time to stop and charge it, maybe you don’t have your charger. Well, this “all-in-one keychain backup battery” might be the answer.

It’s a 1000mAh battery that the campaigns creators say can give you up to six hours of talk time and as much as 24-hours of standby.  It works with any phone that uses a micro USB charger or, if you have an iPhone, there’s also there’s also a Lightning connector version.

At the moment, a $15 contribution will get you a Keycharge. Though, there are only a limited number at that price. For $35, backers can get a 16GB flash drive built into their Keycharge.

Ear-O-Smart

Wearable devices are popping up everywhere but this one might be the first of it’s kind – it’s a smart earring designed to monitor heart rate and activity. The idea is to replace what the creators of this campaign describe as “bulky wrist monitors” and combine “fashion and electronics.”

The sensor is small enough to fit inside a variety of different earring styles and the creator, Ravinder Saini says the earlobe is a better place to monitor heart rate than the wrist. And, the creators say, because users will wear the device when they’re not actively exercising, it will track the calories burned by everyday activities like climbing stairs and walking around.

There’s an early-bird Ear-O-Smart for $125. Once those are gone, it goes for $149. Backers can also get a customizable modular version for $150. The campaign is looking to raise $30,000 and  is well on its way.

Poieo3D: A friendly 3D Printer by families for families

This 3D printer was designed with kids in mind. Its creators say it’s easy to use and the design, with its rounded edges looks more like a consumer product than many of the other 3D printers out there. And while it won’t be the cheapest one on the market, it’s certainly close. There’s a growing recognition of the educational applications of 3D printing and this one looks like it fits right in with that.

There’s a limited number of printers available for a $649 contribution, while $699 will get one after those are claimed. The campaign has an ambitious goal – $100,000 – and it’s still got a ways to go.

Canadian Crowdfunding Campaigns You May Want to Fund This Week

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

Wipebook 3

There are few sure things when it comes to crowdfunding. But this campaign is probably about as close as it gets. Ottawa’s Frank Bouchard makes notebooks that work like whiteboards allowing users to write and draw like with a normal notebook but with added benefit of being able to erase their mistakes easily – or reuse the entire book multiple times.

Last year the original campaign raised over $400,000 on Kickstarter. This year, Bouchard is back with a new wipebook – that’s case bound with a hard cover. While the campaign hasn’t heated up quite the way the last one did, that doesn’t mean it’s not a success. This campaign has already raised over 10 times its initial goal and is close enough to it stretch goal that it may even surpass it by the time you read this.

$45 gets backers the new Wipebook 3 but there are some lower-cost perks that get earlier versions of the book.

Mineblock: For Kids to Play Minecraft Safely

A lot of kids are crazy about Minecraft and while they want to play online with their friends, parents might be worried about strangers coming into to those games. Vancouver’s Haig Armen  is trying to solve that problem with his Raspberry Pi-powered Minecraft server, which allows kids to play online with their friends, without the risks that come with an open server that anyone can join. It’s also got a pretty sleek wooden design.

With a little less than a month left, the campaign still has a ways to go but it’s getting there. Backers can get a Mineblock server for $100.

Habitat: Home Automation For Products You Already Own

This ambitious project wants to bring the Internet of things to everyone by automating products people already own. Through several different devices it claims it can make your garage door, smoke detectors and other every-day products smarter.

Habitat Park is a docking station for garage door remotes that allows users to control, monitor and program their garage door through an app. Habitat Protect monitors smoke detectors by listening to and analyzing their tones. Habitat Learn is the most ambitious – it includes a variety of sensors that allow users to program the device to monitor things like a fridge door, a washing machine or other home automation devices. The devices are controlled through a hub that can also connect multiple devices.

The hub and a Learn or Park will cost backers $99 while the Protect option goes for $89. For $189 backers can get one of each.

Valentine’s Day Greeting Cards For That Geeky Science Lover

Scientists might not be known as romantics but this campaign by Tottenham, Ontario’s Christine Snyder is trying to turn that on its head. This series of Valentine’s Day cards is loaded with references to chemistry, biology and physics. They’re all pretty clever and the created promises that backers will have the cards by Valentine’s Day.

A single card costs backers $6 while a set of six goes for $30.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

 

Education Over Ebola: Bring Education to Liberia

The Ebola outbreak in Liberia has impacted people without the disease – with schools forced to close in an effort to minimize the risk of transmission, young Liberians have had their educations interrupted. Toronto-based non-profit Rumie is trying to help those young people keep learning, by sending them free tablet computers pre-loaded with educational software.

The Rumie tablet is affordable for donors – each one costs $50 – and is energy-efficient, so it doesn’t need to be charged often. This campaign reached its initial goal – to raise $10,000 in order to send 200 tablets to Liberia – in 36 hours and is surging towards its stretch goals.

$50 sends a tablet but backers can contribute smaller amounts.

Kidokey: safe and distraction-free wifi box for kids

This wifi router is designed for parents who are worried about what their kids are looking at on the Internet or who need to keep them focused on their homework while on the computer. The device plugs directly into an existing router and creates a second, filtered wifi network for the kids. Not only can parents pick what websites they don’t want their kids to see, they can also control access to app and games.

$69 gets early backers the Kidokey device.

HUUM Portable Smart Security System

This portable monitoring device can detect motion, moisture or temperature allowing users to monitor their homes for everything from floods to burglars. Users can pick which sensor they want in their device and since it’s a modular system they all work together. It also has built-in near-field communication technology – allowing it to pair with Android phones so that users can just tap to change settings or to send notifications to other users – for instance children could tap their phones to the device to let their parents know that they’ve left the house.

The first few backers can get a HUUM device for $74, after that it’s $89. Backers who want to build their own device can get the firmware for $10 and the Arduino USB kit that drives the device is $26

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

WTFast Gaming Router – Play Online Games Faster & Smoother

Fans of multiplayer games know that lag is still one the biggest – and most frustrating – challenges in their games. This project wants to eliminate it. The Kelowna-based team behind the project has already made The Gamers Private network, which has speed up connection speeds for MMO players on PCs but with the new router – they’ll be able to open it up to people on any device, including consoles. They’re promising a 30 to 60 per cent reduction in average game ping, along with a 70 to 90 per cent reduction in both bad router hops and average speed deviation.

It’s an ambitious campaign. They’re looking to raise $250,000 and they still have a long way to go. But the campaign  has a few weeks left. A $50 contribution gets you a router with one connection while $100 gets you a faster router capable of three connections.

Meet TZOA, The World’s First Enviro-Tracker

This wearable device promises to help users understand what’s in their environment. With built-in sensors for air quality, UV radiation and light, it will help users ensure they get enough sun in the winter and not too much in the summer. It also will also help them avoid over-exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution. At the same time and it’s giving data to individuals, it’s also creating a crowd-sourced map of air pollution. Over time, as the software gathers seasonal data, it will be able to help cyclists and runners plan their routes to avoid particularly polluted areas.

A contribution of $135 gets early birds a Tzoa device. The campaign has a $110,000 goal and with several weeks left, it’s getting some early traction.

Gepeto: An app to make stories using puppets

This app turns iPads into puppet theatres for children. Kids can pick from pre-designed backgrounds and characters or create their own. The app also records their puppet shows – allowing them to play-back the stories they create. The idea is to encourage creativity and pro-active engagement with devices – rather than just passive, reactive gameplay.

A contribution of $10 gets early access to the app, while larger backers get additional perks, like puppet controllers ($25) or a subscription to the additional content being created for the app ($50). The campaign is looking to raise $25,000 and, with quite some time to go, is well on its way.

Flow: A fast, precise and wireless controller

This device is intended to replace your mouse and keyboard with a super sensitive controller that recognizes gestures and touch. While it was originally intended for graphic design and CAD, it also can be used to control music and video players. And the device, which fits in the palm of the user’s hand, is also portable, slipping into a pocket and connecting to devices through Bluetooth. Right now, it’s just for Mac but support for iOS devices, Linux, Android and Windows is in the plans. And, because Flow is built on an open platform, users can build more apps for it.

The campaign is looking to raise $50,000. The first 99 people can get a Flow in exchange for a $79 contribution. 

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

 
Lizard

When was the last time you heard about someone making a new game for the Nintendo Entertainment System? Not an emulator, not a game in an old-school style but a genuine NES cartridge? Well, Toronto’s Brad Smith is doing it. He’s started developing a side-scrolling NES game and is now looking for money so that he can release it on cartridges. The game will also be available for modern Windows and Mac computers, in case you don’t have an old Nintendo around.

A $55 contribution gets the cartridge version, while $10 gets a digital download for your modern system.

Poieo3D: A friendly 3D Printer by families for families

This 3D printer was designed with kids in mind. Its creators say it’s easy to use and the design, with its rounded edges looks more like a consumer product than many of the other 3D printers out there. And while it won’t be the cheapest one on the market, it’s certainly close. There’s a growing recognition of the educational applications of 3D printing and this one looks like it fits right in with that.

There’s a limited number of printers available for a $649 contribution, while $699 will get one after those are claimed. The campaign has an ambitious goal – $100,000 and while it’s not close yet, it’s getting up there.

iVi

This ambitious project is looking to build a portable micro-server that will “make meshnet technology accessible to everyone.” Mesh nets are decentralized networks where every node is equal. The creators of this device say it can connect to the regular Internet or be used to create independent networks. Essentially, it can connect to any device that connects to other devices, simply and securely.

It’s small, portable, and cheap. A $99 contribution gets an iVi, with a limited number available for $79. With around a month left, the creators are over a quarter of the way to their goal.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

MeU: Open Source Wearable LED Display

This Toronto startup is making easily-programable wearable LED panels. The panels can be controlled with a smartphone and have an open API, allowing users to program their own apps for the device. It’s still in the early stages, the backer rewards that with the device include it as part of a developer kit so it’s not quite a consumer product yet but the creator sees a future where cyclists and runners can wear the panels to stay safe, where marketers can send messages with their clothes and light-up music festival wear reaches a new level.

The campaign has already raised over $50,000 but with a goal of $175,000, there’s still a long way to go.

Boozestones – Liquor at its finest

This campaign brings new meaning to the phrase “on the rocks.” Drinkers of finer liquors might want their drinks cold but they don’t want them watered down. That’s where this freezable and reusable soapstone solution comes in – they’ll cool down drinks without melting.

$18 gets backers a set of nine stones. So far the campaign has raised more than double its goal and there’s a lot of time left to go.

The Fun Way to Master Human Anatomy: Humanatomy

A Vancouver-based anatomy teacher wants to make it easier for people to learn about the human body through an interactive app. The app makes it easier for users to see the different layers of bone, skin and muscle in the body than a book. It also uses a human voice to teach how new words are pronounced and wants to make learning fun through games.

The project is looking to raise $24,000, with several stretch goals. The campaign is getting some traction – it’s raised several thousand dollars – but it’s going to need more support to reach the goal.

Petite loop: a unique phone leash that fits your lifestyle

Worried about dropping your phone? Then this is the campaign for you. The small loop fits any smartphone case and wraps around the users hand – to make sure the phone never falls. It also comes in a number of different designs – so it will match a user’s style. And, the plan is to ship the loops this December.

The campaign isn’t look to raise a huge amount, $4,000, and is well on its way. $9 gets a loop.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

 

iHeart Physiological Age System

They say age is more about how you feel. Well, it might be a little more related to how your arteries feel.

A Canadian medical doctor is making a device to measure aortic stiffness – a decline in the flexibility of the arteries that’s associated with age and can be one of the first signs of heart disease. Using a fingertip pulse sensor, the device measures aortic stiffness – and giving users their “physiological age” within 30 seconds. The idea is that users can use it to track the effect of exercise and diet over both the short and long-term.

“Let’s stop focusing so much on outer appearance and start looking at what really matters,” the campaign’s creators write on their Indiegogo page. “What’s happening inside the body, affecting our organs, tissues and circulations, has profound importance to health and can be optimized through exercise, diet and healthy living.”

They’re looking to raise $25,000. $99 gets supporters an iHeart device.

Lumera: transform your camera into the smartest one

DSLR cameras may create higher quality images than phones cameras but sharing those images on social networks can be a hassle. Montreal’s Lumera Labs wants to change that.

Their device screws on the bottom of a camera and allows users to share their photos with a single click. The device uses WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy to communicate with a user’s phone, which is how it uploads pictures to social networks. But it also allows users to control their cameras through Android and iOS apps. Users will be able to take pictures and change the camera’s settings wirelessly through their phones.

Lumera has an ambitious goal, $90,000, but the campaign is getting some early traction and still has several weeks to go.

FieldWiz: Optimize your game

There are lots of wearable devices aimed at runners and other individual athletes but sports teams are still limited to old-fashioned ways of measuring performance on the field. FieldWiz is trying to change that with a new performance measurement device for teams. The device fits into a small vest and which is worn by all the players on a team. After a game or practice, the data that’s been gathered is synchronized using bluetooth. Coaches can then see where all their players were at any point during the game and how they were moving.

The group is looking to raise $50,000. $199 gets backers the device – though that price is just for the first 75. After that, it’s $299 for the device. There’s also a team package with 14 devices. It’s $2,900 for the first 10 backers to claim it and $3,900 after that.

THE CANADIAN DENIM CO. – Raw Selvedge Jeans Made in Canada

The neighbourhoods that are home to many of Montreal’s startups used to be centred around the garment industry.  That industry is largely gone now, but some Montrealers are trying to bring a bit of it back. They want to make raw denim jeans.

The fabric comes from the oldest operating mill in North America while the leather for the patch will be sourced from a Quebec First Nation. They say the jeans will retail for $220 when they actually hit stores but Kickstarter backers can get them for less than half of that.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

 

STRONGBODY APPAREL: Technologically Advanced Activewear

This Vancouver startup wants to make activewear that looks good, performs well and doesn’t hold odour. Rather than going for the bright, heavily branded look that’s become popular for activewear brands, Strongbody is going for a “clean and sleek look.”

The clothes are designed to be worn to the gym and on the street after. It also uses an anti-microbial technology made from crab and shrimp shells. The line consists of a hat, t-shirt, hoodie and shorts.

Strongbody is looking to raise $15,000 and they’re well on their way. $52 gets backers a shirt while the whole set costs $265.

Hand Crafted Maps from J.Peters Fine Mapping Co.

Digital maps may have replaced the paper variety when it comes to finding your way around but there’s still something to be said for the ability to hang a nice map on the wall. Joshua Peters is trying to bring that back with his hand-crafted custom maps.  “Mapping is a lot more than just lines drawn on paper. It’s one of our oldest ways of describing the world around us. We all perceive the world in a different way, therefore each map is inherently unique,” he writes.

And it looks like people agree. He’s raised more than double what he was looking for and passed both his stretch goals.

MeU: Open Source Wearable LED Display

This Toronto startup is making easily-programable wearable LED panels. The panels can be controlled with a smartphone and have an open API, allowing users to program their own apps for the device. It’s still in the early stages, the backer rewards that with the device include it as part of a developer kit so it’s not quite a consumer product yet but the creator sees a future where cyclists and runners can wear the panels to stay safe, where marketers can send messages with their clothes and light-up music festival wear reaches a new level.

The campaign is looking to raise $175,000 and while it has received a lot of support, there’s still a long way to go.

Love Sandal, Made by Abi Inc.

There aren’t a lot of 10-year olds that have started their own businesses, especially not ones that have major companies handling their manufacturing but that’s what Abi Smithson has done. Her Love Sandals are designed to leave heart-shaped tan lines on the wearer’s foot. While Smithson has some help from her entrepreneur parents she’s also got the support of some big names in the business community and has Aldo lined-up to manufacture the sandals.

She’s trying to raise $15,000. Sandals start at $24. She’s not just aiming at consumers with her supporter perks – she’s also trying to get larger pre-orders from retailers.

 

 

It’s that time of the week when we look at what creative ideas Canadians are raising money to support.

Check out these Canadian crowdfunding picks-of-the-week:

 
PlexiDrone: Making Aerial Photography a Breeze

Arial photography drones are starting to catch on and a group of Toronto-based engineers are trying to build the best one yet.

The drone, which folds up for added portability, will be able to cary any payload of up to 1 kg and comes with built-in obstacle avoidance software. The lowest-priced PlexiDrone is pre-selling for $659 but that price doesn’t seem to be slowing backers down, the campaign raised over $36,000 in its first 24-hours.

Immortal Empire – Multiplayer Tactics RPG

London Ontario-based Tactic Studios is trying to turn its well-reviewed browser game into a higher quality downloadable product. Immortal Empire involves X-COM-style tactical combat in a fantasy setting, combined with RPG elements and player vs. player combat. The game’s creator, Jesse Attard, has some big name experience, having previously worked at Ubisoft and Capcom.

The game has already received the green light from Steam and the money raised will go to improving things like music, sound effects and resolution for the full downloadable version. The campaign is looking to raise $8,000.

Code4Armour – One Tap Can Save A Life

Everyone’s seen the old medic alert bracelets, but they can only provide a limited amount of information. That’s where Code4Armour, a smart bracelet with medical information, comes in. Developed by a paramedic, when a first responder taps the bracelet with their smartphone it gives them the patient’s medical information  on their smartphone.

The device took less than a week to raise over $19,000 in contributions. $66 gets backers two bands and a two one-year subscriptions to the service

Smart Outlet

Toronto’s Newbeem is making a play for the smart home sector with its wifi-enabled Smart Outlet.  The surge protector will allow users to turn lamps and other things plugged into it on and off either from their smart phones or using a timer.

With over two weeks left to go, the campaign has raised over half of its $20,000 goal.