This Week’s Coolest Canadian Crowdfunding Campaigns

 

 

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:

For The King

The art in this fantasy roleplaying game looks really good, with a sharp, unique design. But more than that it’s got the potential to be a fun game.

It’s got some traditional role-playing elements and turn-based combat but there are also some new things – players can either play solo or cooperatively with other players. The world is procedurally generated so every play-though is a unique experience.

The campaign was looking to raise $40,000. It’s well past that, sitting at over $54,000 with almost a month to go. $15 gets the game.

Helix – The World’s Best Folding Bike

There’s a bit of a stigma around folding bikes. They’re small, they don’t ride well, they look ugly.

This project wants to take folding bikes to the next level. It’s a folding bike that looks almost the same as a regular bike and rides just as well.

It’s made in Canada from titanium and the system that locks all the pieces into place when it’s unfolded is built so it will need less maintenance than normal folding bikes.

There are three models starting at $1,575 and going up to $2,110.

The campaign has already raise more than 10 times its $120,000 goal. With almost two weeks to go it’s at $1.4 million.

TreeRover: A Tree Planting Robot

The name pretty much says it all with this one, it’s a robot that plants trees.

Tree planting has traditionally been labour intensive proposition – lots of hard work by a lot of people. This Victoria-based team wants to change that.
They’ve built a working prototype of their tree-planting robot and it can autonomously plant trees. But they want to make it better – able to travel further, across rougher terrain, with more trees.

So they’re turning to crowdfunding. Unfortunately, the tree-planting robot isn’t one of the perks on offer but there is a selection of TreeRover merchandise and they’ll plant a tree for every backer.

After 18 days, the campaign is just above its $5,000 goal with three 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:

Watch To-Do organizer

This is pretty much the opposite of a smart watch. In fact, it’s not even a watch. Instead it’s a watch-size chalkboard that straps to your wrist.

At first it seems kind of silly but it actually might be a good idea. It puts your to-do list right in front of your face. It never runs out of batteries and it’s more stylish than a smartwatch. Also way more hipster. Still, could be cool if you want to remember something and don’t want to pull out your phone or carry a day planner around.

It’s like back when people used to write things on their hands or tied a ribbon around their finger to remember something (that might have just been in cartoons) but more practical.

It’s $39 for early backers. The campaign is looking to raise $15,500. Right now its at $285 but the campaign still has a month and a half left.

Alto Earbuds

Here’s a campaign for wireless earbuds. They use Bluetooth but they’re definitely not Bluetooth headsets. Instead they’re small and stylish and designed for listening to music.

They have a battery life of eight hours and come with a charging capsule that carries 16 hours of battery, meaning they can go 24-hours without being plugged-in.

The most important part though is the lack of cords, making them perfect for sports and other activities.

The earbuds start at $149 and the campaign is looking to raise $50,000. Just a couple days in, it’s at over $46,000.

PetBot: Elegant Smart Pet Monitoring

Whenever I’ve had pets, I’ve always wondered what they’re up to when I’m out for the day. Do they have a whole secret life? Are they climbing up on the furniture the moment I walk out the door?

Well, this crowdfunding campaign promises to answer those questions.

It’s a robot for monitoring your pets. Apparently it will listen to your pet and send you notifications when things are going on that might need your attention – for instance if your animal sounds like they’re in distress.

You can also use it to train your pet with the built-in speakers and treat dispenser. So if they are on the furniture (and of course they are) you can lure them down. But most importantly, there’s a video camera so you can see what they do when you’re not around.

It starts at US$149 or $196.84 Canadian. The campaign is looking to raise US$80,000. So far it’s at US$16,028 after three days.

 

 

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:

SmartHalo – Turn your bike into a smart bike

This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen on a crowdfunding site in a long time. It’s a device that turns any bike into a smart bike.

The SmartHalo is a small, circular device that attaches to the middle of the bike’s handles providing turn-by-turn directions from your phone using an LED system that’s very clear and allows cyclist to keep their eyes on the road.nAnd when you’re not riding, the device turns into an alarm.

It also acts as a light, provides notifications about calls and the weather and it tracks how much you ride.

Sounds pretty revolutionary. With all the early-bird discounts claimed, it starts at $131.

The campaign was looking to raise $67,000. It blew past that in just a couple days. With over three weeks to go, it’s at over $151,000.

Lolo Lids the Ultimate Beer Koozie

If you want to drink subtly in public, this might be the answer for you.

It’s a lid that looks like a coffee cup lid but that attaches directly to a beer can – as well as a coffee cup. So rather than drinking out of a take-out cup, you’re drinking directly out of a can of beer that’s hidden in a takeout cup.

That means your beer won’t taste like coffee and that it’s easier to drink and when you want another beer, you don’t have to stand there awkwardly as you obviously pour a can of beer into the coffee cup.

The device will cost backers $20 and the campaign is looking to raise $20,000. It’s just a couple days in and its at a little over $5,600.

The Cedar Scraper – The 100% Safe all-natural BBQ Scraper

Apparently the metal brushes that people use to clean their BBQs are dangerous – the bristles fall out, get into food and cause all sorts of internal injuries.

This campaign aims to solve that problem, which is a real thing (you can google it). It’s a scraper made of cedar so if it splinters (it’s a solid piece of wood) it will just burn up on the BBQ.

The tool looks like something that would go with a BBQ as well.

It’s $15 for a smaller scraper with larger one is $18.

The campaign was looking to raise $1,500. With three weeks to go it’s at over $2,100.

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:

Draw and Erase Your Circuits by Hand

Here’s a pen that allows you to draw (and erase) real circuits without the need for printed circuit boards and soldering irons or those breadboard circuits that use a lot of wires.

The pen uses a conductive ink that allows electricity to col w along it and that ink is what sets the this pen apart. According to the campaign creators, the ink is more stable and conductive than other, similar, pens on the market.

The ink is also erasable, which is pretty cool.

The campaign is looking to raise $50,000. With almost a month left to go, it’s at $11,355. A single pen will cost early backers $19, after that it goes up to $25. There are also kits which come with electronic components as well as the pen. They start at $35.

NathLock Bluetooth Padlock

Ever forget the combination to a padlock? Yeah. Who hasn’t.

Here’s a possible solution, it’s a Bluetooth-enabled padlock that you open with your phone.

There’s no combination, no keys. Also, it will send you a notification if your lock is opened and when it’s time to change the batteries.

It works with iOS, Android and Windows phones.

Early backers can get the lock for US$59 (around $77 Canadian). The campaign is looking to raise US$25,000. So far it’s at a US$364 after four days.

Bevel turns your smartphone into a 3D Camera

Seems like holograms, real holograms, not those one from the hockey cards when you were a kid, are going to be the next thing to make the jump from science fiction to reality.

This device is going to help them make that leap. The Bevel is a small 3D camera that attaches to your phone. Users pan across what they’re taking a picture of and the device scans it and creates a 3D image that users can easily share on social media.

It works with Android and iOS devices.

Early backers can get the Bevel for US$49 (around $64 Canadian). The campaign is looking to raise US$200,000. It’s a little shy of that with over two weeks left to go, at $182,667.

 

 

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:

BikeStrap: Fittest Bike Mount for Any Mobile Phone

Have you ever been biking some where and need to check your phone for directions? It’s a pretty big haste – you need to stop, pull it out, that whole thing.

Here’s a mount that will allow you to use your phone while riding your bike like you might while you’re driving a car.

It’s probably pretty dangerous, if you do it the wrong way but it could also be pretty useful.
The mount fits any phone and the creators say it’s pretty strong – they’ve got a video to prove it.

The campaign reached its $6,500 goal in the first week, now it’s at almost $8,000 with over three weeks to go. One BikeStrap will cost backers $12.

Imperial Spherificator: Transforming your food into caviar

Here’s one of those only-on-Kickstarter projects that’s kind of absurd but also highly in demand – it’s a device to turn your food into tiny spheres.

The company behind it makes a caviar substitute out of seaweed and Imperial Spherificator will, essentially let you do that at home. But it’s not just for seaweed. You can turn any food into tiny caviar-like spheres.

The campaign was looking for $80,000. Just over a week into it, its raised over $82,000.

The Imperial Spherificator will cost backers between $150 and $175, depending on how many more backers go for it.

Magbot

This exploration-based puzzle game combines classic platforming style with realistic physics. Players will use the physics of magnets and gravity to control objects in the world and defeat enemies.

Work on it seems to have progressed pretty far and there’s a playable demo, so you can actually check it out. It’s being developed for Windows, Mac and Linux.

The campaign is looking to raise $2,000. So far it’s at about one-tenth of that with almost a month to go. $6 gets 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:

ZNAPS -The $9 Magnetic Adapter for your mobile devices

You know the magnetic charging cables MacBooks have, the ones that easily snap into your computer and pop out when they’re pulled (rather than dragging the computer along with them)?

This campaign wants to make charging cables like that for phones.  It promises to make it easier to plug your phone in and to ensure that if someone trips over the cord, your phone won’t go tumbling. The device will be available for Android phones that use micro USBs as well as the iPhone 5 and 6.

So far the campaign has raised more than 10 times its goal – right now it’s at $1,242,510, with over two weeks left to go.

One ZNAPS adapter goes for $11.

inkbox: The 2 Week Tattoo

Let’s say you want a tattoo but you’re not really sure what you want to get. Or maybe, you’re not just down for that kind of commitment, after all the only way to get rid of them is surgery. You could get a temporary tattoo but those are for kids and they look kind of silly (which might be what you’re going for).

Well, here’s a temporary tattoo for grownups. They look like real tattoos but they only last two weeks. So now you can get that badass neck tattoo without worrying about your future employment prospects.

Also, it’s a lot cheaper than a real tattoo, starting at $15. The campaign was looking for $20,000 and a little over a week into it, they’re at just over $21,000.

Strong Cable The 3m LONG Charging Cable

Here’s another solution to the problem of people tripping over cords and knocking down phones – it’s a longer charging cable.

It does make sense, most phone charging cables are pretty short that can make charging – or talking on the phone while its charging – a little annoying. The cable is also extra durable.

It’s for micro USB chargers, so Androids, and the iPhone 5 and 6 as well as some models of iPad. The earliest backers can get the cable for $16, after all the early bird specials (and there are a few others) are gone, it goes up to $30. The campaign is looking to raise $10,000. So far it’s got a little over $6,000 with over three 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:

Globe Trotter Glass

Maybe this is just a Montreal problem, but when you have a picnic or go camping, there’s always the dilemma – what will you drink the wine out of. You don’t want to swig it from the bottle because you’re a grownup but plastic glasses affect the taste of even the worst wines.

Regular wine glasses, on the the other hand, are fragile and probably won’t make the trip.

This project aims to solve that. It’s a wine glass where the top part – which is apparently called the bowl – separates from the stem, allowing it to be placed in a handy protective case. It’s also dishwasher safe.

The campaign is looking to raise $115,000 which is a pretty steep goal. With a little over two weeks to go, it’s at $7,433. A respectable amount, though pretty far from the goal.

A single glass costs backers $15. Though there’s just a limited supply at that price. Six go for $90.

Backpacks & Utility Bags made in Canada by YNOT

Backpacks are pretty trendy these days and that’s particularly true on crowdfunding sites. These ones look pretty cool – rugged and water resistant. They’re made in Canada and the company behind the campaign already has its products in stores in seven countries, including its own store in Toronto.

It’s not totally clear why they’re crowdfunding but this seems like a pretty straightforward pre-sale.

The bags start at US$66 and some are already sold out. Just over a week into the campaign, its raised $17,299, that’s close to the goal of $20,000

PowerFold Wallet – Truly Portable Power

There are a lot of wallets on Kickstarter and there are a lot of portable power supplies for charging phones. But this might be a first. It’s a wallet with a built-in power supply.

The wallet is compatible with both phones that use micro USB chargers as well and the iPhone 5 and 6. It’s also a fully functional leather wallet with room for up to 12 cards.

With early bird discounts already snatched up, the PowerFold Wallet goes for $48. The campaign has already blown past its $1,200 goal, raising over $4,000 with over two 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:

SparkBlocks: A Customizable Speaker Ecosystem

This is a portable speaker system that’s highly customizable. It’s built around a small hi-fi speaker that has four hours of battery power. Users can then add other features – extra battery life, a tweeter to brighten the high end, or a subwoofer to boost the bass.

There’s also a “SmartBlock” – a touchscreen that allows for greater control over the speakers and for notifications and calls (the expectation is that people will be playing music from their phones) as well as a bike attachment.  The blocks are all modular so users can set up their speakers however they want.

The main block will cost backers $119, other blocks are less and there are some packages incorporating multiple blocks. A couple days into the campaign, its raised almost $19,000. The goal is $100,000.

Swish: The Basketball Coach for Smartwatches

The problem with smart watches is that, for the most part, people are just using them as miniature smartphones.  Well, here’s an app that takes advantage of the specific qualities of smart watches to help people improve their basketball skills.

The creators, Toronto’s Onyx Motion, say the app can help people improve their basketball scores by 60 per cent. The app gives players real-time shooting tips on their watch and more data on their phones.

$5 gets backers early access to the app. The campaign raised almost $1,600 in the first day. The goal is $10,000.

StockBoy

This looks like it could have some potential, it’s a film about a former drug dealer turned grocery store stock boy but ends up getting pulled into a different sort of shady business. The campaign video looks pretty slick, which is a good sign, and the creators have worked on other projects in the past.

The campaign is also helping to relaunch the filmmakers’ family’s Indian meal kit business. While it’s a bit strange, it means that the perks include Indian food.

$30 gets a digital copy of the film. $50 gets the film and a meal kit.

La Denise: fruit and vegetable storage reinvented

Storing fruit and vegetables always does seem like a bit of a mystery – which ones go in the fridge and which ones are fine on the counter? Which ones go in the crisper? These are questions I can’t answer. But apparently, I’m way off.

This is a three-part system for storing fruits and vegetables in the optimum way to preserve their freshness – without the use of energy sources. Each of the parts is for storing a different types of fruit and vegetables in different ways – sand for some root vegetables, the ability to be watered for some fruits and vegetable, darkness for potatoes and onions.

It’s very original and the containers look really good – they’re made out of ceramic and wood.

It’s not cheap though. The whole set will cost backers $1,000. With just over a week left, the campaign has already raised $16,650, a little more than it’s goal of $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:

CARGO: Dead in the Water

This game looks sort of like a cross between Settlers of Catan and Chinese Checkers. Based on historical trans-Atlantic trade, players move ships across the board, bringing cargo back and forth. When two ships meet, there’s a battle that’s decided with cards and dice.

Looks like it could be pretty fun.

$55 gets the game. So far the campaign has raised almost $9,000. It’s got a few weeks left to reach the goal of $48,000.
 
FormTouch: The Ultimate Weatherproof Touchscreen Gloves

Gloves are probably the last thing on your mind this time of year but winter is always around the corner. These gloves are supposed to make using your touch screen phone easy – while also keeping your fingers warm and dry.

The gloves use a material called Aerogel which has a low density and very low thermal conductivity. That’s wrapped in a thin stretchy material that also has a hydrophobic coating so they’re pretty waterproof

$40 gets the gloves. The campaign is looking to raise $40,000, less than a week into it, it had raised just over $1,300.

Crystal Green Energy

The people behind this campaign are either brilliant or crazy. They say they’ve come up with a solar panel system that not only captures energy from the Sun’s light but also captures heat.

If that’s true, it will be the first solar panel system to do both – current models dissipate heat because it could damage the optical systems.

If it works, that will make Crystal Green Energy’s system one of the most effective solar panel arrays in the world.

While there are some smaller perks, the solar power module doesn’t come cheap. It will cost backers $5,000. The campaign is looking to raise $100,000. In just over a week it was at $11,575.

Shoal Lake 40: Road to Reconciliation

For over a century, Winnipeg, Manitoba has gotten its drinking water from Shoal Lake. But while the city gets clean water, the water that goes to the local First Nations community at Shoal Lake is diverted before it gets treated. That’s left the community under a boil water advisory for 18 years.

When the aqueduct was built to Winnipeg, it cut the community off from the mainland, leaving it only accessible by ferry or ice road in the winter. That’s compounded the problem and made it more difficult for a treatment plant to be built.

The government of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg have each promised to put $10 million into a road building project – with the expectation that the federal government would put up another $10 million.

But they didn’t (they are spending $100 million to widen the nearby Trans-Canada highway). 

Now, a Winnipeg resident has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise that final $10 million.

It’s an all-or-nothing campaign and it’s a long-shot. So far over $40,000 has been pledged. No perks on this one, but given the cause, that’s pretty understandable.

 

 

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:

CROSS Grabado Tech+ Smart Wallet with Bluetooth Tracker

Everyone loses their wallet sooner of later. This project wants to put an end to that. It’s a wallet with a Bluetooth tracker built right into it.

Users can track their wallet using a smartphone app and if the wallet gets a certain distance away from the user’s phone, the app sounds an alarm – preventing users from leaving their wallet behind or alerting them if they’ve been pickpocketed.

The wallet costs backers $90. There’s also a women’s zip-around wallet that goes for $150. The campaign is looking to raise $2,500. Two days into the campaign, it was almost halfway there.

Littlecodr: The Card Game that Introduces Kids to Code

This is a cool idea – it’s a card game that teaches kids the fundamentals of coding. It’s aimed at children aged four to eight and teaches kids about coding that starts having them lay out step-by-step instructions to get someone from point A to point B.

It sounds simple on the surface but it gets more complicated as kids play the game more.

The campaign is looking to raise $10,000 and it has just passed its goal. $25 gets backers the game.

Bartesian: the Ultimate Cocktail Machine

You know those coffee makers that use the little capsules? Well, this is like that but for cocktails.

The capsules contain the mix, users attach their own bottle of liquor to the machine and it does the rest. The creators are promising perfectly mixed cocktails with just a push of a button.

Could be a fun way to have some fancy mixed drinks with out the need to bring out the recipe book or maintain the stock of fruit juices, bitters and other ingredients.

The campaign is looking to raise $100,000. With over two weeks to go, it’s 65 per cent of the way there. The Bartesian costs backers $299 and comes with 12 capsules. Extra capsules are $20 for 12.

 

 

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:

 

Shape of the World

This sounds like a pretty neat concept: it’s a “first-person exploration game that grows around you.

Basically, as players move through the game world it’s procedurally built around them. “Your presence is the driving force behind the procedurally populated environment as you establish permanent monuments to mark your journey,” the creators write.

It’s an interesting sort of game too, there’s no missions or quests, instead players just move through that world. It’s intended to be a more meditative experience than most games – a beautiful, artistically rendered world with a lush soundscape.

The campaign is looking to raise $75,000. It’s almost halfway there.

$20 gets players the full game or, for $10, they can just try the beta version.

The Mysterious Package Company Presents: The Century Beast

Here’s a company using technology to create a product that’s decidedly low-tech.

The Mysterious Package Company delivers mystery stories to people via regular mail. The stories come in instalments and culminate with a unique custom artifact.

The creators promise that it’s an interesting story for people who know what’s going on or they can send it to someone else – who might have a much more immersive experience receiving aged papers and artifacts in the mail.

The campaign is looking to raise $20,000. So far its raised nine times that amount. $299 gets backers the full experience with several other tiers, starting at $99, offering fewer mysterious mailings.

IRIS: The Ultimate Driving Companion

Fighter pilots get a heads-up display – pertinent information about what their aircraft is doing projected on the windshield so they don’t have to look down at the controls – so why can’t you?

Well, that’s what this project is promising: a heads-up display for your car.

It could make using a GPS and taking hands-free calls easier and safer. Of course, it could also do the opposite. But still, particularly when it comes to getting GPS directions this certainly looks like the future.

The campaign is looking to raise $50,000. Right now it’s about a fifth of the way there. US$299 gets backers an IRIS.

 

 

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:

Holus: The Interactive Tabletop Holographic Display

This looks like the future. Seriously, it’s like something out of a science fiction movie – it’s a tabletop display that turns 2D images from your tablet or smartphone into an interactive 3D display.

It seems ideal for turning 2D tabletop-style games into three-dimensional ones and 2D digital models into 3D.

There does seem to have been a lack of thought put into the fact that many video images that the device could support are shot from a single angle.  In the creators’ promotional video it suggests the device could be used for 3D video chats, showing the side of the person in the chat appearing on the side of the side of the device as their face appears on the front – something that wouldn’t happen without a multi-camera setup and a chat app that supports multiple angles.

While this does raise a red flag, there’s no reason that someone could create such a setup and, if this device becomes popular, it’s likely that someone will.

The campaign is looking to raise $50,000. Right now, it’s pushing four times that amount, sitting at over $184,000 with almost a month to go. It doesn’t come cheap though. With the early bird editions already snapped-up, a Holus projector will cost $850 for the regular version or $950 for the pro edition.

Squad – Communicate. Coordinate. Conquer

This is a realistic squad-level shooter set in modern times that pits two teams of up to 50 players against each other. It’s is designed to be immersive – requiring coordination and communication to win.

There’s already a fully-function pre-alpha of the game that looks pretty good (it uses the Unreal 4 engine). The team behind the game also extensive experience making mods now they’re building a standalone product.

The levels are going to be open and realistic – they’ll be based on real maps – and players will be able to take control of vehicles and build bases.

The campaign is looking to raise $184,000 and they’ve already exceeded that by almost $100,000. $37 gets the game, with early access.

Empower Syria’s Refugees: Project Amal ou Salam

Millions of Syrians have been driven from their homes by the fighting in that country. Over half of them are children. Young children have been hit especially hard, some fled their homes in 2011.  This campaign is trying to help give those children access to education, art and music, through day camps and schools.

The goal is to empower these children so they can help rebuild their country once the war finally ends. The group behind it, Project Amal ou Salam, which translates to hope and peace, is already working on the ground but, as these things go, they need more money to maintain and improve their work.

They’re trying to raise US$15,000. So far, they’re just over halfway there. This campaign isn’t about the perks but for $25 they’ll email you some traditional Syrian recipes or for $50, you can get a photographic print of art made by a Syrian refugee.