Back in September 2010, the first restaurant project funded on Kickstarter was an Oakland-based mac-and-cheese restaurant named Homeroom. In the years that followed, more would-be restaurateurs have turned to the community-based pledge site for help in starting up their businesses. In fact, some speculate whether this might be the future of restaurant financing, particularly given the huge hauls that funded Travail in Minnesota (ultimately netting $255,669) and Superior Motors in Pennsylvania (with a record-breaking $310,225). Kickstarter use seems to be swelling beyond restaurants, too, breaking $1 billion in pledges for all project categories as of this week. There’s money to be had out there.
In the following interview, Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler talks about the rise in restaurant projects over the years, how he plans to embrace restaurants even more in the future, and what restaurateurs can do to better guarantee success in Kickstarter’s all-or-nothing fundraising system. While addressing the potential for backlash against project creators accused of asking for handouts, Strickler also explains that the dream of Kickstarter “has always been to occupy that space where doing well through our system would be a public validation that your work matters.” Continue reading . . .