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12 October 2012, 11:09

Hardware startup creates open source Kickstarter alternative

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Zoom The crowd funding campaign for the Lockitron device was rejected from Kickstarter
Source: Lockitron

After having their project rejected by Kickstarter, the designers of the wireless lock system Lockitron went away and wrote their own crowdfunding platform, which they have now open sourced. Apigy Inc's Selfstarter enables companies to set up their own crowdfunding site, similar to Kickstarter, to host financing campaigns for their products. The very successful funding drive for Lockitron is already being run using the software.

Lockitron was originally rejected from Kickstarter under new regulations that impose stricter rules for hardware-related projects. According to a report from TechCrunch, the lock device fell foul of the rule that now prohibits home improvement projects on the platform. So the developers behind the wireless door lock wrote their own crowdfunding software and have now successfully funded the original project, raising over 1000% of the original goal. In an FAQ on the Selfstarter web site, the developers say they feel that "hardware startups are less welcome on Kickstarter than they were 6 months ago", adding that they open sourced their work to give an alternative to other companies that had their projects rejected.

Selfstarter is built on Ruby on Rails with heavy use of SCSS templates and is made available under the MIT licence; its source code can be downloaded from GitHub. The software currently supports Amazon Payments just as Kickstarter does, but the developers point out that they are willing to integrate other methods if users need them.

Meanwhile, Kickstarter itself announced that it will open its doors to projects from UK-based creators. People in the UK can create projects on the site now and will be able to go live with the fundraising on 31 October. Prices for UK projects will be listed in pounds sterling.


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