In an age where Kickstarter and Indiegogo are virtually household names, it’s hard to remember that just a few years ago "crowdfunding" hadn’t even been codified.

Danae Ringelmann and two of her classmates from the University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business – Slava Rubin and Eric Schell – came up with the idea to use technology to democratize finance and launched Indiegogo in 2008. The idea was simple: allow people to put their money behind the ideas that they believe in.

From creative projects to business startups, crowdfunding provides entrepreneurs a way to raise money to fund their passions when traditional avenues of finance would leave them otherwise stuck.

Getting people used to a new way of doing something takes time. “Nobody is going to say, 'good job,' 'A for effort.' None of that." Ringelmann told Entrepreneur.com in October in New York City. "You have just got to stick to your guns. The world won’t say thank you by patting you on the back but by embracing what you have created," she said.

If that’s the case, then entrepreneurs, artists and inventors the world over have given Ringelmann and her co-founders a hearty “thank you.”

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