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Crowdfunding Without Kickstarter

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This story appears in the October 2013 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When Kickstarter rejected Lockitron, founders Cameron Robertson and Paul Gerhardt built their own website to crowdfund their phone-enabled door-locking device. After 24 hours, they'd reached their goal of $150,000 in preorders. By the end of their 30-day campaign last November, nearly 15,000 people had reserved a Lockitron, with advance orders totaling almost $2.3 million for the San Francisco-based startup.

Photography by Eva Kolenko
Handyman: Selfstarter's Cameron Robertson.

Dozens of other entrepreneurs got in touch, wanting to know how they'd done it. Robertson and Gerhardt decided to share the code behind their crowdfunding site at Selfstarter.us, which anyone can download and customize for free. It's an attractive option for tech-savvy product designers who don't meet the project guidelines of Kickstarter and its brethren.

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