Virtualsci.com will provide an environment in which the public can become immersed in science and technology projects and in which they can provide funding for those projects.
We have just entered the age of crowd funding. The site Kickstarter.com started this new way of funding largely by providing a mechanism for the public to fund the first affordable 3D printer. Thus far, across all projects, Kickstarter has gathered $857 million in pledges for funding different projects.
And now Indiegogo, RocketHub and a few others have each started their own websites to do crowd funding. A crowd funding site provides a place on the web for someone to list a project that needs funding. It can be a new product or it can be a movie or a work of art. The researcher or artist makes his or her pitch via a video presentation and a short text summary. A small list of “rewards” are offered for people who contribute at different levels of support. A small contribution might just be an outright donation. Larger amounts might get people a T-shirt with a graphic or a download of the movie being made or the funder's name in the credits of the movie.
This method of funding has proven itself to be quite successful. But each of the sites that are out there tend to do basically what Kickstarter does, which is to simply be a bulletin board upon which such proposals may be posted and to help facilitate the transaction of cash for goods.
As a result these sites do not form as strong of a bond between the project developers and the public as they could. One of the reasons for this is that these sites tend to be just about the transaction and they also tend to be too open ended in the types of projects they list. By listing nearly every type of project that comes along, they tend to become nearly filled with art related projects such as movies, graphic novels, albums and other forms of art. This is because these types of projects are easier for a larger number of people to do and submit.
But the really valuable projects, like new high tech projects such as the low cost 3D printer that really started it all are mostly lost in the mix. And even current sites that try to be more tech related really do not offer enough to get people to care about the projects that are listed.
A New Opportunity
Recently there was a rule change allowing stock in tech companies to be sold over the internet to those with incomes over $1million. There are currently some sites that have taken advantage of that new rule. However, in aggregate, the general public would purchase far more stock in new high tech companies if they were able to. And there is a new rule change that is currently being worked on by the Obama administration to open the doors to the public being able to buy online stock in start ups. The administration estimates this new rule will be in place within the next couple of years. Any site that already has major traffic from people interested in funding science and technology projects will have a major advantage when this new rule change is put into effect. At that point not only can a few tokens of appreciation be sold to the public to fund tech projects (off of which Kickstarter alone has raised $857 million in pledges) but stock will be able to be sold as well. At that point people can start to invest to get a piece of the upside in each company doing these exciting new projects.
What VirtualSci will be is a website that immerses the public in science and technology related research and projects. VirtualSci will go beyond just listing each proposal. It will provide places where the public can make comments on improvements that can be made in the projects. It will allow a dialog between the researchers and the public. It will allow the public to go on video tours of the project. It will allow the public to see debates between different scientists on ideas and allow the public to make their own comments live and interjected into those debates. It will allow for a more complete level of immersive involvement and interaction. And by focusing on science research and tech development, it will attract an audience that believes in and wants to support those types of activities. If this website is deployed soon it should have an extensive following while operating under the Kickstarter type model at the time that the upcoming rule change is made allowing for online start up stock sale. This would position VirtualSci to take a game changing step in high tech start up funding.
A rough draft and copyrighted non-functional mockup of this website has already been designed. The next step is to do the coding to make it an active site and then stock it with science and tech projects.
Roger Green - [email protected]
Phone +1 848 702 3779
Copyright 2013 by VirtualSci and Rex Hodge and Roger Green