In a city with such a collective enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, it’s no surprise that New Orleans startups have embraced a new wave of crowdfunding: Kickstarter.
With the runaway success of crowdfunded Kickstarters like Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here and the awesome Birthday Cake Project, (seriously, why isn’t my birthday in June?) we decided to take a look at some cool Kickstarters happening right now in New Orleans. Here are our some of our favorites:
1. A New Home for The New Movement
The New Movement, a New Orleans comedy collective, is launching a Kickstarter with the hope of moving their operations to a new home on St. Claude with more seating and classroom facilities as well as helpful new tools like a podcast recording booth and a green screen wall. The New Movement has done big things to spark New Orleans’ growing comedy scene and we can’t wait to see what comes next. If the $50,000 Kickstarter is successful this month, the hilarious Chris Trew and Tami Nelson have agreed to perform their weekly improv show for free in New Orleans for the rest of their lives. So seriously, for the good of New Orleans, let’s make this happen.
2. ECO SnackBag
The ECO Snackbag Kickstarter is raising funds to produce reusable snack bags made from upcycled plastic bottles. Mr. Villarrubia, the brains behind ECO SnackBag, was inspired when he tried to recycle 100% of the products in his office. He realized that it could be done for everything except the two plastic bags he brought his breakfast in every morning. Though his wife was originally skeptical of the idea, he was determined to find a better and more sustainable choice for families, schools, and professionals everywhere.
ECO SnackBags hopes to raise $5,000 this month to begin production and sales. The bags are dishwasher safe, easy seal, waterproof, and can save you $85 or more a year on plastic baggies. Not to mention, you can stop feeling guilty about all the plastic bottles and bags you “forget” to recycle. Besides, we are all familiar with that plastic aftertaste baggies give to your food. Not sustainable, not appetizing. The best part of this Kickstarter is when you donate, you get a gift back as well. With a donation of $10, you will receive an ECO SnackBag of your very own. Think of how much space you’ll save your pantry when you get rid of all those plastic baggies!
3. Big Charity: The Death of America’s Oldest Hospital
The filmmaking team behind this Kickstarter successfully crowdfunded the completion their documentary on New Orleans’ own Charity Hospital. Big Charity tells the story of America’s oldest hospital, spanning from its beginnings in the 1700’s to its controversial closing after Katrina. The public hospital gave care to anyone without regard to condition or insurance and many New Orleans residents were saddened to learn it would not be reopened. With interviews from former Charity staff and footage from decades past, the Big Charity team just needed funding to pay the licensing and post production fees before the documentary hits the big screen. As the birthplace of famous New Orleanians like Dr. John, Kermit Ruffins, and Dale Blade, Charity holds a special place in our city’s history. This story deserves to be told and we can’t wait to see the final product! Now that they have raised almost $50,000, surpassing their original goal of $36,000, let’s see if RB&L can help make other Kickstarters just as successful.
4. My Town Toy Company: Teaching Shapes and New Orleans Culture
Scott Touchton was having difficulty explaining to his children the concept of shapes with the usual books and toys that he has had so he decided that making his own would be a better idea. As the idea developed, he realized that apples and bananas are great, but wouldn’t children from New Orleans learn better if they were using the food they saw everyday instead? So he came up with a kid-friendly puzzle showcasing shapes to toddlers with some New Orleans favorites like: squares are like King Cake and rectangles are like po-boys. Creative and adorable, the kids can take out the pieces and play with them elsewhere or keep them in a puzzle rack for storage when they aren’t playing. His idea has even been featured in Southern Living Magazine. Either way, this could become a great learning tool and toy for generations of New Orleans children to come. For more information about Touchton’s puzzle, visit his Kickstarter page or Facebook page to learn more.
Those are just four of many amazing organizations and ideas that need just a little extra love to get going. Supporting local artists, inventors, and innovators is a New Orleans tradition, so learn more and see what you can do to help.
Know any other projects in the city that are doing Kickstarters? Tell us all about it in our Comments Section!