Kickstarter Map Shows How People Around The U.S. Decide What To Crowdfund

Sure, the tech sectors in California and New York are bustling. But would you expect Minnesota have the third most Kickstarter-funded tech startups?

According to a trio of researchers from the University of Toronto, that's the case. Ajay Agrawal, Christian Catalini, and Avi Goldfarb explored crowdfunding's increasing popularity in a paper published this month. The most fascinating item from their work is a map of Americans' preferences on the sorts of Kickstarter projects they fund, state by state.

kickstarter map

Some findings are unsurprising. California, New York and Tennessee are hot spots for music, for example. But many of the discoveries are more surprising. Texans have a tendency to invest in gaming, and Minnesota is all about tech. Pennsylvanians are interesting in dance and photography projects, and North Carolinians are preoccupied with food. Who knew Massachusetts was so into fashion? This data can give us a new perspective on America's regional quirks.

In their paper, the three University of Toronto researchers compared crowdfunding to more traditional forms of funding like venture capital. Crowdfunding offers different incentives and different risks to investors than venture capitalism does.

Kickstarter is one of the biggest crowdfunding sites out there. Since it launched in 2009, Kickstarter has been home to over 102,000 projects, and the public has successfully funded over 43 percent of them. As this paper shows, the total amount of money raised by successfully funded Kickstarter projects has been steadily and rapidly rising over the past 3 years, so it's time to take crowdfunding seriously.

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