Urban Fold

Bringing Crowdfunding to Our Backyards

Michael J. Coren shines a light on an innovative crowdfunding site targeting neighborhood improvements.

Building on the success of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Ioby (In Our Backyard) is a site that empowers people to seek funding for projects that bring environmental solutions to their neighborhoods. The focus thus far has been in New York City, with 101 projects finding funding that amounts to over $170,000.

From community composting to web-based sewer alarm systems, innovators are able to find not only funds, but local volunteers to get projects off the ground. Erin Barnes and her two co-founders, Brandon Whitney and Cassie Flynn, are ready to expand their platform to reach a national audience, creating a network of ambitious problem solvers. Barnes explains:

"We've always known that our greatest asset would be when urban farmers in Detroit could share their innovations with others in Cleveland, and when Portland residents would teach New Yorkers about their technologies for depaving parking lots."

Thanks to Jessica Brent

Full Story: In Our Backyard: Funding Projects to Make Neighborhoods Better

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