Kickstarter punts projects toward goals

Updated: 2012-12-10 10:01

By Joslin Woods (China Daily)

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Kickstarter punts projects toward goals

Londoner Emilie Holmes has started her business selling tea out of her old van through the crowdsourcing website Kickstarter. Ben Stansall / Agence France-Presse

Tea enthusiast Emilie Holmes this week hit London's streets in her old van, serving flavorful loose-leaf tea to drinkers she says have had to settle for low-quality brew - courtesy of cash from around 300 complete strangers.

Kickstarter punts projects toward goals

Festive discovery

Kickstarter punts projects toward goals
Truffles in braised pork
The 27-year-old Londoner has turned her battered gray 1974 Citroen H van, whose engine growls like a small aircraft mid-takeoff, into a mobile tea bar that features black, green, oolong and white varieties.

Holmes, who left her job in advertising to launch the business, needed about 10,000 pounds ($16,000) to refurbish the delivery truck with flooring, shelving, worktops, sinks and other basic supplies.

But instead of taking a loan from the bank or pitching to an investor, she posted her tea project on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

Just 25 days later, Holmes had raised 14,682 pounds from 372 backers, most of whom she didn't know - and she does not have to pay any of it back.

"To have that support is so unexpected," she says.

"Even the pledges of 1 pound are amazing because it's kind of like a 'thumbs-up, go for it'."

Her project is one of the first success stories from Kickstarter's new British venture, which opened on Oct 31.

Run by 46 people out of a tenement building in New York City, the website provides a space for creators to bid for funding from people around the world.

Since its launch in 2009, more than 3.1 million people have pledged more than $426 million to about 33,000 creative projects, ranging from films to new technologies and food projects.

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