After successful fundings for female-founded products like GoldieBlox, Roominate, Everpurse and OUYA, we wonder what are the reasons behind rocketship successes and quiet failures.

By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)

Recently, a Kauffman Foundation dissertation fellow released a paper titled “The Dynamics of Crowdfunding: Determinants of Success and Failure” examined almost 47,000 projects on Kickstarter which raised $198 million total via crowdfunding.

The paper reports 6 commonalities in the successful Kickstarter projects, some more obvious than others:

  1. Size of the founder’s social network – The greater the size of the founder’s social network, the greater the chance for success. This is particularly applicable to Facebook. So the “be popular” strategy does work!
  2. Quality of the project – High-quality, polished pitches are more likely to be funded. As Kickstarter’s website states, “Projects with videos succeed at a much higher rate than those without.”
  3. Geographic component tie-in – Having a strong geographic component tie-in seems to increase success. For example, Kickstart country music in Nashville, Kickstart film in Los Angeles, etc.
  4. Shorter Kickstarter durations are better – You have a 35% chance of success for 30-day pitches, versus a 29% chance for 60-day pitches). A longer duration implies a lack of confidence in the project’s success.
  5. Get highlighted on the Kickstarter website. Being highlighted on the Kickstarter website is hugely beneficial, resulting in 89% chance of success vs. 30% success of unfeatured projects.
  6. Target the creative community. – A large number of creative individuals in the city where the project is based is associated with greater success (target these kinds of people).


Women 2.0 readers: Have you run a Kickstarter project recently? Was it funded or not? Let us know in the comments below!

Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.