At a time when the above-ground economy seems to be stuck in perpetual neutral, something very interesting is happening in the underground economy. On do-it-yourself crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter, significant amounts of capital are starting to flow to a group of ingenious projects that bridge the gap between the creative arts and cutting-edge technology — a sweet spot that’s pure money. In some cases, entrepreneurs are raising $100K or $200K at a time — even when they ask for only a fraction of that. In the post-downgrade economy, these instances are proof that a solid business plan, a way to reward passionate supporters and a little DIY mojo goes a long way.
Consider some of the projects that are being funded these days. Two recent crowd favorites include the Desktop Jellyfish Tank, which set out to raise $3,000 and ended up raising more than $100,000 from supporters…
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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