As well as pursuing traditional forms of financing, MicroPower has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, to give members of the public, who are interested in energy savings and reducing emissions, the opportunity to support the venture.
San Marcos, Texas – MicroPower Global has launched a crowdfunding campaign on the popular Kickstarter website (see http://kck.st/1anvCDY), targeting a minimum of $250,000 that would enable the company to produce 100,000 samples of its energy efficient chips for potential end users.
Crowdfunding is a relatively novel way of funding a specific project, typically via established websites, to gain the backing of many individuals, each of whom pledges a small sum (anything from $1 to $5,000) towards the project in return for a modest "reward" – usually something that enables them to feel part of the project, and that they would not be able to find anywhere else.
"We have a great technology that can have a major impact on the world in terms of improving energy efficiency and reducing harmful emissions," said MicroPower's Chairman, Max Lewinsohn. "We're also now at a stage where our technology is ready to enter the commercial world – the efficiency of our MicroPower Chips is at a level that is suitable for early applications and all we need is additional funding to allow us to ramp up our operations, so that we can create thousands of samples for the many people in industry who are patiently waiting for us to deliver."
Having been privately funded to this point, the company felt that the time was right to appeal to a wider audience. Generally, ordinary people are unable to invest in or back small private companies because of investor regulations, and crowdfunding provides an alternative route by which they can do just that.
"The second reason for launching on Kickstarter is that now is the right time to spread the word about our technology and the role it can play, and a crowdfunding campaign is an excellent way of letting people know what we're all about," added Lewinsohn. "Hopefully, some of the people who learn about our project will be connected to organisations who could really benefit from working with us, and that can only be a good thing."
Kickstarter is the largest and most successful crowdfunding platform, which means it will enable MicroPower to get the word out to as many people as possible. Though many of the successful campaigns on Kickstarter have been creative, it also has a great track record for technology/design projects, with a few attracting more than 50,000 backers, and support close to $10m. This tendency to support worthy technology projects, combined with MicroPower's mass appeal to those who care about making the world greener and more energy efficient, should prove a winning combination.
MicroPower's minimum target on Kickstarter is $250,000 which would enable it to make 100,000 sample chips – enough to distribute to a whole range of potential end users from automotive manufacturers and power companies, to battery makers and consumer goods producers. On Kickstarter, if the target is not reached, none of the money is drawn from those who pledged support (via debit/credit card), but the company's hope is not only to reach the target, but go well beyond it, enabling it to accelerate towards commercialization in all kinds of other ways.
Of course, crowdfunding is not the only approach that MicroPower is pursuing to raise the necessary funds to commercialize. "To date, all of our investment has come from private placements, and we continue to pursue this avenue via discussions with further private investors and family offices," explains Lewinsohn. "We're also looking at other avenues – such as strategic partnerships by industry or geography, each of which allows us to reach a different audience, but hopefully all of whom share the same sentiment and vision as our existing backers – that this is an exciting technology with the ability to do real good."
"As our Kickstarter slogan says, Energy Savings Now. Reduced Emissions Tomorrow. A Safer Planet For Our Children."
To view MicroPower's Kickstarter page, go to http://kck.st/1anvCDY
MicroPower Global is a private company which is developing the next generation of thermoelectric devices for use in the areas of energy conservation, energy harvesting and refrigeration. The new MicroPower semiconductors ("chips") can efficiently and cost-effectively convert heat, including waste heat, directly into electricity, leading to significant energy savings in a number of industrial and consumer applications.
A MicroPower chip builds on standard thermoelectric principles in a novel way to deliver breakthrough levels of efficiency. The original discovery was made in 2000 and good progress on developing the technology was made over a number of years before MicroPower acquired the IP in 2008 and the prospect of commercial products became a reality, with recent work enabling significantly greater efficiency, a broader temperature range and a low cost manufacturing process.
The ability to harvest heat at temperatures ranging from 200°C to 600°C will make MicroPower chips the new thermoelectric standard for waste heat recovery. The current thermoelectric market is relatively small at approximately $300 million annually but MicroPower will be able to open up already identified new global markets worth many billions annually. Its cutting-edge technology has been patented internationally and independently verified.
MicroPower first formed a working partnership with Texas State University in 2009 to develop prototype chips at the university's Multifunctional Materials Laboratory building in San Marcos.
For further information, visit our website at www.micropower-global.com at, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MicroPowerGlobal or follow us on Twitter @MicroPower_News.