How We Crowd-funded $484k to Make Glowing Plants

Antony Evans

One of the goals of the Glowing Plant project was to inspire others to look at crowdfunding as a way to reach their own goals within DIYbio/synthetic biology. We’ve been pleased to see a number of bioengineering campaigns launch; however, they have been unable to raise similar amounts of funding. Therefore, we want to share our tips and tricks in hopes that they will be useful to others embarking on a crowdsourced funding journey.


Once a crowdfunding campaign gets underway, you will become overwhelmed and insanely busy. Also, crowdfunding campaigns have a significant momentum effect, so it’s important that they are as well presented and developed as possible at launch. Planning for the campaign is critical.

We started formal planning eight months before the launch date. The most important thing at this early stage was discussing our plans to engineer a glowing plant with everyone we knew and met in person, including at meetups and other events.

Sharing the project openly and transparently up front achieved three goals:

  1. We wanted to know if people were excited by and wanted to talk about the project. From our discussions, we learned our supporters wanted the engineered seeds.
  2. It established a personal relationship with people, so when they saw the project, they felt a personal connection to it.
  3. It allowed us to build partnerships broadening our social network, as the reach of the campaign is proportional to the ...

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