With 2016 nearly upon us, we’re all thinking about new beginnings. So in this last edition of our crowdfunding column for 2015, we’re celebrating campaigns that are just getting started (some of which are already doing remarkably well). These women may be just embarking on their respective fundraising goals, but they have some truly great ideas for using the funds they hope to generate.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year from all of us at The Story Exchange!

Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. A Home for Healthy Home Cooking (via Kickstarter)

Credit: Urban Health Facebook page.
Credit: Urban Health Facebook page.

The Business: Erin Miller is the executive chef and founder of Urban Hearth, a culinary event company based in Cambridge, Mass. This past year has been crucial for Miller and the growth of her business — Urban Health became so popular, in fact, that Miller was sometimes forced to turn away clients. Now, she’s looking to build on that momentum by finding a permanent home for her business.
The Money: By or before Jan. 14, Miller hopes to raise at least $32,000. The funds will go toward construction and design of her new space as well as permits, commercial-grade appliances and other related costs.

2. A Creative Twist on the Cutting Board (via Kickstarter)

Credit: Kickstarter.
Credit: Kickstarter.

The Business: Industrial design meets dinner preparation in Madeline Profio‘s invention, B. Sprout 2000. It is, as the campaign says, “a one-of-a-kind cutting board designed to allow users to safely cut Brussels sprouts and other small vegetables.” The Brooklyn-based inventor came up with the board during an industrial design class at Pratt Institute — and after she had endured several culinary injuries herself.
The Money: Profio has hit her $2,500 goal amount and is now hoping to generate as much money as possible before her campaign ends on Jan. 15. She and her team are looking to start pre-production of the boards in February, with delivery anticipated in April.

3. “That’s What She Said.” (via Kickstarter)

Credit: Tim Summers (via ErinPike.com)
Credit: Tim Summers (via ErinPike.com)

The Business: Performer Erin Pike of Seattle is presently crafting a one-woman show, “That’swhatshesaid,” which is solely comprised of dialog spoken by female characters in what Pike describes as “the most-produced plays in America.” It will examine the roles of women protagonists in our culture’s most celebrated shows — and the roles of women performers in today’s theatrical world.
The Money: Pike needs a performance venue, production staff and a film crew so she can release the work online for the public. That’s why she’s trying to raise $3,300 by Jan. 15 through this crowdfunding campaign.

4. Environmentally-Friendly Disposable Diapers (via Indiegogo)

The Business: Evelyn Fisher and her partner, Dave, are raising their infant son in Queensland, Australia. The little tyke prefers to hang out in his diaper, but the Fishers were bored with the disposable options available. So they created their own, which they are selling through their venture, Kindling Baby Care. Their diapers are made from biodegradable bamboo fiber and come in patterns like leopard and watermelon (with plans for more options down the road).
The Money: There are 28 days remaining in the Fishers’ campaign. During that time, they must raise $100,000 AUD in order to receive any funding. The money will be used to make the diapers, and increase the business’ shipping range (presently, they can only ship diapers within Australia).

5. Cupcakes Poised to Go Global (via Indiegogo)

The Business: Tish Leonard in Montgomery, Ala., is the owner and executive pastry chef of Cupcakes by Tish. Her venture is bringing more than 100 flavors of cupcakes — including staples like red velvet and originals like sweet potato — to Montgomery-area fans through multiple brick-and-mortar locations and the business’ truck. But Leonard wants to bring her baked confections to homes and bellies around the country.
The Money: Leonard aims raise $275,000 within the next 42 days, though she will receive a portion of whatever amount her campaign generates, thanks to Indiegogo’s Flexible Funding option. Those funds will cover mass production and distribution of her signature cupcakes.

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Want to be featured in The Story Exchange’s Crowdfunding column? Drop us a line and tell us about your campaign at [email protected]
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Editor’s Note: The Story Exchange is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching the annual Women In Science Incentive Prize. Apply now for a chance to receive $5,000 in funding for your climate-related research or startup. Deadline: July 31. 

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