5 must-see crowdfunding projects blowing our minds in 2017

5 must-see crowdfunding projects blowing our minds in 2017

2017 is shaping up to be a good year for tech crowdfunding projects. Here’s a list of our favourite ones so far.

1. A wireless device that allows you to communicate when you have no signal

USD $17k goal - $92k pledged 

No signal? No problem. Sonnet turns your phone into a super walkie-talkie, allowing you to send text messages, voice recordings, images, and GPS locations on your phone without cellular coverage, satellite, or internet access. And it’s free to use!

Here’s how it works:



Another cool feature is ‘mesh networking’, meaning data can be relayed through other Sonnet devices nearby. This can extend the standard 5km point-to-point range to a maximum of 80km.

Beyond the obvious convenience this device will bring to the likes of outdoorsy folks like campers and hikers, this is a game-changer for disaster relief workers.

2. A laptop sleeve that charges everything

USD $30k goal - $47k pledged

Never worry about battery life again. LAER is a bluetooth enabled laptop sleeve that replaces all chargers, adapters, cables and portable batteries with one compact device. With it, you can charge your laptop (PC & Mac), smartphone and tablet simultaneously, wherever you are.

It looks like this:



In a society where we are so dependent on the battery life of our devices, it’s no wonder that LAER have smashed their original goal - after all, we’ve all experienced the anxiety that comes with the dreaded ‘low battery’ icon.

It’s easy to see how beneficial this would be for people on the go - but even if you’re just using it at home, the fact that you can charge all of your devices via LAER from one socket is an awesome benefit.

3. An organisation that wants to make Sydney a top tech start-up hub

AUD $500k goal - $566k pledged

TechSydney are on a mission to grow the ecosystem in Sydney. To do this they want to create a community that helps tech companies move through their growth phases.

Companies and supporters (incubator, co-working space and other supporters of the industry) pay for memberships with scalable pricing. There are a few other ways to participate, with memberships for investors, affiliates, foundations, and corporate sponsorships.


  • You gain access to a talent community to aid recruitment.
  • You partake in confidential monthly get-togethers with groups of entrepreneurs at similar growth stages.
  • You get mentored by a company above you, while mentoring a group below you.
  • You get introduced to other companies who are looking for office space so you can share.
  • You get to go to meetups, events and forums they organise.

Besides providing help to their members, TechSydney want to inspire younger generations to move to a career in high growth tech companies by having annual career fairs, founder talks, and graduate programs at universities.

This is an awesome initiative all-round, which is probably why some big names in the start-up world like Atlassian, Canva, and Airtasker have already backed it.

4. A cybersecurity box that secures all of your digital things

USD $30k goal - $59k pledged

Firewalla is a tiny box that protects your family from cyber threats, controls kids’ internet usage, and even protects you when you are out using public wifi. It’s all piloted by an iOS app, and you don’t even need a password.

You connect it to your main router, launch the iOS app, and you’re all set.


We love how everything is managed from the app - so you could be halfway around the world and still be keeping an eye on things.


There are different options when it comes to pricing - but the best value comes with the lifetime membership at just $96. Air-tight cybersecurity is now affordable for everyone!

5. A smartpen that mirrors into smart devices

AUD $20k goal - $359k pledged

N2 smartpen writes on paper but also mirrors into smart devices through iOS and Android apps. While digital pens aren’t new, N2 is as slim as a regular pen - making it much more comfortable to draw and write with.



Some cool features:

  • It stores up to 1,000 pages, archiving notes by date, location and page.
  • If you write on the page again, the app will automatically find that page and navigate it.
  • Your content syncs with Evernote.
  • You can send email by a single pen-action.
  • While you record your voice during writing, you can replay your written notes and recorded voice simultaneously according to the timeline.
  • Your handwritten notes can transcribe into digital text through MyScript’s engine.
  • Your drawing can be exported in a scalable image, which can be used for professional designer tools like Photoshop or Illustrator.

The N2 notebooks aren’t expensive, either - you can get 5 for USD $8.

We love it because it marries the love of writing things down with being able to store it on your devices for convenience sake.

Are you thinking of crowdfunding?

If, like the innovators we mentioned, you have a great idea that you want to get off the ground, download our How to Crowdfund like a Pro free eBook on how to do just that with crowdfunding.

CeBIT Australia How to crowdfund like a pro