In Jul.2017, our team set up a crowdfunding project. Its purpose is to improve the public awareness of the problem that our team has decided to solve, briefly introducing the principles and importance about our project, and, most importantly, propagandizing the main ideas of iGEM to the public.
Rules Regarding Crowdfunding
We first must set our goal of the crowdfunding (e.g. 10,000 RMB). We have to meet this goal in a limited duration (e.g. 50 days), or the crowdfunding is considered to be a failure, and the fund will be returned to supporters. We cannot receive the fund unless the crowdfunding succeeds.
We chose to provide reward for people who donate specific amount of money——The first thirty people of 100 RMB, the first twenty people of 200 RMB, and first fifteen people of 500 RMB. The reward can be key rings, T-shirts, and mugs with your team’s logo and etc. We must mail these rewards to the donators in a certain period of time as well, or we cannot receive the fund.
We found the crowdfunding website—Zhongchou website as the platform to meet our goal.
At the beginning we briefly introduced synthetic biology, the develop history of iGEM, and the core idea of iGEM to show the importance of synthetic biology, also the significance and influence of this competition. Additionally we claimed the main procedure for each team so that expressed the authorization of iGEM. Besides, we introduced our team members and the division of work for showing our ability and convince people to support us.
Then, our human practice group searched and sorted the background information about our project, which is the oil pollution in China and its negative effect to the environment and growth of agricultural products. We mainly focused on the impact of oil pollution to people’s life with relevant life events, hence demonstrating the practical significance of our project. Many of the information compiled during this period of time became part of our wiki.
For our project, we introduced its principle, which is using surfactin to advance the efficiency for bacteria (Bacillus subtilis) to degrade the oil. Moreover, we included our plans for the protein, lmrA. We also did comparison with existed solution, such as physical and chemical solution, therefore emphasized the advantages of our biological solution, including being more efficient, having less toxic products, being safe for environment, and being suitable for wider range of pH and temperature. Then, we further explained the scientific significance of our project. Finally, we expressed our need for funding and asked public for support.
We spread our crowdfunding web on the social media, e.g Wechat and Weibo in China. Many people responded to our need immediately and transmit our website automatically. We had support from people in different jobs and different provinces. Also we received s lot of encouragement and positive comments about iGEM and our project.In two days, more than 200 people supported us and we received about 15000 RMB. Only in half month, the funding reached the original goal, and more than 400 people knew and were willing to donate.
During the crowdfunding, we propagandize iGEM, synthetic biology and our project comprehensively. From most people’s enthusiastic feedback, we considered our crowding funding was successful. People already have the basic understanding of the idea of iGEM and the importance of synthetic biology. Furthermore, we believed our crowdfunding stimulated their interest, willingness of engagement and support for iGEM and synthetic biology. People considered synthetic biology to have close connection with their life, and some study based on it could bring positive significance influence for society.