Based on an analysis of the first ten years of 61,654 successful (i.e., funded) Kickstarter projects, a University of Pennsylvania professor says the crowdfunding platform has resulted in the creation of 8,800 new companies and non-profits and the creation of 29,600 new full-time jobs for workers in the “creative community.” Ethan Mollick, a Wharton Business School professor,  found also that every dollar given to successful projects via Kickstarter resulted in $2.46 in additional revenue outside of Kickstarter. Below are more of the findings of his research. (Note: While Mollick’s study covered a time frame that ended in May, 2015, the statistics below extrapolate Mollick’s numbers to include the 12 months of projects since the end of his survey.)

Business and job creation

While many Kickstarter projects are one-offs (films, books, albums, etc.), others are becoming ongoing, sustainable ventures that create new jobs. Kickstarter also has helped to address a long-running challenge in the world of creative projects–the ability for collaborators to be paid for their contributions. Editors, illustrators, backing musicians, crew, and other creative collaborators are often unpaid for their work on creative projects.

8,800 | New companies and nonprofits created
29,600 | Full-time jobs created
283,000 | Part-time jobs created
82% | Percentage of organizations created through Kickstarter still operating (2016)

Average number of businesses and jobs created per 1,000 Kickstarter-funded projects

190 | average business founded
82 | average full-time employees hired


Kazoo, a print magazine on a mission to inspire strong, smart, fierce young women, got its start with a successful Kickstarter project.

Incremental revenue to creators in a successful project

Another way Mollick assessed the economic impact on an individual participant of having a successful Kickstarter project was by examining whether creators earn revenue from their project after bringing it to life. Seven out of ten creators reported such earnings.

+$2.56 | Additional revenue to creator for every $1 pledged in a successful project
+$5.3 billion | Total estimated additional economic activity to all creators in a successful campaign

Impact on  career advancement and mobility for creators in a successful Kickstarter project

In his research, Mollick surveyed  filmmaker, photographers, artists, authors, designers, musicians, and others on how having a successful project may have led to professional growth, greater earnings or career advancement.

37% | Said their Kickstarter project helped them advance their careers
21% | Reported receiving an increase in annual earnings
19% | Said they found a new job opportunity
7% | Said their project helped them successfully switch careers
10% | Percentage of creators reporting that they won a major award for their work
4,200 | Patents filed related to Kickstarter projects


Oculus started as an extremely successful Kickstarter project. Two years later it was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion. (

Examples creators provided of career-related impact of a successful project

  • Filmmakers reported that Kickstarter helped them secure distribution deals
  • Musicians reported that Kickstarter helped them secure record or publishing deals
  • Video game creators reported that their Kickstarter project helped them secure a publisher or attention from reviewers
  • Authors and comic book creators reported that their Kickstarter project led to attention from mainstream publishers
  • Journalists reported that their Kickstarter project gave them freedom from the external control of editors and publishers, and helped them create work that served an underserved audience


Pebble Technology, which pioneered the smartwatch category, got its start on Kickstarter.

Examples of awards and recognition Kickstarter participants have received

  • MacArthur Genius grant
  • Grammys
  • Oscar
  • National Design Awards, Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum
  • James Dyson Award
  • IDSA’s International Design Excellence Award
  • CES Innovation Awards
  • The Sikorsky Prize
  • Independent Games Festival Awards


Photo | Scott Beale via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)