I just left an intriguing session presented by Kickstarter in the expo theater. Nick Yulman, community manager for design and technology for the crowdfunding company, explained how ARM community members can get involved in starting Kickstarter campaigns. He also identified several ARM-based projects that have been successfully funded through Kickstarter, including the Pebble watch, which raised $10 million; the Spark Core, which is billed as “Wi-Fi for Everything”; MetaWear, for creating quick, production-ready wearables; Squink, which is a personal electronics circuit factory for printing out boards and doing surface mount for components; and Sense, a device that tracks ambient noises for measuring disruptions of sleep patterns.

Yulman, who was joined on stage by ARM’s Dom Pajak, said that Kickstarter doesn’t just raise money, it’s becoming more of a way to get new products into the hands of users. In fact, one of the best ways that engineers and designers in the ARM ecosystem can participate in the Kickstarter community may not be in creating end-user products (although of course that’s an option). Yulman said that ARM designers could certainly create Kickstarter campaigns for subsystems and component improvements, and he said the Spark Core is one example of that.

“The whole idea of bridging a journey from maker or hobbyist to a manufactured market is the important part of this maker movement,” said Yulman.

Pajak added, “The audience [at ARM TechCon] is filled with experts and engineers who may have a dream to get off the ground.” He also noted that “a new generation and new audience is being drawn to engineering from different disciplines.”