Internet fundraising fuels unique Albuquerque projects

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Lucas Burnley had an idea for a creation that was just crazy enough to work.

“I was hoping that there’s enough adults that have that attachment to youth that would look at it and go, ‘Man that’s really fun!'” Burnley said.

Burnley’s talking about the Slingpop, a combination bottle opener and slingshot he created in his South Valley machine shop. The US-designed and manufactured aluminum creation earned attention from Maxim and a number of other sites.

That positive buzz proved big for Slingpop’s crowdfunding campaign on the website Kickstarter. Burnley set an initial goal of $5,000. As of Tuesday afternoon, the product, pitched as a perfect mix of Dennis the Menace and Don Draper, has raised nearly $44,000.

“I’m totally blown away,” Burnley said.

So blown away he says he plans on launching another Kickstarter project in the future.

Burnley’s success story with Slingpop is not how it always goes for Albuquerque creators on Kickstarter. There are stories of both smash hits and flops.

A campaign to bring a drive-in movie theater back to Albuquerque brought in less than $2,000 of pledges out of its $50,000 goal. A map of a fictional Albuquerque subway system came to life after it raked in $3,659.

Jason Strause and Revan Killian are hoping to end up on the successful end of things with their company.

“We want to build stunt lightsabers that are very durable, that can be used, but at an affordable price,” Strause said. “Bascially something someone on a budget can buy.”

Krayt Custom Sabers makes light-up lightsabers which use PVC pipe instead of more expensive materials. They’re meant to be sturdy enough to be used for dueling.

The young company tried to raise money through a GoFundMe campaign but that’s fizzled out. Now, it’s trying to get traction through Kickstarter. In just a handful of days, the company has just one customer who’s pledged towards its $800 goal.

“Unfortunately, some people would rather put their money towards something that already has a reputation you know that’s already been tried and tested,” Krause said.

But they remain optimistic that the buzz over Star Wars: Episode VII and Christmas coming up can help their business off the ground.

It’s not just small companies trying to raise money through Kickstarter. Albuquerque’s Explora Museum has a campaign to raise $10,000 for a “sketch aquarium” exhibit that is closing in on its goal.

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