Crowdfunding and Press

An important aspect of iGEM to us is the possibility to bring the field of synthetic biology to people's attention. While holding presentations at schools certainly contributes to this, we also came in contact with the media and started and successfully funded a crowdfunding campaign.


Finding sponsors to support the project is as crucial to iGEM as it is exciting. Additionally, this year we also wanted to find personal investors that believed in our project. Therefore, we initialized a crowdfunding campaign on Startnext.
Besides the financial support, for which we are inexpressibly thankful, we also gained the chance to reach out to people and show them what our project and synthetic biology is about.
Especially our pitch video has been very well received by people as it helped them understand the project while raising their personal interest towards the topic. We had great feedback from social media and not only have we been curated by the partner page of Startnext called Sciencestarter, they even elected us to Sciencestarter of the week.
Apart from being able to communicate our project we also had a great time producing the stop motion pitch video, designing rewards for supporters and write newsletter blogs for fans. Furthermore, writing the script for the video really has raised our awareness of how difficult it actually is to explain our project to a person without much biological background knowledge. As a consequence, we tackled this issue by discussing and optimizing the comprehensibility of our project with students and by designing a dictionary for technical terms of synthetic biology.

Bielefeld "Mittelstandsforum" 2016

Bielefeld has a strong collective of mid-sized companies, including certain innovative and young start-ups from different industries. At March 13th iGEM Bielefeld-CeBiTec was invited to the 13th Bielefelder "Mittelstandsforum" (Link to German program: The annual event is a meetup for people from economy, research and politics. Under the slogan "We back on special ideas" ("Wir setzen auf besondere Ideen") young entrepreneurs and academics were encouraged to present their business and projects. Together with members from iGEM Bielefeld-CeBiTec 2015 we had the chance to represent iGEM and Bielefeld University. This was a great opportunity to tell people about the iGEM competition and our projects. Afterwards, there was time for further conversations and discussions with the visitors. We could earn some useful tips, especially for entrepreneur and marketing aspects of our project. We used it, to expend our contacts to local business, partly leading to an active long-term exchange between iGEM and public. These advices became very useful during our project development. Moreover, we relied on these new contacts to address several issues.


In order to inform people about our project and gain fans for our crowdfunding campaign we also entered a dialogue with the public relations office of our university and as a result they published this article.
In addition, we had an interview with Rainer Kurlemann, a journalist writing science articles for a well-known German newspaper.
Local media wrote about us as well.