Back in 2012, The Oatmeal launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for the Nikola Tesla Museum with a funding goal of $850,000. By the end of its run, the project hit close to $1.4 million from over 33,000 backers. Two years later, the famed website has made its way back to the platform with a new crowdfunding campaign to raise only 200,000. The campaign was launched on September 24th and within two days, it has reached well over $183,000.
Sharing details about the project, The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman stated, “In 2012, we launched an Indiegogo campaign to buy the property of Nikola Tesla’s former laboratory, located in Shoreham, New York. The campaign needed $850,000 and we successfully raised $1.37M. With a combined grant from NY State for an additional $850K, this money was used to make a bid on the property, and the lab was SAVED.”
“Thanks to the 33,000+ wonderful backers who supported the cause, the non-profit behind this project now owns the property of Nikola Tesla’s former laboratory at Wardenclyffe. This initial round was enough to buy a laboratory, but not enough to actually BUILD a museum. So, earlier this year I wrote a cartoonist’s review of my Tesla Model S, wherein I asked Elon Musk to donate the remaining amount needed to restore Tesla’s lab.”
“Elon Musk agreed to donate $1M, in addition to building a Tesla supercharger station in the museum parking lot. He also issued a challenge to us to try and raise the rest of the funds ourselves. This is what we’re doing now. We’re hoping to raise the funds needed to begin the removal of hazardous materials from the buildings, as well as begin the renovation of the Stanford White building, which served as the laboratory and heart of Nikola Tesla’s wireless energy project known as Wardenclyffe.
Also noting this Indiegogo’s run incentive, Inman shared, “We’ve partnered with a brick company which engraves and installs bricks used for walkways and flooring, so for as little as $125 you can get a brick engraved with your name or message and placed on the grounds of the Tesla Museum, where it will permanently reside for all time. ”
“That’s $125 for your name to be a part of the museum forever. We also offer bigger bricks, and a design option if you want to upload a logo or piece of artwork. You’re welcome to upload names, messages, artwork, haikus, or poems about your cat. Poems about your tarantula are acceptable, too.”
Inman also encouraged all backers to reserve a brick sooner rather due to the demand. “Because these bricks will physically take up space on the property, we can only sell a limited number of them, and the sooner you purchase a brick, the more likely your brick will receive a preferred placement such as near Tesla’s statue and the tower base. The sooner you back this project, the better the location of your brick on the property.”
It was also revealed that the first bricks will be installed in the spring of 2015 in the area between the tower base and the statue of Tesla. Those who can’t afford the bricks will be given other incentives for their funds including t-shirts and hoodies. This is only if the backers give $15.
In regards to the funding goal, Inman added, “These bricks will fund needed maintenance as well as aid in the renovation of the Stanford White building, which served as Tesla’s laboratory and the heart of the wireless energy tower.”
“We are aiming to initially raise $200,000, which will be enough to replace the roof on the most important structure on the property and protect Tesla’s lab from the ravages of time and neglect. Ultimately we need to raise a figure closer to $10M, but we are planning a few different fundraisers in the future to meet this goal.”
The campaign is set to close on November 8th.
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