A very successful example of crowdfunding occurred across the border in Germany 107 years ago. In 1908, after the sole Zeppelin airship was destroyed in a windstorm near Stuttgart, a crowdfunding campaign began which raised RM 6 million, a large amount of money at that time. These funds were used to re-start the Zeppelin airship company and also to set up the Zahnradfabrik GmbH in 1915, to supply gearboxes and transmissions for Zeppelins. This company was renamed ZF Friedrichshafen AG in 1992.
Following its takeover of TRW Automotive, ZF Friedrichshafen will now be the world's largest auto parts supplier with 138,000 employees and Eur 40 billion in revenues, comparable in size to ABB. An article in today's NZZ elaborates: http://www.nzz.ch/wirtschaft/heimlic...eer-1.18457440