Breakout Companies of 2010

Courtesy Company
8 of 11

New York City
Founded in 2009

Why they’re on the list: For helping some 4,000 entrepreneurs get their project funded

One of the hardest parts of starting any new project can be raising enough money to do it. That helps explain the phenomenal success of Kickstarter, a company that provides an online forum for entrepreneurs of all stripes –moviemakers, artists and game developers – to connect with potential funders, something that has been coined “crowdfunding.” The company has reportedly collected $25 million in pledges from more than 300,000 backers across 10,000 projects to date. As the popularity of the site has grown, so, too, have the company’s coffers since it collects 5 percent on every transaction.