Minnesota startups have a strong (albeit short) history of bringing projects to life since the founding of crowdfunding website Kickstarter in 2009.
Millions of dollars in financial support have flooded in from around the globe, helping companies like Minneapolis-based SmartThings develop its Internet of Things system and Golden Valley-based Zivix create its jamstik+ smart guitar. The month of March was no exception for local businesses turning to the internet for monetary backing.
Here are the latest local innovators to find success on Kickstarter:


Macchina’s M2 car “hacking” device

Based in: Minneapolis
Amount received: More than $112,000 on a $25,000 goal
Number of backers: Over 1,100
Product information: Self-proclaimed “car nerds” Earl and Josh Sharpe are mixing mechanical technology with electronics to create the Macchina M2, a device that allows users to “hack” their vehicle. Similar to jailbreaking a smartphone, the M2 provides the potential to customize many elements of a car or truck’s performance. Want to retune your vehicle’s electronic control unit to get better fuel economy or take in a different fuel type altogether? The M2 can do that. Want to start your car from up to a mile away using your smartphone? The M2 can do that, too, and more, said Earl Sharpe in the startup’s campaign video. Any car that isn’t older than Google is hackable, the company claims. And to make the process of customizing a car or truck easier, Macchina is working with developers to create free, editable software to simplify the car hacking process.


Maluna’s Unhinged coolers

Based in: La Crescent
Amount received: More than $287,000 on a $150,000 goal
Number of backers: Over 1,300
Product information: For beach-goers and adventurists who want a cooler with stamina, Scott Hoyt, the founder of Maluna, claimed his cooler’s patent-pending features and high-performance seal can keep ice over 20 percent longer than leading brands. A key feature to Maluna coolers — available in 40-, 50- and 70-quart sizes — is its digital thermometer drain plug, which displays the inside temperature and can be fitted to other premium coolers.


Stacker LLC’s S2 industrial grade 3D printer

Based in: Golden Valley
Amount received: More than $190,000 on a $75,000 goal
Number of backers: Over 50
Product information: Designed for the education, manufacturing and professional markets, Stacker’s S2 is a more affordable iteration of a 3D printer it introduced on Kickstarter in 2015. The success of its first campaign helped the company hire staff and build a manufacturing facility to create its printers. Similar to Stacker’s original design, the S2 printer allows for multi-part printing. While other desktop and commercial-grade printers only allow for one part to be printed at a time, the S2 printer has two printing heads, enabling a user to print two different or two of the same object at once. The result is a 3D printer that works up to twice as fast as its competitors, Stacker said.


Zero5 Innovation’s MÜV chair

Based in: Mound
Amount received: More than $28,000 on a $15,000 goal
Number of backers: Over 120
Product information: For all those office chair slouchers out there, Zero5 Innovation’s has developed a backless chair that uses a “floating” mechanism to promote better posture. The mechanism is said to cause instability when sitting, which engages the user’s core muscles and encourages users to fidget and ultimately force posture improvements. Those who tested the stool in the company’s Kickstarter video claimed the MÜV felt more ergonomic and better than an exercise ball.

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