A new platform designed to help software developers find money and resources for their projects has been launched in Brazil. The makeITopen site is Brazil’s first and only crowdfunding platform aimed at helping those involved in the development of free software.
With the increased outsourcing of IT solutions to Brazil as well as growing competition in software building, finding the necessary resources to build free software can be arduous – especially if those scarce resources are quickly snatched up by enterprises geared more towards profit. In addition to being open only to the development of free software, makeITopen puts full control of the project in the hands of its creator. After registering on the site and setting up a Paypal account into which collected donations will be paid, the search can begin.
The creator decides on the deadline by which funding is needed, the amount of funding requested, as well as what rewards to offer in exchange for donations. The only cost is a 5% fee of the total funds raised (most crowdfunding platforms operate this way) as well as any Paypal charges for withdrawal or currency conversions. If the necessary funds are not raised by the set deadline then the donations are returned to contributors in the form of online credit to invest in other projects.
As well as securing funding, makeITopen also helps control the quality of finished projects through a 5 day virtual approval process. Once a completed project is available for download, users are invited to test the software and give an approval rating. If it fails to get a high enough score it is sent back to the creator for another round of fixes and approval testing. The creator has three chances to garner a high enough approval rating before the project is cancelled and contributions are credited back to the investors.
The platform was created by software engineer Rodrigo Vertulo who started tinkering with the idea of developing Brazil’s very own crowdfunding platform last year. In February 2011, Vertulo launched Waca Waca in beta form. The platform was open to anybody with a project that needed finance. Waca Waca challenged the preconception that Brazil lacks the generosity and willingness to risk investments in projects that might not see the light of day. With makeITopen, Vertulo seems intent on testing the philanthropic nature of Brazilian people by asking them to invest in free software projects.