It's not so well known yet, but West Virginia has its own dedicated crowdfunding site.
And dubvee.com -- created and designed by 35-year-old Shane Richardson -- recently had its first successful campaign.
"I really wanted to create something for West Virginians that just West Virginians could post projects to. If you went on the site you would only be seeing projects for West Virginians by West Virginians. You wouldn't have to sort through all the national campaigns," said Richardson, whose Mountaineer Creative Labs, a website design and development studio, is located in Scott Depot.
The site, whose name plays on the state's initials, is currently modeled after Kickstarter, in which if your target funding goal is not met, the project does not succeed. But Richardson soon plans to offer the Indiegogo model, too, in which whatever money is pledged can be used even if the project goal isn't met.
"Very soon you will have the option to choose an all-or-nothing campaign or a flexible funding campaign. Meaning that you keep all of what you earn even if you don't reach a goal. It may open up the avenue for more of a donation-type campaign," said Richardson.
The site's first campaign out of the box -- custom built, motor-powered bicycles handcrafted in Buckhannon by Red Rock Cycles -- did not make its target goal of $800.
But a second campaign related to this year's Create West Virginia conference in Richwood, Oct. 24 to 26, recently achieved its $3,500 goal. That campaign was to raise money to create solar-powered trellises as a showcase conference project.
West Virginia architect Thom Worlledge of McKinley & Associates designed the 12-foot-tall trellises to be fashioned from rough-hewn wood. They'll be crafted from locally sourced white oak by Charlie Mooney of Fusion Builders and two volunteer carpenters from Richwood, Mark Boone and Kevin Lawrenson, supporting photovoltaic panels supplied by Dovetail Solar and Wind of Athens, Ohio.
The trellises are designed to embody the structure of a tree but using milled lumber, said Worlledge. "The solar panels are designed [with a] transparent background so it would provide mottled lighting like you would get like from leaves of a tree."
Initial hopes were for up to eight of the trellises in a sculpture garden on Main Street. But the location has been shifted to a lot at the corner of Edgewood and Oakford avenues, which still needs a lot of work, and the number of trellises has been reduced.