The internet crowd has been summoned to make real Elon Musk’s grandiose vision of the Hyperloop transport system.
The Hyperloop project went live on recently-launched crowdfunding platform JumpStart Fund, which combines crowd-sourcing expertise with crowdfunding.
"We believe the world is full of entrepreneurs who have great ideas but do not have the time or resources to make them a reality," said JumpStart Fund chief executive Dirk Ahlborn.
"JumpStart Fund was built for that reason alone – to provide them with a place to bring their ideas to reality."
The platform was launched by California-based online community Jumpstarter, which has been involved in matching investors with technology opportunities.
Jumpstarter said that it reached out to Musk’s private space exploration firm SpaceX to feature his Hyperloop plan at the platform.
Musk depicted Hyperloop as a new form of transport, different from traditional rail, which would carry passengers and goods in pods in a contained system elevated on pylons.
The system is capable of speeds reaching 1,220 kilometers (760 miles) an hour, or Mach 0.91, according to Musk’s document.
The technical paper said Hyperloop "consists of a low pressure tube with capsules that are transported at both low and high speeds" along blankets of pressurized air.
Musk has referred to the system a cross between a "Concorde, a rail gun and an air hockey table."
Musk billed his small team’s technical paper as an "open source design" for others to build on but noted that he is "tempted" to build a demonstration prototype.
The Hyperloop concept will be among the first to go through a JumpStartFund.com vetting process that involves the online community refining worthy ideas in business models.
"Members will be further asked to collaborate on every aspect of bringing the concept to reality," JumpStarter said in a release.
The process includes coming up with additional ways of using the idea, and creating a development team.
Raising money from the public on the Internet has become increasingly popular as sites such as IndieGoGo and Kickstarter are used more and more as platforms for businesses to fund their technology, this Pebble watch, for example. This new platform looks to add a problem-solving and bigger investor angle to crowdfunding, and seems to be the next evolutionary step.
"We are trying to give startups tools they need to make their product more successful," Fund co-founder Ahlborn told AFP.
"Crowdfunding together with crowd-sourcing is a solution."
JumpStart Fund was designed to be an online community where people can share ideas and build businesses, with individuals getting stakes in startups based on what they bring to the mix.
"Ideas get submitted, or it can be a patent, and we move it to a work-in-progress stage," Ahlborn explained.
The Hyperloop project was expected to win enough votes at the Fund to become a work-in-progress. Those who participate in shaping startups get advisory points which translate into shares in revenue.