FAQ

About OSlantis

What is OSlantis
OSlantis is a Crowdchallenging platform, which means we have mixed Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing in one place. Instead of offering a project in pre-sale to consumers, communities can launch a visionary idea to be solved. A prize is gathered through crowdfunding, and a campaign to produce ideas is then started to make solutions emerge. Once there is a winning solution declared that meets the required criteria and shared in Open Licence, the price is redistributed among those solver(s) who made it. [/krown_accordion_section
What is the goal of the site
Our goal is to recreate the fundamental inventions we have without a patent, accesible to anyone to study, modify or sell them. Hopefully we’ll find new clean energy sources, new ways of transportation or new ways of recycling our materials, and so many more things made available in Open Source and with Free access.
What is the difference between OSlantis and other crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, etc?
OSlantis is a reverse crowdfunding platform for the Open Source. Other crowdfunding platforms are used to pre-sale a new product to a community. At OSlantis communities who don’t have the technical capacities or the money to fund their inventions can raise funds in crowdfunding and call other communities of makers to make it for them.
Other crowdfunding websites provide tangible rewards. Why doesn't OSlantis provide tangible rewards?
We believe the real value of creation is in the process. At OSlantis, we think that donors support Open Source Creators so they can move it forward. Project leaders provide updates, showing the donors exactly where their money is used. At the end of a campaign, once the challenge is solved, the solution blueprints will be sent to the backers’ email  and made available in Open Source for the entire world.
Is OSlantis microfinance, crowdfunding, or something else?
OSlantis is a crowdchallenging platform which collects donations to fund Open Source creations
Is OSlantis a non-profit or for-profit organization?
OSlantis is a mission-driven for-profit company. We are dedicated to enabling Open Source communities, and we are committed to providing a platform where inventions can be shared openly. Because of this social mission, we feel that in order to deliver the maximum benefit to as many creators as possible, the rigorous sustainability of a for-profit company helps us to achieve these
Why did you choose OSlantis as a name?
We want to help create a civilization where knowledge isn’t private and freely accesible to all, we decided to mix Atlantis + Open Source (OS), which ended up giving OSlantis. =)
What are the advantages of publishing a project on OSlantis?
This kind of crowdfunding platform creates a new space for Open ended and open source projects. Crowdfunding platforms are mostly intended to be pre-order sites for physical products, advance capital for entrepreneurs and see if there is actually a market for a product. This platform aims at rewarding people in the Open Source communities already contributing for free to the common pool of knowledge. Its other purpose is to create strong projects and attract attention to Open Source solutions designed to be made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design to accelerate a society based in the Commons and not in proprietary solutions.

-“It is easier to ship recipes than cakes and biscuits” – John Maynard Keynes-

In exchange for their money people wouldn’t get a product or reward, but they would get the Blueprint or the code of how a solution can be made.

This platform allows p2p innovation without the need to incorporate contributors. Projects can dynamically form and disperse, preserving the fluidity and the agility of the open source mode of innovation, and allowing swarm-type innovation. OSlantis can be seen as a custodian for these p2p innovation clusters, holding and distributing their financial assets according to redistribution agreements formulated within these clusters.

How much does it cost?
Posting a project on OSlantis is free. Succesfully funded projects are discounted of transaction charges levied by Stripe (for main credit/debit card payments) or Paypal . In the case of Stripe, the cost is 2.9% + $0.30. In the case of paypal, the cost per transaction is 3,4% + 0,25€ of the amount contributed.

About the campaigns

Every campaign on OSlantis must be Open Source?
Yes, it must be Open Source. It must have a clear goal, which will eventually be solved, and to get the reward gathered in crowdfunding, the outcome of the campaig must be shared with an Open and Free Licence so anyone can study, modify, make and distribute it.
Why is it all or nothing?
All  projects on OSlantis must reach or surpass the funding goal within a set timeline before any money changes hands. If the project doesn’t reach it’s goal, no money is charged.

Why is this? We ask project leaders to clearly define a minimum budget that allows them to reward the effort of developing in Open Source. We wouldn’t want to compromise the quality of the creation if they had only part of this budget.

It ensures that everybody commits to a minimum level to reward the solvers developing an Open Source solution to a given project. But it also motivatespeople who want to see an idea come to life spread the word around them and encourage others to support the project

Which challenges are not accepted?
There are some reasons why we won’t accept a challenge on the platform:

  • The solutions are already out there and we know how to find them.
  • There is already a lot of research and development activity in the area, and we think the right approaches will soon be found without a prize.
  • We consider the challenge to be too hard to be met. There may be financial, regulatory or systemic barriers that mean that progress will be slow and difficult, and the incentive to innovators won’t be sufficient to make advances.
When is it a good idea to launch a challenge?
These are the four scenarios that show the features of particularly ‘prize ready’ ideas.

  • If development costs are high, but the potential market opportunities are small (for example, research into a rare form of cancer).
  • If the market is monopolised (for example, in relation to energy provision).
  • If development costs exceed the potential price point (for example, in the case of providing sustainable heating for refugees).
  • If the innovators will not be the direct beneficiary of the market value or savings created (for example, supporting independent living for the elderly).

If you recognise these features, then a challenge prize may create the additional incentive for innovation that was lacking.

I don't know how to set up the judging criteria of my challenge. What can I do?
There is plenty of specialist you can reach to. For technical questions you should reach to the Maker communities around you, such as Hackerspaces, Fablabs, Biolabs. You can also ask in specialized forums, such as StackExchange, get in touch with manufacturer associations or directly write to actual manufacturers involved in your challenge’s area.

In France you can also reach to ProbonoLab for your marketing, strategy, communication plans, or SOScience for your scientific research.

Don’t forget to also check the section Design your Challenge at the Campaign Guide.

Where do backers come from?
Most of the times, the majority of funding initially comes from the fans and friends of each project. If they like it, they’ll spread the word to their friends, communities and so on. Press, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and OSlantis itself are also big sources of traffic and donations. You can check the best ways to reach your public in our Campaign Guide.
How will I find people who will solve my campaigns?
Once you promote your campaign to gather funds, you will certainly reach out to a community of solvers interested in creating this solution as well. By promoting your crowdfunding campaign you’ll be killing two birds with one stone, since it will also attract a community of solvers.

 

What kind of project can be published?
Every project that has collective interest, promotes positive impact and which proposal can benefit and be feasible through this crowdfunding dynamic- which will depend on its relevance, credibility and strength of communication. To learn more, check the Campaign guide where you can find all the tips and good questions to make your campaign a success. If you feel ready, send us a summary of your project on this form and we will respond with all the tips to prepare you for the platform within 5 days!
How can I know about more challenges?
Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter, in the form at the bottom of the page, and we’ll make sure to keep you updated on the new challenges in the OSlantis queue. We promise not to share your contact information with anyone.

About contributing to a campaign

Why collaborate with a project?
There is an great definition of Devotion and Faith. Devotion are the legs that allow you to walk through a path, and Faith are the eyes that shows you the right path. Blind faith will make you walk through a wrong path or make you fall into a ditch, while devotion without faith will show you a good path, but won’t take you anywhere.

At OSlantis we have extreme faith in Open Source, and this is why we made a platform to support the visions of others. With your help, by giving money or contributing to make the solutions happen you’ll be bringing the legs to walk the Open Source path.

You can make a difference in the world. You’ll be part of something bigger. But more importantly you will make something that would not exist without your help possible!

Where is my money going? Can we get our money back if no solution is found?
The money raised is kept exclusively to reward the solutions in an e-wallet independent from OSlantis’ accounts.  This money is only used once you and your panel of experts have determined that a solution has been found and shared in Open Source.

All the donations are returned to the backers if the crowdfunding goal hasn’t been achieved, or if no solution has been found at the last deadline of the campaign.

 

What rewards do I get when investing in OSlantis? Do I own any equity in the project?
Once the campaign is finished, the reward will be to have access to the blueprints of the solution in Open Source. You will also be creating a positive impact by supporting the mission of the campaign.
I'm worried about introducing money into my community.
This is a reasonable hesitation. However, money has already been a part of open-source for decades. Many open-source contributors are paid by their employers to work on open-source. Many projects already have donation buttons. Many open-source developers have consulting businesses around their projects. Ultimately, the motivations behind open-source contributions already vary widely. The easiest way to make sense of it all is to focus on the code itself. At the end of the day, if high-quality code is being contributed to a project, the incentives behind the code should be irrelevant.
Will my submission be shared in Open Licence even if I don't win?

Every solution will be kept confidential. Once a solution meets the criteria of a challenge, the Solver(s) can share their software or blue prints in Open Source and with an Open Licence. Then the prize will be distributed among the Solver(s).

Some challenges require collaboration. The competitive challenges don’t, so we can’t force you to develop in Open Source. In the case you lead an individual challenge, you commit to your community to deliver it in Open Source from the beginning. If for any reason you didn’t deliver your solution in Open Source you’ll have to refund whatever reward you got.

Nevertheless we encourage everyone to develop the solutions as openly as possible and share their advances with the community. This will give bigger chances to your solutions to win the challenges, gather a community  that supports and tests your idea.

What if someone invents a solution to my problem but patents the invention?
If someone inspires themselves to create a solution and patent it, good for them, it is moving the world forward. The bright side for the Open Source world is that there are plenty of different solutions to the same problem, and the Prize gathered for the challenge will still be available for anyone to create a different solution with an Open Licence.
What happens if a campaign doesn't deliver a solution after a period of time?
Unless it is planned to be indefinitely opened, if a challenge isn’t solved after a deadline or certain milestone, the money will have to be given back to the donators in its integrity or until the milestone that has been delivered and it has been verified that it fulfills the campaign criteria and is properly documented and shared.
How and when will I receive funds collected ? What payment information and documents do I have to provide for funds transfer?
If funding succeeds for a project in euro, we will need your bank account information (a form will appear on your project page as soon as you reach 100% of funding). We will also need identification documents relating to the bank account owner. Those identification documents depend on the quality of the owner of the bank account:

  • for an individual: Identity Document
  • for a non profit organisation: Proof of registration and copy of the identity document of the legal representative
  • for companies: Proof of registration.

If you organise a fundraiser in another currency than euro, you must have a PayPal account. Project owners must have a Premier or Business account. It’s easy, quick and free to open an account (or to upgrade your current account to Premier or Business), and you do it here: http://www.paypal.com.
When you’re creating your project, OSlantis will ask you to enter the PayPal account information that you want to use for your project.

As soon as funding succeeds and we have all required documents, we will proceed with the transfer of funds. You shall receive amounts within 72h after notification of transfer.

For pledges done with Paypal, funds will be transferred directly to the Paypal account of the project owner, where they are held until the creator withdraws them.

Other questions

Does OSlantis share my user information?
No. We will never share your information.
I want to suggest a new feature or tell you about something that’s broken.
Thanks, you can email us at hello at oslantis dot com :)
I want to delete my account, how can I do it?
Hopefully you enjoyed it while you were with us. You can tell us on our email, hello at oslantis dot com, and we’ll delete it.
I have a burning question that is not listed here.
Please send us questions (with answers, if you have some) to hello at oslantis dot com

FAQ Disclamer

This FAQ page is for informational purposes only and does not represent or create a contract between the reader or a Solver and OSlantis. All legal representations and obligations are set forth exclusively in the Website Terms of Use.

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